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Quick Strikes: Crunch get their preseason started, Lightning make last round of cuts

Bolstered by new additions from the Lightning, Syracuse got their own preseason underway yesterday.

Syracuse Crunch Mitchell Stephens (67) skating against Rochester Americans Zach Redmond (22) in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Syracuse won 4-2.
Scott Thomas Photography

The Headline

The Syracuse Crunch got rolling yesterday in Rochester for their first preseason tilt. The Crunch lost the game 4-1, but it sounded like an energetic showing for a squad that had yet to actually play together. Taylor Raddysh scored the only goal for Syracuse.

The Crunch plays again on Tuesday in Toronto for their second and final preseason game.

Earlier on Sunday, Syracuse was bolstered by the final additions from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Erik Cernak, Mitchell Stephens, and Alex Volkov were all sent down. [Raw Charge]

Going into training camp, all three players were considered candidates to make the Lightning’s roster, though it was considered a long shot. Mathieu Joseph was another such rookie candidate, but it seems with these cuts that he has made it for Opening Night.

Prior to the game, Crunch broadcaster Lukas Favale helpfully got fans into the mood for some away hockey with several interesting tidbits about the team and how it’s shaping up:

One of his tweets spoke to the Crunch’s search for a new captain:

(Look for some speculation on this topic here later on this morning.)

Due to the improvements going on at the Onondaga County War Memorial, last night’s game was played on the RIT campus in Rochester:

Last night was also the debut of the Crunch’s new 25th anniversary jersey patches.

The Lightning

The Lightning have a tasty new deal going on with Capital Tacos:

October’s meal sounds pretty tasty, and is inspired by Ryan Callahan:

I have a theory that Mathieu Joseph knew during this interview that he had made the Lightning’s opening night roster. He just has that extra twinkle in his eye:

Other Crunch News

Crunch coach Ben Groulx had some words of wisdom for the newcomers about the AHL this past week. [Syracuse.com]

“That’s a little bit the message we had this morning. ‘Hey, don’t think you’re coming here and yippee, it’s going to be fun here and I’m going to be a 100-point guy again.’ It’s not that league. To be successful in that league (the AHL), you’ve got to make sure that your habits are in a good place and your work ethic’s in a good place and you know to play in the three zones. There’s a lot of necessary things to do to be successful in the AHL and NHL. I think it’s important that they start having that message a little bit.’’

Meanwhile, back at the War Memorial, this happened...and the roof didn’t cave in! WIN!

For reference, here’s what the old scoreboard looked like. It was installed in 2009:

Scott Thomas Photography

Big difference. Big. Huge.

The Game

Dustin Brown of the LA Kings is out indefinitely with a broken finger. [LA Kings Insider]

Playing in his final exhibition on Saturday, Brown suffered a broken finger when he was struck by an Anze Kopitar shot while screening John Gibson late in the second period, a punctuation to a slog of a 1-6-1 preseason and another blow to the team’s forward corps.

The Edmonton Oilers have not placed Jakub Jeřábek on unconditional waivers. The plot thickens?

Would Connor Carrick be a good fit with the Montréal Canadiens? Josh Tessler thinks so! [Editor In Leaf]

Since Babcock prefers Rosen and Ozhiganov over Carrick, this has made Carrick expendable. Now, it’s up to Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs front office to find a new home for the 24-year-old native of Orland Park, Illinois.

The Rochester Americans, North Division rivals of the Crunch, think they found some players that can give them some extra oomph against their in-state foes:

The Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL announced their training camp yesterday: