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Crunch Time: Syracuse wins both games over the weekend

by Doug Spencer / Tampa Bay Lightning
Off to the races

The Syracuse Crunch closed out their opening four-game home stand this past weekend with a pair of victories, defeating the Springfield Falcons 3-2, and the Binghamton Senators 4-2. The wins helped improve the team’s overall record to 2-1-1. 

On Friday, October 17, the Crunch hosted the Springfield Falcons for the second time this season. After losing 3-1 in both its home and season opener to the Falcons, the Crunch were able to get the best of them, winning 3-2. Assistant captain Cedric Paquette kept his torrid scoring touch going, notching another goal and going +3 on the night. Jonathan Marchessault added a goal, an assist and was also plus-3.

After being sent down to Syracuse on a conditioning assignment, rookie winger Jonathan Drouin did not disappoint as he scored the decisive goal in the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy was solid in net, turning aside 27 of 29 shots.

The Binghamton Senators visited town the following night as the Crunch faced their second back-to-back set of the year.

The Senators held the lead coming out of the first period, but the Crunch came back to score two goals in each of the remaining periods to win the game 4-2. Marchessault got the scoring started for Syracuse, who also received tallies from Joel Vermin, Mike Blunden and Matt Corrente. Both Drouin and Paquette added two assists each. It was a busy night for both goaltenders as there were 89 total shots fired on net in the game. Kristers Gudlevskis turned away 43 of 45 Binghamton attempts.

As “Gud” as it gets

After putting together a solid performance in the team’s 4-2 win over the visiting Binghamton Senators, Gudlevskis seems as though he has found his groove. In 34 games with the Crunch last year, Gudlevskis backstopped the team to 18 wins, had five shutouts and had a save percentage of .901. As both Gudlevskis and the team take an expected step forward this year, he will undoubtedly build upon these numbers. After an impressive showing last game, anticipate another big weekend from Gudlevskis.

“Paq”-ing the net

Cedric Paquette had another outstanding weekend as he added one goal and two assists for a total of five points through four games this year to lead the team. Last season, Paquette was scoring points at a clip of 0.62 per game and finished with 44 total points in 70 games. Through the first five games, he is scoring at a clip of 1.25 points per game. While it is early in the season, Paquette has the hot hand at the moment, so expect to see a lot of him in upcoming games.

Who’s next?

Syracuse is off on their first road trip of the year as they play three games in three nights this week. On Friday, October 24, the team will be travelling to Worcester to play the Sharks (3-0-0). Following the game, the Crunch will go to Portland to face the Pirates (1-3-0) on Saturday, October 25. The Crunch will wrap up their first road trip with a stop in Springfield on Sunday, October 26, to face the Falcons (1-2-1) for the third time in as many weeks.

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