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CRUNCH DEFEAT PENGUINS, 6-3

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 6-3, tonight at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Mitchell Chaffee and Max Groshev led the Crunch with two-goal performances to help advance the team to 6-3-0-2 on the season and 1-1-0-0 in the four-game season series against the Penguins.

Goaltender Brandon Halverson recorded the win stopping 26-of-29 shots in his first start for the Crunch. Taylor Gauthier turned aside 19-of-24 shots in net for the Penguins before being relieved by Garret Sparks in the second period. Sparks went on to turn aside all seven shots he faced. The Syracuse power play converted on 1-of-4 opportunities, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 2-for-7. 

Syracuse opened scoring 7:31 into the first period when Joe Carroll swept in the rebound of Sean Day’s shot from the right circle. The team doubled their lead with a power-play goal five minutes later. Max Crozier chased the puck into the corner and sent a cross-zone feed for Chaffee to send in a wrister from the left face off dot.

The Crunch added two more in the middle frame to build up a 4-0 lead before the Penguins finally responded. At 8:48, Groshev sped past the defense and beat Gauthier. Halfway through the frame, Gage Goncalves grabbed the puck in the slot, delayed, and fired it over the netminder. The Penguins got on the board with a power-play goal at the 13:40 mark when Alex Nylander fired off a wrister from the left circle that snuck past Halverson for Austin Rueschhoff to push across the goal line. Syracuse quickly regained their four-goal lead just over a minute later off of Chaffee’s second of the night. Goncalves made a move in the corner to lose his defender and jammed the puck on net. His attempt was stopped, but Chaffee was there to chip in the rebound.

The third period had back-and-forth scoring, but the Crunch were able to fend off a comeback effort. Jack Rathbone stole one back for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a shot from the right circle while on the man advantage at the 12:26 mark. At 14:18, Groshev scored his second of the night into the empty net. Rathbone then potted his second of the game three minutes later with a slap shot from the left point.

The Crunch are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to face the Bridgeport Islanders.

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: Brandon Halverson made his first Crunch start tonight…Mitchell Chaffee recorded his first multi-goal game since Nov. 6, 2022.

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