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CRUNCH BESTED BY MARLIES, 6-5, IN SHOOTOUT

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch were bested by the Toronto Marlies, 6-5, in a shootout tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

The Crunch dropped both weekend games to the Marlies and moved to 38-23-4-4 on the season. They finish the eight-game season series against Toronto at 6-0-0-2.

Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 14-of-19 shots before being relieved by Brandon Halverson late in the second period. Halverson went on to turn aside all 12 shots he faced and 1-of-2 shootout attempts. Matt Murray stopped 22-of-27 in net for the Marlies and all three shootout attempts. Syracuse converted on three of their seven power play opportunities, while the penalty kill went a perfect 2-for-2.

The Marlies were first on the board 1:41 into the game when Alex Steeves sped down the right wing and scored with a close-range shot. Logan Shaw doubled the lead just 1:44 later off a wrister from the right circle. The Crunch stole one back with a 2-on-1 rush at the 5:03 mark. Ilya Usau carried the puck into the zone and passed over Alex Barre-Boulet on the left wing. He drew Murray out of position and left the net wide open for Usau to score on the return feed. At 14:42, Syracuse knotted the score, 2-2. Waltteri Merelä was in the slot to redirect Max Crozier’s point shot while on the man advantage. Toronto added one more late in the period to regain their lead when Cameron Gaunce sent in a rebound during a scramble down low.

The Crunch added another power-play tally in the middle frame to tie the game for a second time. Gage Goncalves went top shelf from the left circle to make it a 3-3 game at the 9:34 mark. Toronto quickly responded and potted two goals just 2:28 apart to go back on top. The first was at the 11:47 mark when Nick Abruzzese fired a shot that was stopped, but he continued toward the net and jammed in his own rebound. Steeves then scored his second of the game when he sent in a centering pass as he came down the slot. Crozier pulled the Crunch back within one late in the frame off a one-timer from the left point for the team’s third power-play goal of the night.

Syracuse knotted the score, 5-5, 4:25 into the final frame to eventually force overtime. Quinn Schmiemann got the puck at the left point and beat Murray with a low shot.

After a scoreless overtime frame, the game went to a shootout where Shaw scored the only goal in the second round to give Toronto the win.

The Crunch travel to face the Belleville Senators on Wednesday.

Single game tickets and ticket packages for the 2023-24 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).

Crunchables: The Crunch are 3-4 in shootouts this season….Alex Barre-Boulet recorded his 300th AHL point tonight.

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