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Crunch Time: Yanni Gourde tallies two goals as Syracuse goes 1-0-2

by Doug Spencer / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Syracuse Crunch were back in action last weekend with three games, highlighted by a back-to-back homestand against the Norfolk Admirals. The Crunch were able to secure at least one point in all three of their games, as they went 1-0-2 on the weekend, improving their overall record to 5-4-3.

On Friday,  the Admirals rolled in to Syracuse for a tilt against the Crunch. It was a back and forth game that would require overtime to decide a winner. Norfolk was able to get the better of the Crunch as they scored at 2:01 of the extra frame to win the game. Syracuse put in a solid effort though, with a two point night (one goal and assist) from captain Mike Angelidis. Jonathan Marchessault and Jean-Philippe Cote also tallied for the team. Andrei Vasilevskiy made his sixth start and made 29 saves on 33 Norfolk attempts.

The following night, the Crunch were out for revenge as they re-matched the Admirals. Things were not looking good heading into the third period, as Norfolk was up 4-1. However, the Crunch responded with a valiant effort and managed to score four unanswered goals to win the game 5-4. Marchessault, who extended his goal scoring streak to three games, opened the scoring for Syracuse by converting a penalty shot in the second period. Dalton Smith and Yanni Gourde both registered two goals in the third period, with Gourde scoring the game winning tally with just under five minutes to play. Kristers Gudlevskis was in net and turned aside 23 of 27 Admiral shots.

Syracuse closed out their weekend with a visit to Wilkes-Barre Scranton. In another hotly contested game, the Crunch were able to secure a valuable point by forcing the game to overtime, even though Wilkes-Barre Scranton prevailed 5-4. Tanner Richard scored his second goal of the night to cut the Penguins lead to only one midway through the third period. Dalton Smith then scored his second of the game with 2:19 left to play to tie the game 4-4. Vasilevskiy was between the pipes for this one and spurned 30 of 35 Penguin attempts on goal for a .857 save percentage.

Yanni in Concert

The Lightning signed Yanni Gourde to an entry-level contract on March 10, 2014. The native of St. Narcisse, Québec, is entering his second season with the Syracuse Crunch after joining the team midway through the 2013-14 season.

In the first 12 games of this season, Gourde has tallied two goals and six points. Both of his goals came this past weekend in a 5-4 win against the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday. Gourde scored his first goal after stripping the puck from an Admirals defender, and then tapping home a tic-tac-toe passing play with Richard. His second goal came on a no-look feed from Richard where Gourde juked past the netminder and roofed the puck into the net. Scoring these two big goals helped Syracuse to avenge their loss from the previous night and earn a well-deserved two points. Gourde seems to have found his stride offensively, so look for him to continue to create chances.

Who’s next?

The Crunch are back in action on November 12, when they travel to Albany to face the Devils (6-3-3). Syracuse will then return home for a tilt on Friday against the Hersey Bears (7-5-1). On Saturday the Crunch will visit Wilkes-Barre Scranton again for a re-match against the Penguins (8-5-1).

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