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CRUNCH CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH, FALL TO SENATORS, 5-2

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch clinched a berth in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs before falling to the Belleville Senators, 5-2, tonight at the CAA Arena.

The loss moves the Crunch to 38-23-4-2 on the season and 1-4-1-1 in the eight-game season series against the Senators.

Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 22-of-26 shots. Mads Sogaard stopped 17-of-19 in net for the Senators. The Syracuse power play converted on 1-of-4 opportunities, while Belleville went 2-for-4.

The Senators were first on the board with the only goal in the opening period. Garrett Pilon flipped the puck into the zone, chased it down, and then jammed it into the net.

The Crunch evened the score just 1:21 into the second period. Gage Goncalves got the puck in the right circle and fired it in off the post as he cut into the slot. At 5:17, Belleville regained the lead with a power-play goal. A shot was blocked, but Pilon was down low to grab the puck and chip it in for his second of the game during 5-of-3 play. Just 34 seconds later, the Senators added another power-play goal when Zack Ostapchuk tipped in Lassi Thomson’s one-timer from the left circle. Syracuse pulled back within one off a power-play goal of their own late in the period. Max Crozier ripped a one-timer from the point that was stopped, but Jack Finley was near the crease to send in the rebound.

Belleville regained their two-goal lead early in the final frame when Thomson entered the zone, stick-handled down the slot and scored. Oskar Pettersson then added an empty-net goal late in the game.

The Crunch return home to host the Toronto Marlies on Friday.

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 is the first North Division team to clinch a 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs berth. They’ve qualified every season since 2016-17…Jack Finley has goals in back-to-back games and is on a four-game points streak (2g, 2a).

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