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CRUNCH CLOSE OCTOBER WITH FOUR WINS

Credit: Scott Kinville.

Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release

October 31, 2023

CRUNCH CLOSE OCTOBER WITH FOUR WINS

The Crunch split their two home games in Week 3 to finish October with a 4-2-0-0 record. 

Syracuse dropped its opener Friday against the Utica Comets. The Crunch rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the score at two, on goals from Jack Thompson and Max Crozier, before the Comets scored the final two goals to pull out a 4-2 win. The Crunch responded the next night with a 5-0 win against the Laval Rocket. It’s the first time since 2004-05 that the Crunch have a pair of shutouts (also Oct. 20) in the first six games of a season.

The Crunch carry a 4-2-0-0 record and are tied for third place in the North Division with eight points. They take on division-leading Rochester twice, once at home and once on the road, in Week 4. 

TOP PERFORMERS

Felix Robert’s goal streak was snapped in Friday’s loss to Utica, but the center still earned three points (1g, 2a) in two games. That extended his scoring streak to six games to begin the season.

Robert leads the Crunch in scoring with eight points (5g, 3a) through six games. He earned his second multi-point game of the season (1g, 1a) Saturday against the Rocket. His six-game scoring streak is a career-high. 

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Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov returned from a two-week recall to Carolina and posted a shutout Saturday against Laval. Kochetkov made 19 saves to nail down his third career AHL (regular season) shutout.

The 24-year-old has won both starts for the Crunch this season, allowing three goals (1.45 goals-against average) on 53 shots for a .943 save percentage.

Kochetkov has also skated in three games for the Hurricanes this season. He is 15-10-5 in 30 career NHL games, all with Carolina.  

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Rookie defenseman Max Crozier picked up points in both games in Week 3. The 23-year-old began the week by scoring his first pro goal – a tally that tied the game in the second period – Friday against the Comets. He then earned an assist in Saturday’s win versus Laval to give him points in consecutive for the first time in his career.

Crozier, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Draft by Tampa Bay, has three points (1g, 2a) in six games this season. He signed his entry-level contract in March following his senior season at Providence College.

ALL HANDS ON DECK

Declan Carlile’s power-play goal Saturday against the Rocket was his first point of the season. He is the 20th skater to record a point this season for the Crunch; all skaters who have appeared in at least one game for the Crunch this season have logged a point.

Carlile’s goal was the eighth power-play goal by the Crunch this season, tied with Rochester and Hershey for the most in the AHL. Syracuse has had eight different players score a power-play goal, which is the most in the league entering November.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Wednesday, November 1 at Rochester | 7:05 p.m.           

The Crunch and Rochester Americans play the first of two games head-to-head in four days when they meet at Blue Cross Arena tomorrow. It’s the first regular-season meeting since the clubs clashed in the North Division Semifinals last season. They’ll square off 12 times in 2023-24.

The Amerks ride a three-game winning streak into the week, and they top the North Division with a 5-1-1-0 record. Rochester boasts the top-scoring team in the league with an average of 4.71 goals per game. The Amerks rank 30th in the league by allowing 4.43 goals per game. They’ve scored at least three goals in every game, including four goals in their lone regulation loss (8-4 Oct. 20 at Laval).

Saturday, Saturday 4 vs. Rochester | 7 p.m.   

After a rare Friday off – one of just four all season – the Crunch return to the ice and rematch with the Amerks Saturday at Upstate Medical University Arena.

The teams split their 12-game series in 2022-23 with both the Crunch and Amerks winning just twice in six tries on home ice. Four of the final five matches in the regular season, plus two out of five in their playoff series, were decided in overtime.  

The Crunch are 2-1-0-0 on home ice this year while the Amerks are 3-1-0-0 on the road.

WEEK 3 RESULTS

Friday, October 27 | Game 5 vs. Utica | L, 4-2

Utica               2 1 1 – 4     Shots: 5-7-8-20            PP: 1/3

Syracuse        1 1 0 – 2     Shots: 13-14-8-35       PP: 1/5

1st Period-Thompson 1 (Chaffee, Dumont), 14:01 (PP). 2nd Period-Crozier 1 (Goncalves, Robert), 4:06. . . . Alnefelt 2-1-0 (20 shots-16 saves) A-4,312

Saturday, October 28 | Game 6 vs. Laval | W, 5-0

Laval               0 0 0 – 0     Shots: 7-5-7-19            PP: 0/5

Syracuse        2 1 2 – 5     Shots: 9-11-8-28         PP: 2/6

1st Period-Usau 2 (Stephens, Chaffee), 6:50. Walcott 3 (Fortier, Groshev), 8:02. 2nd Period-Chaffee 1 (Robert, Goncalves), 6:47 (PP). 3rd Period-Carlile 1 (Koepke, Edmonds), 3:27 (PP). Robert 5 (Crozier, Dumont), 14:42. . . . Kochetkov 2-0-0 (19 shots-19 saves) A-3,964

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play26.7% (8-for-30) 5th (7th)
Penalty Kill92.6% (25-for-27)2nd (3rd)
Goals For3.67 GFA (22)9th (T-9th)
Goals Against2.17 GAA (13)5th (4th)
Shots For31.67 SF/G (190)11th (14th)
Shots Against26.33 SA/G (158)6th (T-13th)
Penalty Minutes15.17 PIM/G (91)9th (13th)
Category Leader
Points8Robert
Goals5Robert
Assists6Chaffee
PIM21Element
Plus/Minus+5Robert
Wins2Alnefelt|Kochetkov
GAA1.45Kochetkov
Save %.943Kochetkov
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Rochester75110110.78633311022-0-1-03-1-0-05-1-1-03-0-0-00-0
2. Toronto74120100.71423191283-1-1-01-0-1-04-1-2-03-0-1-01-0
3. Syracuse6420080.6672213912-1-0-02-1-0-04-2-0-01-0-0-00-0
4. Cleveland6420080.6672119801-1-0-03-1-0-04-2-0-03-0-0-00-0
5. Belleville6320170.5831618922-1-0-11-1-0-03-2-0-11-0-0-10-1
6. Utica5122040.4001418600-1-1-01-1-1-01-2-2-00-1-0-00-0
7. Laval7151030.21427371061-2-1-00-3-0-01-5-1-00-3-0-00-0
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