Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Crunch time: Syracuse extends winning streak to nine-straight games

by Doug Spencer / Tampa Bay Lightning

It was another action packed week for the Syracuse Crunch, as they managed to come away with the win in all three of their games. The team improved their current winning streak to an impressive nine games and also improved their overall record to 19-7-3. The Crunch sit in second place in the Eastern Conference and are also the top ranked team in the Northeast Division.

Syracuse opened up its week on the road with a 3-2 win against the Rochester Americans, in another installment of the battle for the I-90. The Crunch got off to a great start, with Philippe Paradis scoring just over one minute into the game. Syracuse received markers from Yanni Gourde, who notched his team leading 12th of the season, and Mike Blunden. Kristers Gudlevskis was minding the net and turned in another solid performance, with 27 saves and a .931 save percentage. The win extended the Crunch’s streak to seven games.

The Crunch then travelled to Hartford on Friday to face off against the Wolf Pack. It was a battle of the goaltenders, as both stood on their heads to give their team a chance to win. In the end it was the Crunch who came out on top, by a score of 2-0. Tanner Richard and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Crunch while Gudlevskis recorded his first shutout of the year to lead the team to victory.

Syracuse ended their week on December 20, back at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. Syracuse played host to another up-state New York rival in the Albany Devils. After a strong start that saw the Crunch net two first period goals, one from both Mike Angelidis and Blunden, the Crunch were able to walk away with their ninth straight win as they downed the Devils 3-2. Namestnikov would pot the game winner mid-way through the second frame on the power play. Gudlevskis made his third straight start and continued his fine form, stopping 26 of 28 shots for a .928 save percentage.

Feeling fine at number nine

The Crunch have been rolling along as of late, picking up their ninth consecutive win last Saturday. They have yet to be defeated in the month of December, as their streak started on November 29 with a 4-1 win against the Hershey Bears. Syracuse would later defeat the Bears again 4-1 to extend their streak to five. Other opponents that have been “Crunched” during this span have included the: Hartford Wolf Pack (twice), Rochester Americans (twice), Springfield Falcons, Utica Comets and Albany Devils. Here are some interesting stats from the team’s current nine game winning streak:

•Syracuse has managed to outscore its opponents 28-12

•In his four starts during the streak, Vasilevskiy has: posted two shutouts, recorded a .983 save percentage, only allowed two goals, and was named the CCM/AHL player of the week for 12/7-12/14/14.

•Namestnikov leads the team in scoring with four goals and 10 points since December 5 (game two of streak) when he joined the Crunch.

•Syracuse has won five games on the road

•Angelidis has scored five goals and eight points

Nikita Nesterov has one goal and five points from the blueline

Who’s next?

Syracuse has another busy three game week as they look to keep their red-hot streak rolling. The team will face off on Thursday in Syracuse against the Albany Devils (13-10-1) in a re-match of last Saturdays tilt. Syracuse will then host the Worcester Sharks (11-13-3) on Friday, December 27. The third game of the week will be on Saturday, December 28, leaving the Crunch with little time to rest up before they take on the Springfield Falcons (20-9-1). It will be a grueling week with three games all back-to-back, but the Crunch will be fired up to keep their winning ways alive.

View More