INSIDE HOCKEY » Syracuse Crunch Get Inside! Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:40:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Photo Gallery: Devils @ Crunch (4/04/14) Mon, 07 Apr 2014 01:15:32 +0000

Crunch take a 2-1 victory over the Albany Devils. Evan Rankin beat the Devil net minder scoring in the third period. #35 Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 16 of 17 shots on goal. #24 J.P. Cote took a Devil to the woodshed and gave him a beat down.

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Photo Gallery: Senators @ Crunch (3/29/14) Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:46:52 +0000

Syracuse Crunch had more than one chance to take the win. The team lost in the shoot-out 4-3  Kristers Gudlevskis had a great night with 25 saves. The Crunch took advantage of the power plays and scored two goals.  #37 Darren Kramer from the Senators and #82 Luke Witkowski of the Crunch got into a bloody disagreement. Krammer lost the debate with a bloody face had to leave the rink.

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Gudlevskis Strong in Loss to Binghamton Sun, 30 Mar 2014 16:46:02 +0000

SYRACUSE – Before the Sochi Winter Olympics, it would be safe to say that not many people around the hockey world had heard of the Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis. After a 55 save performance in a 2-1 loss to the eventual gold-medal winning Canadians, Gudlevskis undoubtedly made a name for himself. The Syracuse Crunch rookie goalie was then called up to serve as backup for the Tampa Bay Lightning in three games following his stellar performance on the world’s biggest stage.

Although he was reassigned back to Syracuse on March 3rd, Gudlevskis has made the most of his increased workload in the AHL. Going into Saturday night’s game vs. the Senators, Gudlevskis had a 5-2-1 record in net for the Crunch since returning from Sochi and Tampa Bay. Crunch fans may not have been surprised by Gudlevskis strong play in Sochi, as he is 16-10-4 with a 2.56 GAA and a .907% save percentage for a Syracuse team that is at the bottom of the East division.

Gudlevskis started off Saturday’s game at the War Memorial Arena no differently, making saves on two legitimate scoring chances early on in the game. “For us playing six games in nine nights, I felt fine,” Gudlevskis said. “Physically it may have been a little bit harder, but I was focused and fighting in the net.”

In addition to it being the tenth and final meeting on the season between divisional foes Syracuse and Binghamton, it was also “Pucks for Paws” night at the arena. On a night when dogs could be heard barking during both the national anthem and throughout the game, it was the Crunch who came out of the gates like a group of junkyard dogs. Syracuse established a strong forecheck and created good scoring chances early in the game, but Binghamton goalie Andrew Hammond stood tall and shut the door each time.

Despite the Crunch’s strong start, it was the Senators that struck first just before the halfway point of the first period. One of the hardest plays for a goalie to read is when the puck is lightly dumped in and he has to make the decision to come out and play it or stay in the net. One of the worst things a goalie can do on this play is hesitate, and Gudlevskis did exactly that. The Crunch goalie looked like he was going to try to win the race to the puck, but he instead tried to get back to his post as the Senators’ Derek Grant carried the puck below the circle. Grant quickly put the puck on net and it trickled by Gudlevskis and past the goal line to make it 1-0 Binghamton. Gudlevskis practiced his positioning on the same post the goal was scored on him in the next TV timeout.

Aside from a Binghamton power play one-timer that he had no chance in stopping, Gudlevskis was solid throughout the rest of game. Right after the Crunch took lead midway through the second period, Gudlevskis made a breakaway save and smothered the rebound to keep his team on top. The divisional and regional rivals went into their respective locker rooms tied after the second frame.

Playing the point on the power play, Syracuse RW Geoff Walker blasted home a one-timer past Hammond to put the Crunch up by one just past the halfway point in the third. With just over five minutes remaining though, Binghamton’s Alex Grant threw a shot on net from the point that somehow found its was through traffic and into the back of the net. It was clear by his reaction that Gudlevskis was screened, but he thinks he could have done something differently to see the puck better.

“I shouldn’t have been blocking the short side, but in that moment I thought that was the best option,” Gudlevskis said. “But I didn’t for sure know and I didn’t see it go in. It happens, its hockey.” Gudlevskis bounced back quickly, making a few stellar saves to keep the game tied including one from point blank range with just a few seconds to go in the third to send the game to overtime. Gudlevskis made 25 saves on 28 shots in regulation.

After a scoreless overtime period that did not produce many scoring chances, both the human and dog fans in the building barked for a shootout. Gudlevskis was strong down low all game, but Binghamton’s Cole Schneider saw some daylight upstairs in the shootout to put the Senators up 1-0. Schneider’s goal turned out to be the only goal for either side in the shootout, as Hammond stuffed all five Crunch players to secure the victory for the Senators.

The win gave the Senators an 8-2 record vs. the Crunch this season and secured their position at  both the top of the East division and third in the Eastern conference. Syracuse, on the other hand, remains last in the East division and 11th in the Eastern conference, 13 points out of the final playoff spot with just nine games to play.

Although the Crunch are definitely on the outside looking in, Gudlevskis knows what the team needs to do to give themselves a shot at the postseason. “We can’t think about it, we just need to go out there every game fighting. If we can win all nine of these games, we have a chance,” Gudlevskis said.

Now 5-2-2 since returning from the Olympics, Gudlevskis has maintained the same high level of play that was almost the reason for an upset of epic proportions for his Latvian team vs. Canada in the knockout round of the Olympic hockey tournament. Only 21 years old and still a rookie, Gudlevskis is handling the entire experience like a true professional.

“[The Olympics] gave me confidence and a lot of skills,” Gudlevskis said. “But now its in the past and I don’t think about that anymore, I’m just focusing here for Syracuse.”

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Photo Gallery: Devils @ Crunch (3/22/14) Tue, 25 Mar 2014 01:14:51 +0000

The Albany Devils defeated the Syracuse Crunch 6-2 on Saturday night, March 22nd at the Onondaga War Memorial.  Chris Beavers photographed the game for Inside Hockey.

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Photo Gallery: Crunch vs. Bulldogs (3/15/14) Mon, 17 Mar 2014 14:44:37 +0000

Syracuse Crunch come up short and lose in the shoot-out 2-1. #35 Kristers Gudlevskis had 28 saves for the night. The only Crunch goal came in the third period from #28 Brett Connolly.

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Photo Gallery: Crunch vs. Senators (3/9/14) Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:06:59 +0000

Syracuse Crunch down 3-1 make a huge comeback in the third period winning the game 4-3. #35 Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 33 of 36 shots.  The Syracuse Crunch Fans left the War Memorial with a smile.

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Photo Gallery: Crunch vs Penguins (2/28/14) Sun, 02 Mar 2014 14:22:50 +0000

The debut of Anders Lindback brought the Syracuse Crunch fans to there feet. The 6’6″ net minder stopped all 30 shots on goal for his first shutout as a Crunch player.

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Photo Gallery: Crunch @ Bears (2/22/14) Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:12:58 +0000

  At the Giant Center on Saturday 02/22/14, the Syracuse Crunch started scoring in the 1st period at the 3:53 mark, and continued scoring through the game to defeat the Hershey Bears by a score of 5-0. The Crunch goaltender Allen York saved 39 shots on goal.  The “3 Stars of the Game were #3 SYR Vlad Namestnikov, #2 Jon DiSalvatore, and #1 SYR Allen York. Pictures taken by Steve Rusyn for Inside Hockey.

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Photo Gallery: Crunch vs. Comets (2/21/14) Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:11:15 +0000

Syracuse Crunch loose a heart breaker 2-1 in overtime. Cedrick Desjardins blocked 34 of 36 shots.

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Photo Gallery: Crunch vs. Falcons (02/08/14) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 14:26:19 +0000

The Crunch fell to the Falcons in overtime 6-5.  The Crunch scored three goals in the third period to send the game into over time. With less than two minutes on the clock the Falcons forward  Cody Bass crushed the puck from fifteen yards out to win the game. Kristers Gudlevskis will be back with the Crunch after taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics. He will be representing his native country Latvia.

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