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Lightning Round: Crunch return from break with overtime win

Daniel Walcott of the Syracuse Crunch looks to his left for the puck while a Rochester American player stands behind him.
Syracuse Crunch Daniel Walcott (85) playing against the Rochester Americans in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Rochester won 5-4 in a SO. Photo by Scott Thomas - Scott Thomas Photography (https://www.sthomasphotos.com/)

After a few days off the Syracuse Crunch were back in action on Friday night as they were in Rochester to take on the Americans. They fought back from an early two-goal deficit to tie it in the second period. Then, 38 seconds into overtime Waltteri Merela ended it with his 8th goal of the season.

The play started with a nice stick check by Declan Carlile that freed up the puck for the Crunch to gain possession. Merela pounced on it and slow-played his way into the zone, effectively using Joe Carroll as a decoy before wristing a shot inside the far post. Matt Tomkins stopped 19 of 21 for the win.

After Brandon Biro and Mason Jost scored twice in two minutes in the first period, the Crunch worked their way back into the game with goals from Daniel Walcott and Devante Stephens.

With the win, the Crunch move into a virtual tie atop the North Division with the Cleveland Monsters, who lost in overtime to Charlotte. Syracuse is technically in first due to their lead in regulation wins.

Syracuse hosts Rochester tonight at the War Memorial Arena while Cleveland hosts Charlotte again.

Other Hockey News

LeBrun Rumblings [The Athletic]

Pierre LeBrun mentions the Lightning in his latest trip around the league. With the injury to Mikhail Sergachev, he points out that Julien BriseBois has a little more wiggle room in regards to the salary cap than in trade deadline past. He also rightly points out that the asset cupboard isn’t exactly fully stocked.

Matching Swift Song Titles to NHL Players and Teams [Bleacher Report]

Yes, I will link pretty much any Taylor Swift/hockey content by a reputable website. Sorry. Kuch and the Lightning get teamed with the song “Fresh out of the Slammer” with the slammer being the All-Star Weekend and the first round loss to the Leafs.

Sportsnet’s 30 NHL trade candidates to watch [Sportsnet]

Could the Lightning bring Jakob Chychrun back to his home state of Florida? A left-side defender with a reasonable contract through next season from a team that might be intrigued by some the NHL-ready prospects the Lightning have in Syracuse might be a nice fit.

Bill Guerin named GM of U.S. Men’s Hockey for 2026 Olympics [ESPN]

The short-tempered Minnesota Wild GM will be choosing the players for Team USA for the Four Nations Cup in 2025 and the Olympic team in 2026. Mr. Guerin the name you’re looking for is Isaac Howard.

Canada beats US, 3-0, to force Game 7 in the Rivalry Series [Seattle Times]

Team Canada won it’s third straight game behind a 27-save shutout from Emerance Maschmeyer to force a Game Seven between the two countries that will take place on Sunday in St. Paul Minnesota. Team USA had won the first three games of the series.

Orlando wins in overtime [ECHL]

Like their AHL brethren, the Orlando Solar Bears needed an extra session of hockey to pull out the win. Darik Angeli scored 1:08 into overtime to lead the Solar Bears to a 2-1 victory. Brandon Halverson had 33 saves to snap Orlando’s 11-game losing streak. To their credit six of the losses game in overtime or a shootout.

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