A home opener is full of promise. A new season. New players. The stadium is full of fans knowing this year is the year.
Many of the players were new to the Crunch. Being in the American Hockey League (AHL) means a player is one step away from being called up the Crunch’s National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate, the Anaheim Ducks. Most are young and in their first or second year of being a professional and are full of energy in hopes of making the next step in their careers. Some players have been playing in the AHL for awhile and many never get to the NHL. These veteran players help the younger ones and bring experience to the team.
Crunch goalie Jeff Deslauriers is such a player. A seven year pro, he brings skill and experience to a position the Crunch have missed the last few years. Because of where my seats were for this game, we’ll be seeing more of Jeff below.
Where I was sitting was first row on ice level. As you can see by my focal lengths, I was very close to all the hard hitting and fast skating action. I even caught the only Crunch goal when they were shooting at the goal near me. (see below)
Normally I try and get seats near the goal the Crunch shoot at twice in a game. For this game I was in the end the Crunch defended twice so I got a lot of photos of the goalie. Here he is kicking out a shot in the third period and then celebrating the victory.
I was impressed with the speed the Syracuse Crunch displayed on their way to a 6 to 2 win over the Adirondack Phantoms. If they can continue to play as they did it could be a good year for the Crunch and I will see more victory celebrations like this.