Crunch Special Teams Struggle in 3-0 Loss to Americans
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Syracuse Crunch (3-4-1-0) special teams had neither trick nor treat on Halloween against the Rochester Americans (6-2-0-0), and went 0-for-5 in a 3-0 loss.
The Americans, the second most penalized team in the AHL with 226 penalty minutes this season, got the scoring started early with a shorthanded tally.
"We're failing to get results," Head coach Rob Zettler said. "We're also giving up goals [on the power-play} and that's a killer, especially when you give up four through eight games."
Joel Armia netted his fourth goal of the season at the three-minute mark of the first period to give the Amerks the early edge in the I-90 rivalry. Jerome Leduc assisted Armia on the play, then scored a power-play goal with 57.7 seconds left in the first period to give Rochester a 2-0 lead. Mikhail Grigorenko and Mark Pysyk assisted on Leduc's tally.
Shots on goal were one-sided in favor of the Crunch, but even with 38 attempts, Andrey Makarov couldn't be beat. The Americans finished with 25 shots on goal.
Missed opportunities haunted the Crunch and didn't help their effort. Mike Angelidis was a part of two of them. He rang a puck off the post with 10 seconds remaining in the second period, and started the third with a disallowed goal because the whistle blew before the puck crossed the line.
While the Crunch never seemed to get a bounce to go their way, the Americans put the game away with an unlikely bounce over the shoulder of Andrei Vasilevskiy. Phil Varone deflected the goal into the net at the 7:42 mark of the third period. He was assisted by Luke Adam and Jordan Samuels-Thomas.
Syracuse failed to convert on three first period power-play chances, took two shots on its only second period power-play, and one attempt in the third. The Crunch struggles on the power-play are evident from their 28th place ranking in the league, and 2-for-32 conversion rate on the season.
Vasilevskiy fell to 1-2-1-0 in his first AHL season and stopped 23 of 25 shots.
The Crunch travel to Binghamton tomorrow for its second contest against the Senators this season. Syracuse beat Binghamton at home Oct. 18, 4-2.
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