Apr 14, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas (75) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Lightning 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Crunch Win! Become AHL Eastern Conference Champions

Hat Tricks and Shut Outs abound! After a spectacular performance at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s AHL Affiliate Syracuse Crunch defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and become the 2013 Calder Cup Eastern Conference Champions!

As we said before, this is the first time in franchise history that the Syracuse Crunch have advanced to the Finals round.

The game started out as a stalemate on the battlefield. Sixteen minutes of play would pass before the opening goal would be scored. However, from then on out, it was all out warfare on the Penguins. The opening goal of the game that started it all belongs to Vladislav Namestnikov after newly-acquired defenseman Andrej Sustr’s initial shot deflected off of Penguins’ goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Tyler Johnson also notched an assist on the Namestnikov goal.

Just 52 seconds later, the goal horn would sound again as Radko Gudas would fire one in with assists from both J.T. Brown and J.T. Wyman. This would bring the lead to 2-0 Syracuse at the end of the first period.

I don’t think that anyone would argue that the highlight of the night was the Hat Trick scored by RW Phillipe Paradis early in the third period. The first of his three goals would come late in the second period with assists from Mark Barberio and Andrej Sustr. The next two would be just four and a half minutes apart at 1:02 and 5:43 in the third period. As usual, the hats rained down on the ice.

The Hat Trick by Paradis would bring the score to 7-0. The shutout brought the fans to their feet, as you can see from this tweet sent out by the Syracuse Crunch as the buzzer counted down the final seconds of the game.

It wasn’t long until the fans started hitting twitter as well.


Not to be left out, the players posted their reactions on Twitter as well.

It has been said by many before me, but I’ll say it once more. The future of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks really, really bright.

No matter what happens in the final round of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs, one thing is for sure. The Syracuse Crunch is jam packed with some all-star worthy talent. One could expect to see names like Radko Gudas and Tyler Johnson in the NHL with the Lightning next season. You also have Brett Connolly who is vying for his spot on the Lightning’s main roster. Another name I would love to see hit the main roster next season is Andrej Sustr. He would add tremendous size to the defensive line, and an ability to play the puck and score goals as well.

As they say, all good things come in time. I only pose one question to the Bolts Nation…Is it October yet?

Bolts By The Bay would like to congratulate the Syracuse Crunch on advancing to the 2013 Calder Cup Championship Finals. We wish you the best of luck. While not all of us here in the Bolts Nation can make it to Syracuse, I can assure you that we will be cheering for you just the same.


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Tags: 2013 Calder Cup Finals Syracuse Crunch Tampa Bay Lightning

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