The Syracuse Crunch had their season opener yesterday, but their home opener today against the Washington Capitals affiliate, the Hershey Bears.
The game started 20 minute late due to season opener activities. The Crunch made the transition from the Anaheim Ducks affiliation to the Tampa Bay Lightning affiliation a big part of their festivities. The player introductions started later than expected because of that.
As compared with last season, this was a fairly typical game for most of the players on the Crunch. They came out with some energy at the start of the game and got a couple of goals. Then they sort of slowed down in the second and got into some penalty trouble going into the third. But they came roaring back to finish the game strong.
The penalties were seriously out of control, however. There was a total of 22 penalties - ten for the Bears, and 12 for the Crunch. Those resulted in eight power play chances for Hershey, and seven for Syracuse. Each team only scored once on the power play. So, the power play didn't look that great, for one. And for the other, discipline was quite lacking.
Cory Conacher had a great game. He assisted on the second goal of the night in the first period, put in by Tyler Johnson on his only shot of the night. He scored a goal himself in the second - the third one of the game. And he was crashing the net hard in the third, which didn't make Braden Holtby of Hershey very happy. Conacher ended up taking three penalties for all of that.
An interesting aspect of the evening were the reactions of the Syracuse media. The radio announcer, Dan D'Uva, sounded sort of happily stunned for parts of the game. And Lindsay Kramer from the Syracuse Post Standard was in the same boat on Twitter.
For those Lightning fans who watched the Norfolk Admirals play in playoffs last season, well, we've seen this story before. But I guess it's one thing to hear about it, and entirely another to experience it. These two people sounded like they weren't entirely sure if what they were seeing was real - and totally in a good way.
Their next game is at Albany next Friday, 19 October. Game time is at 7 pm Eastern. We'll have a game thread up for those that are interested. Come join us!