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Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch fell to the Belleville Senators, 6-5, tonight at CAA Arena.

The loss moves the team to 26-15-3-2 on the season and 0-2-1-1 in the eight-game season series against the Senators.

Matt Tomkins turned aside 18-of-24 shots in net for the Crunch. Mads Sogaard stopped 24-of-29 between the pipes for the Senators. Syracuse was held scoreless on their lone man advantage, while the penalty kill unit went a perfect 2-for-2.

Nikolas Matinpalo opened scoring for the Senators with a wrister from between the circles 4:05 into the game.

The Crunch rattled off three goals early in the middle frame to take over the lead. It started just 48 seconds in when Gabriel Fortier got the puck in the high slot and backhanded it toward the net. Jack Finley was down low to intercept the pass and stuff it past Sogaard. At 6:29, Lucas Edmonds was in the slot to tip in Declan Carlile’s long shot from the blue line. Cole Koepke then redirected Jack Thompson’s wrister from the right point just 44 seconds later to make it a 3-1 game. Belleville halted the scoring onslaught with a late-period goal as Rourke Chartier came down the left wing on an odd-man rush and fired a shot past Tomkins.

Chartier evened the score with his second of the game 26 seconds into the third period. He was parked in front of the net to tip in Lassi Thomson’s long wrister from the right point. The Crunch were back on top by the 2:42 mark. Devante Stephens sped into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush and fired a shot from the left side. He was blocked, but Waltteri Merelä was there to chip in the rebound.

Back-and-forth scoring continued and the game was knotted yet again less than six minutes later. Zack MacEwen gained control of the puck while on his knees in the right circle and shoveled it in with a backhander. MacEwen then scored his second of the night at 15:08 when he deked around a Crunch defender in the right circle and put Belleville back on top. Two minutes later, Jiri Smejkal centered a feed from beyond the goal line for Zack Ostapchuk to one-time from in front of the crease to make it a 6-4 game. With just one second remaining in the game, Sean Day fired in a loose puck from the high slot to pull the Crunch back within one, but the team ran out of time to come back and fell to the Senators.

The Crunch are back in action on Saturday when they travel to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

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 or follow the club on Facebook (, Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).

Crunchables: Lucas Edmonds has goals in back-to-back games…Cole Koepke is now tied for the team lead with 12 goals.


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