Team: Syracuse Crunch (19-7-2-3), AHL affiliate for the Tampa Bay Lightning
Opponent: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (14-13-2-1), AHL affiliate for the Pittsburgh Penguins
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
When: 5:05 pm ET
Media: Live stream via AHL Live; Radio: The Score 1260 AM
The Syracuse Crunch lost their game last Saturday to the St. John's IceCaps in overtime 5-4. They had been up 4-0 with 12 minutes and 20 seconds left in the second period, and then for whatever reason, things just fell apart. They allowed five unanswered goals in the remainder of the game, with the last one coming with 20 seconds left in overtime.
On the bright side of things, Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first ever professional goal just two games after returning from injury. His father Evgeny had played as a goalie for the Syracuse Crunch for parts of three seasons in the 1990s. So to get his first professional goal where he watched his dad play when he was a kid must've been a thrill for him.
This can be considered either good or bad news, as it's Cory Conacher. It was good in that Conacher got his first professional Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist, and a fight), showing his scoring ability and his grit. And bad, because they needed that scoring ability of his on the ice for those five minutes he sat in the penalty box.
So they go into Wilkes-Barre looking to take the nasty taste of that loss out of their collective mouths. Unless they're totally distracted by the fact that it's New Year's Eve, they ought to be more than ready to play. Woe be to the WBS Penguins if they're not ready for them.
Here are the highlights from the Crunch's last game.