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CRUNCH EARN WEEKEND SPLIT IN CLEVELAND

The Crunch made their yearly trip to Cleveland and split a two-game set with the Monsters in Week 2. 

Syracuse spoiled Cleveland’s home opener with a 5-0 win Friday night. Hugo Alnefelt made 35 saves to give the Crunch their first 3-0-0-0 start since the 2008-09 season; it’s just the fourth time ever that the Crunch have won their first three games to begin a season. Their bid at a 4-0-0-0 start was stymied the following night when the Monsters won, 4-2.

The Crunch are off to a 3-1-0-0 start this season and lead the North Division with six points entering Week 3. They go head-to-head with a pair of division foes this week. 

TOP PERFORMERS

Felix Robert continued his hot start to the season with two more goals in Week 2. The fourth-year pro has scored a goal in all four games this season, becoming the first Crunch player to do so since Kyle Palmieri opened the 2011-12 campaign with a goal in five straight. 

Robert’s four-game goal streak is tied with Springfield’s Adam Gaudette for the longest active streak in the league. It’s a career-high streak for Robert.

Robert leads the Crunch with five points (4g, 1a) through the first four games of the season. He finished last season with 34 points (18g, 16a) in 55 games.

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Goaltender Hugo Alnefelt was stout in his one start in Week 2, making 35 saves for his first shutout win of the season. The Swede made 16 third-period saves to preserve his fourth career shutout as the Crunch defeated the Monsters, 5-0, Friday night.

Alnefelt, 22, improved to 2-0-0 this season, and he has stopped 56-of-58 shots faced for a .966 save percentage. Last season, Alnefelt posted a 17-12-2 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. 

Friday was the fifth shutout for the Crunch against the Monsters, and the second in Cleveland (also Karl Goehring, Feb. 3, 2005).  

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Rookie forward Tristan Allard collected his first two career points over the weekend against the Monsters. He notched his first pro point with a primary assist on Max Groshev’s power-play goal Friday night. He then grabbed another primary assist on Shawn Element’s third-period tally the next night.

Allard signed a two-year AHL contract with the Crunch, extending through the 2024-25 season. He made his pro debut in the Calder Cup Playoffs this past spring and has appeared in all four games to begin this season. 

The 21-year-old is coming off a 77-point season (27g, 50a) with Rouyn-Noranda of the QMJHL. 

SPREADING THE WEALTH

The Crunch have had production up and down the lineup through the first two weeks of the season. Felix Robert leads the team in goals (4) and points (5), while Mitchell Chaffee paces the team in assists (4). Through four games, the Crunch have had 20 skaters dress for a game, and 19 of them have logged at least one point. Nine different players have scored a goal, while 13 players have at least two points this season.

The Crunch’s 19 unique point scorers is second in the AHL behind Laval (20). Last season, the Crunch had 27 different players record at least one point.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Friday, October 27 vs. Utica | 7 p.m.  

The Crunch return home Friday to host the Utica Comets at Upstate Medical University Arena for the team’s annual Pink in the Rink game, presented by Upstate Cancer Center. It’s the second of 14 head-to-head meetings; the Crunch won, 4-3, in overtime in the season opener at Utica on Oct. 13.

Syracuse went 4-1-2-0 in seven home games last season versus Utica. The Comets will enter the matchup winless in their first three games this season (0-1-2-0).

Saturday, October 28 vs. Laval | 7 p.m.   

Syracuse’s two-game weekend concludes Saturday when the Laval Rocket make their first of four appearances to Upstate Medical University Arena. The Crunch struggled last season versus the Rocket – a 2-5-1-0 record that included a 2-1-1-0 mark at home. 

The Rocket, off to a 1-3-1-0 start this season, play high-scoring games. They enter the week third in the AHL in scoring (4.60 goals per game), and 31st in goals allowed (5.00 goals allowed per game).

WEEK 2 RESULTS

Friday, October 20 | Game 3 at Cleveland | W, 5-0

Syracuse        2 2 1 – 5     Shots: 11-13-9-33       PP: 2/5

Cleveland       0 0 0 – 0     Shots: 11-8-16-35       PP: 0/7

1st Period-Dumont 1 (Chaffee, Day), 1:36 (PP). Robert 3 (Goncalves, Chaffee), 4:37. 2nd Period-Walcott 2 (Fortier), 8:21 (SH). Koepke 2 (Dumont, Lilleberg), 10:39. 3rd Period-Groshev 1 (Allard, Thompson), 4:46 (PP). . . . Alnefelt 2-0-0 (35 shots-35 saves) A-10,529

Saturday, October 21 | Game 4 at Cleveland | L, 4-2

Syracuse        0 1 1 – 2     Shots: 12-9-12-33       PP: 0/5

Cleveland       2 1 1 – 4     Shots: 10-12-5-27       PP: 1/4

2nd Period-Robert 4 (Carroll, Edmonds), 5:13. 3rd Period-Element 1 (Allard, Walcott), 8:27. . . . Fitzpatrick 0-1-0 (27 shots-23 saves) A-8,716

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play26.3% (5-for-19) 7th (T-6th)
Penalty Kill94.7% (18-for-19)3rd (T-1st)
Goals For3.75 GFA (15)T-9th (T-7th)
Goals Against2.25 GAA (9)4th (T-7th)
Shots For31.75 SF/G (127)14th (17th)
Shots Against29.75 SA/G (119)T-13th (12th)
Penalty Minutes15.00 PIM/G (60)13th (T-15th)
Category Leader
Points5Robert
Goals4Robert
Assists4Chaffee
PIM9Dumont
Plus/Minus+3Edmonds|Robert|Thompson
Wins2Alnefelt
GAA1.00Alnefelt
Save %.966Alnefelt
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Syracuse4310060.750159601-0-0-02-1-0-03-1-0-00-1-0-00-0
2. Toronto4211050.6251512772-1-1-00-0-0-02-1-1-01-0-0-00-0
3. Rochester4211050.6251720710-0-1-02-1-0-02-1-1-00-1-0-00-0
4. Belleville3210040.667109531-0-0-01-1-0-02-1-0-01-0-0-00-0
5. Cleveland4220040.5001114591-1-0-01-1-0-02-2-0-01-0-0-00-0
6. Laval5131030.3002325821-2-1-00-1-0-01-3-1-00-1-0-00-0
7. Utica3012020.333611370-0-1-00-1-1-00-1-2-00-1-2-00-0
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