Sharper edge: Syracuse postgame 2

A little different.

“That’s a good team,” Scott Mayfield said. “They gave us some pushes, and we pushed them right back. (Saturday) night, that wasn’t there as much.”

The defense had a rough night Saturday. Sunday, it was a strength. The kids have had moments recently where they’ve shown lots of growth, and today was one of those days where you feel like you’re watching them grow up in front of you.

“Mayfield did a great job, a great physical presence,” Brent Thompson said.

“Playing with that edge (as a team) is something we need on a consistent basis.”

The guy I was sitting next to and I were both impressed with a defensive play Griffin Reinhart made on Jonathan Marchessault, tracking him down from behind to take the puck away cleanly. Thompson brought it up postgame, too, brought up Adam Pelech’s game.

“If we try to play a timid game, an easy game, we’re going to end up on the wrong end of the scoreboard. (Saturday) night was an example of that,” Thompson said.

Sunday, not as much.

“(The Crunch) play hard. They crash the net,” Kevin Poulin said. “I thought we did a pretty good job winning those battles in front. For myself, I was at the top of the crease. I was staying on my feet.”

The combination was a winner at the end of three-in-three.


Lots more on that physical game in the gamer.

Reinhart was one of the targets as Saturday’s testiness spilled over a time or two. “I’ve been used to that in junior before,” Reinhart said. “It happens all the time. I’m ready for it. The guys have got each other’s backs. It was nothing serious, just a little pushing and shoving.”

The one that was serious was a Philippe Paradis hit on Matt Lashoff along the boards. Thompson said it was “kind of a headshot,” and that they’ll monitor Lashoff. He’s termed day-to-day, as they usually are. Johan Sundstrom (puck to the mouth) and Scooter Vaughan (just upper body) are also supposed to be day-to-day.

As up-and-down as the power play has felt since Ryan Pulock was injured, it was still clicking at a pace that’d be comfortably in the AHL’s top 10. Two today on 10 chances actually bring the percentage down a bit. “We got off to a hot start, but I think we all knew we couldn’t keep that (percentage),” Colin McDonald said. “The past few weeks, we’ve been struggling a bit. To capitalize the way we did was bound to happen.” They got two, though, with McDonald big on both, setting the screen on one, setting up Aaron Ness on the other. He almost set up a third, but Andrei Vasilevskiy made an insane save going right to left to deny Kael Mouillierat a second PPG.

Bookkeeping: Thought Brett Gallant might be getting a misconduct at the end of the day, as Mike Angelidis came back to talk to the refs and Gallant came over to talk to anyone who’d listen, and the refs tried to send him to the room as he tried to rejoin his team’s celebration. Gallant wound up with just a minor, extending his team record only slightly.

Last UConn hockey game here of the year. And possibly beyond; coach Mike Cavanaugh in the presser said they were disappointed in the attendance down here. Edit, 9:05 p.m.: Here’s Brian Koonz’s column. The show got taken over by Islanders draft pick Robbie Russo, anyway, who looked good. He said the Islanders remain in touch, that guys like Eric Cairns have had good, honest conversations with him, talking about the way they want their D to play.

Elsewhere, what the. Both starting goalies finish! Four Barons don’t have a point, if you include the backup goalie! (It’s actually 7-7 going to the bonus round as I write this, so it’s possible it ends even more crazily.)

And Reto Berra has another unusual event this weekend.

Team’s off tomorrow. Hopefully we all stay off the ice. (As tweeted, almost took a header in my parking lot this morning.) More Tuesday unless warranted.

Michael Fornabaio