Success, by definition a degree or measure of succeeding, a favorable or desired outcome, or one that succeeds. By itself, it’s a very singular idea. How do you create a culture of success? In the terms of VG, no AHL team has ever won two Calder cups in three seasons. The Syracuse Crunch, are once again Calder Cup Champions.
You don’t find such frequent success if you don’t have a buy in from the entire team. From the entire organizations management. A mentality that starts in the AHL and moves upward, an idea that we all will be successful. An idea, a culture but it starts at the top, with mcanadiens24 and XxToMMy6926xX leading the way it’s a great start.
Last year we saw a San Jose squad roll through the playoffs and finally lose a game in the final. This Syracuse team reminded me of the one from Season 15, who went 7 games in the opening round and never looked back. This team did it ten times better by not losing a game the rest of the playoffs. Think about this, going 13-0 the close out your season. Talk about getting hot at the right time.
Opening round the Crunch went up against the Devils. High scoring affair with 50 goals scored between both teams in 7 games. Crunch opened the series with a 7-5 victory, something they had a penchant for doing at the start of each series. Big XxToMMy6926xX led the way with 7 points including the game winning goal. The teams went back and forth the rest of the way, Devils winning game 2, 4 and 6. While the Crunch won 1, 3, and 5. This ultimately led to an exciting game 7, but this series started the way it finished with the Crunch putting up 7 goals. Once again XxToMMy6926xX put up 6 points but the game winner went to the goalie from Game 1 xMakar8.
Round Two, they matched up against the Springfield Thunderbirds who easily handled the Toronto Marlies. What they ran into was a team destined to win it all. They were the first, of three straight sweeps. The Crunch, made a statement Game 1 with a 5-0 victory, this time Mr Tommy had some company with JuulPod- putting up 5 points and the game winning goal. Hatred_Ghost, stopped all 15 shots he faced to grab the shutout. A name everyone should remember from this year’s Calder Cup Playoffs. Round two ended in a 3-2 win for Syracuse, with a hat-trick from Tommy and another solid performance by Hatred_Ghost in net along with mcanadiens24 and Whitemike112 on defense.
The Third Round saw the Crunch go up against the Cleveland Monsters. This Monster team was on their own monster run going into this series having not lost a game. How things quickly changed. Game One of this series was surprising with the Crunch winning 2-1. What wasn’t surprising was the play of Hatred_Ghost with 12 saves on 13 shots. B-raded netted the game winner in the third period. The second game was a different story. Once again ToMMy put up 7 points and the game winning goal. Just a monster in a 10-0 stomping. The final game of the series which completed the series saw one of the most dominate games by a single player in recent memory. Jyuhnn put up 8 points, scored a power play goal, the game winning goal and had 3… say that with me 3 shorthanded goals. Another 10-0 win by the Crunch.
In the Calder Cup Finals, the Crunch ran into what many would consider a surprising Western Conference winner in Stockton. The last team in, who had a remarkable run, but ran into a Syracuse team that was determined to win. Once again the Crunch, crushed the opening game winning 11-2. Tommy with 10 points, JuulPod- with 11 and N_DUMAIS with a power play goal really set the tone to this series.
After the statement in the opening game, the Crunch game the Heat more of the same. Jyuhnn and Tommy up front with xMakar each grabbing over 3 points. Weathergeakal was solid in net stopping 8 of the 10 shots he faced. Familiar names, with mcanadiens24 and B-raded on defense taking zero penalties and laying a combined 13 hits.
Closest game of the series came in Game 3, but if before the game you told me Hatred_Ghost would be in net, I would go take a nap. A nap, a nap… that B-raded decided to take. Having to use a late ECU this game was stolen by Hatred_Ghost. Ask any member of the Crunch they will agree, stopping 14 of 16 shots while Syracuse only had 6 total. In overtime, you need a hero. All playoffs long this guy was lights out, and ToMMy brought it home for the boys 3:52 into the overtime period. Glory always goes to the guys who score, but the man in net deserved all the recognition.
The Heat picked up right where Game Three left off, just shooting like their season depended upon it. Which it did. Again. Hatred_Ghost in net. This time stopping 18 of 18 shots. The guy was lights out all night. It was a hell of a game to watch. ToMMY once again netted the game winning goal. As the time ticked down, the discord exploded. Once again the Syracuse organization were champions.
Yeah I’m a little biased, but really proud of my AHL squad for overcoming a lot of adversity throughout the season. It was pretty much the same squad all year, which is something we cherish in the Tampa Organization. Great Job to the Syracuse Crunch.
For me, the playoff MVP, a name I’ve mentioned over and over is Hatred_Ghost. Guy went 10-0 in the playoffs with 3 shutouts a 1.13 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Pittsburgh Steelers are synonymous with linebackers, Syracuse Crunch are synonymous with great goal-tending.
Can’t forget ToMMy and Jyuhnn. They deserve recognition with ToMMy putting up 56 points and Jyuhnn with 35. These two combined for 11 game winning goals.