The win improves the Crunch’s overall record to 8-3-1-0 and pulls the club even with the Admirals for second in the East Division with 17 points on the season.
Crunch netminder Kristers Gudlevskis made 23 saves to improve to 4-0-0-0 on the season. Admirals goaltender John Gibson stopped 24 of 26 shots in defeat. The Admirals’ league-best penalty kill did not allow the Crunch to score on power-play chances. Norfolk was scoreless on two man-advantages.
JT Brown opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game. Brown took advantage of a screened Gibson to convert a shot from the blue line for his fourth goal of the season. Defenseman JP Cote and Artem Sergeev assisted on the play.
Admirals forward Steven Whitney evened the score late in the first period. Dave Steckel won a faceoff in the Crunch defensive zone back to Whitney, who beat Gudlevskis with a one-timer at the 14:29 mark of the period.
Kucherov’s game-winner came when he deflected a Vladislav Namestnikov shot past Gibson at the 17:58 mark of the final frame. Kucherov is now riding a nine-game point streak while Namestnikov’s 11-game point streak is the longest active streak in the AHL.
The Crunch will rematch the Admirals at the Norfolk Scope Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
CRUNCHABLES: Tonight was the second time this season the Crunch failed to score a power-play goal…The first was the season opener against Binghamton on Oct. 5…Syracuse improves to 4-0-0-0 when tied after the second period…With an assist on Brown’s first period goal JP Cote has points in back-to-back games