The 2013-2014 season for the Syracuse Crunch American Hockey League (AHL) team came to a close last weekend as they defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs in the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada by the score of 3 to 1. Jonathan Marchessault, number 18 for the Crunch, scored the last goal of the season at the 14:27 mark of the third period.
I traveled up to Hamilton and photographed the game as a guest of Bulldog’s team photographer, Brandon Taylor, whose work you can see at ProAm Images. I really liked photographing the game presentation put on by the staff.
The FirstOntario Centre, where the Hamilton Bulldogs play, is a mini-NHL arena complete with ribbon lights which ring the arena and a projection system. Over 7,400 fans attended and were in full voice for the Canadian National Anthem (top photo). Those fans are protected by tempered glass which I had only seen in NHL arenas (bottom left). Being Fan Appreciation Night, the Bulldogs promotions announcer was busy at every media play stoppage (bottom middle). A close up of Hamilton Bulldogs (and former Syracuse Crunch) goaltender, Dustin Tokarski (34) in net (bottom right).
After the game ended, the Syracuse Crunch team came out to congratulate goalie Cedrick Desjardins (30) on the victory. They lingered on the ice for an unusual length of time for a visiting team. Perhaps because they knew it was the last time this group would play together. Like most professional teams, a large portion of the players will be making decisions on where to play next season. Some will not be asked back by the Crunch or their National Hockey League affiliate, Tampa Bay Lightning, and will seek to play for other teams. Some will move on because they feel they will have a better chance of playing with another organization. Either way, I wish them all the best.