SYRACUSE This season, the Syracuse Crunch restructured its lineup, inserting 10 new players into its oroster, including two star goaltenders.
Coach Mark Holick reiterated to the media that all these changes will pay off as compared to last year’s disappointing season. So far, it has, as Crunch fans and coaching staff have enjoyed a balanced chemistry between the veteran players and the new young additions.
An example of this occurred on Friday evening at the Broome County Veteran Memorial Arena, as Syracuse posted a 5-4 victory over Binghamton, the defending Calder cup champions. It was a hard fought battle, featuring three ties and three lead changes.
A night later, at the War Memorial, the Crunch had another stiff challenge as they opposed the Adirondack Phantoms. Last year, the Phantoms dominated the Crunch, winning eight of nine meetings.
Not only did Syracuse break their losing trend, its also defeated (2-1) Adirondack convincingly 6-2 in front of a near-sellout crowd of 6,311 very animated fans.
The most valuable players of the game were the unstoppable Kyle Palmieri, who scored three goals, and Nick Bonino contributed four assists. Palmieri, a second-year forward, closed last season with 15 scoring makers and five assists in his last 14 games and now has six points in his first two contests this fall, all while keeping his emotions in check.
“You have to leave last year in the past,” said Palmieri. “Going forward, I was not happy with the way I played (in Anaheim). I used it as motivation. Right now, I’m just focusing on the Crunch. Every day, I try to get better.”
After Palmeiri tallied in his third goal, the fans gave him a thunderous standing ovation, and some threw their hats onto the ice, acknowledging his hat trick.
However, Palmieri was not the only star as Patrick Maroon added a goal and two assists. The Crunch’s defense played exceptionally well protecting Jeff Deslauriers, who made 36 saves in his home debut.