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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch were downed by the Cleveland Monsters, 6-4, in Game 3 of the North Division Finals tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

The Monsters win the series, 3-0, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Crunch goaltender Matt Tomkins turned aside 21-of-26 shots. Malcolm Subban earned the win stopping 25-of-29. Syracuse converted on 1-of-4 power play opportunities, while Cleveland went 1-for-3.

The Monsters were first on the board 14:16 into the game. Jake Gaudet fired a shot from a sharp angle along the goal line that snuck under Tomkins’s pads and in. The Crunch tied the game with a power-play goal during a 4-on-3 advantage. Max Crozier set up Alex Barré-Boulet for a one-timer from the right circle.

Cleveland regained their lead with a power-play goal 11 minutes into the middle frame when Stefan Matteau sent in a long shot from the right point. Syracuse responded with two goals just 1:05 apart to take over the lead. The first came at 16:47 as Cole Koepke sped down the left wing and roofed a shot over Subban. A minute later, Niko Huuhtanen threw a shot on goal that was stopped, but Jordy Bellerive was there to chip in the rebound and put the Crunch on top.

The Monsters knotted the score, 3-3, just 1:02 into the final frame. Justin Pearson centered the puck from beyond the goal line for Alex Whelan to redirect in. Josh Dunne put the Monsters back on top halfway through the frame off a backhander while on a short breakaway. Barre-Boulet knotted the score late in the game with his second of the night when he tipped in Declan Carlile’s shot, but a minute later, Luca Del Bel Belluz regained Cleveland’s lead off a rebound opportunity. Roman Ahcan locked in a Monsters win when he potted an empty-netter in the final minutes.

Ticket packages for the 2024-25 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 or follow the club on Facebook (, Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).

Crunchables: Niko Huuhtanen recorded his first career AHL points tonight.


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