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CRUNCH DEFEAT PHANTOMS, 2-1

Credit: Scott Kinville

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 2-1, tonight at the PPL Center.

The victory advances the Crunch to 27-15-3-2 on the season and gives Syracuse the first win in the two-game season series against Lehigh Valley.

Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt stopped 25-of-26 shots. Parker Gahagen turned aside 24-of-26 in net for the Phantoms. The Syracuse man-advantage went 2-for-4, while Lehigh Valley was 1-for-4.

After a scoreless first period, the Crunch opened scoring 11:26 into the middle frame with a power-play goal. Waltteri Merelä threw a pass down to Gabriel Dumont along the goal line. Dumont tipped the puck and sent it bouncing off the goaltender, back to himself, and then off a Phantoms defender before it went into the net. The Phantoms tied the game with a power-play goal of their own late in the frame. Rhett Gardner was positioned in the slot to redirect a shot from Bobby Brink.

Syracuse regained their lead with another power-play goal just 1:32 into the third period. Cole Koepke fired a wrister from the right circle that ricocheted off a defender’s stick in the slot and past Gahagen for the eventual game-winner.

The Crunch travel to face the Utica Comets 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: Cole Koepke has five goals in his last five games.

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