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CRUNCH DOWNED BY PHANTOMS, 6-4

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch were downed by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 6-4, tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

The Crunch are now 36-22-4-2 on the season and complete the two-game season series against the Phantoms, 1-1-0-0.

Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt stopped 2-of-5 shots before being relieved by Matt Tomkins in the first period. Tomkins went on to stop 17-of-19. Cal Petersen turned aside 21-of-25 in net for the Phantoms. The Syracuse power play converted on 2-of-5 opportunities, while the penalty kill was a perfect 2-of-2.

Lehigh Valley opened scoring with two shorthanded goals 56 seconds apart. The first came at the 6:37 mark when Jacob Gaucher sped down the left wing, cut in front of the crease and jammed the puck in five hole. Less than a minute later, the Phantoms capitalized when Alnefelt came out to play the puck and Adam Brooks was able to send it into an unmanned net. Halfway through the frame, Lehigh Valley scored off another turnover as Cooper Marody picked off a pass in the high slot and made it 3-0. The Crunch stole one back late in the frame. Cole Koepke got the puck in the bottom of the right circle and roofed a shot over Petersen.

Marody potted his second of the game on a breakaway 5:24 into the middle frame, but the Crunch scored back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart to come back within one. Gabriel Fortier kicked it off when he chipped in Phil Myer’s backdoor feed at 12:31. Lucas Edmonds then ripped a one-timer from the left circle while on the man-advantage.

The Phantoms regained their two-goal lead just 2:05 into the final frame. A Crunch defender broke up a cross-slot feed, but Brendan Furry got his stick on the loose puck and fired it in from the right face-off dot. With 1:24 remaining, the Crunch made it a one-goal game yet again when Koepke scored his second of the night with a wrister from the right circle, but Marody went on to hit the empty net to complete the hat trick and lock in a Phantoms win.

The Crunch close out their three-game homestand when they host the Providence Bruins tomorrow.

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 recorded his third two-goal game of the season tonight.

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