Last week was a busy week for the Syracuse Crunch, an American Hockey League (AHL) team and affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with three games in four days. All games were played in the friendly confines of the OnCenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York. The Crunch started the three game home stand with a slim percentage points lead in the AHL’s North Division.
The first game featured the one and only time the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, would travel to play in Syracuse this season. It was a one-sided affair as the Phantoms dictated the play for most of the game. Yet, the Crunch came out the victors behind a 48 save effort by goalie Adam Wilcox.
After a one day break, the Crunch took on the Albany Devils, affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, and right behind them in the standings. This was a very entertaining and close game. Until the Crunch pulled away in the third period with a goal from behind the net by Forward Yanni Gourde.
The next night, the closest team geographically to Syracuse, the Utica Comets and affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks came to the Old Barn (as everyone likes to call the War Memorial Arena). This was the fourth of twelve games these teams will play this season. Being as the cities are so close, fans of both teams filled the place.
Like many games between these two teams, the game went past an overtime to a shootout. The Crunch came out on top in the shootout, 2-1, for the 4-3 win.
Whew and, after the ice chips cleared, the Crunch had built up a six point advantage over the second place team in the division.
What a work out for the players and for myself. I shot over 1,500 images in covering the three games which will get edited down to about 100 to 200 keepers. The Crunch are on the road this weekend and I get a break to catch up. Next game is a week from today.