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The Crunch had an up-and-down Week 9, resulting in a win and a pair of losses. 

Syracuse opened the week by stretching its winning streak to five games with a 4-1 win over AHL-leading Hershey at Upstate Medical University Arena. The Crunch’s winning streak was snapped the next night in a 3-1 home loss to the Utica Comets. They dropped a second straight decision to Utica the next day, 4-1, at the Adirondack Bank Center.

The Crunch enter the week – which will feature three road contests – in second place in the North Division with 28 points and a 13-7-0-2 record. 


Rookie forward Tristan Allard potted his first professional goal in Friday’s win against the Hershey Bears. Allard’s tally gave the Crunch a 3-1 lead and it proved to be the insurance goal as the Crunch snapped Hershey’s nine-game winning streak.

Allard, 21, has four points (1g, 3a) in 14 games played for the Crunch this season. The undrafted forward signed a two-year AHL contract with the Crunch in April after spending three seasons in the QMJHL with Gatineau and Rouyn-Noranda.


Waltteri Merelä led the Crunch to their win against Hershey Friday with his first three-point game in North America. The 25-year-old opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period. He then added an assist in both the second and third periods as the Crunch won, 4-1. 

The Ylöjärvi, Finland native has five points (2g, 3a) in nine Crunch games this season. He began the campaign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, appearing in 14 games. Merelä signed a one-year contract with the Lightning on June 5 after winning back-to-back Finnish league championships with Tappara in 2022 and 2023.  


The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Mitchell Chaffee and defenseman Phil Myers. 

Chaffee earns his first Lightning recall while he is tied for the Crunch lead in goals (9) and points (19). He had five goals and six points during the Crunch’s five-game winning streak, which ended over the weekend. Chaffee, 25, has played in two career NHL games – both with Minnesota in 2021-22.

Myers has been recalled for the second time this season, after appearing in one game for the Bolts Nov. 14. The defenseman leads the team with a plus-11 rating, and he has six assists in 19 games with the Crunch.

The Lightning also loaned Cole Koepke to the Crunch after an eight-game stint with Tampa Bay. Koepke has six points (3g, 3a) in 11 games for the Crunch.


Saturday marked the Crunch’s 13th annual Stanley Steemer Tired Teddy Toss. Felix Robert’s first-period goal set off the party, which resulted in 5,985 furry friends being tossed onto the ice. 

The puffy pets were collected and are in the process of being cleaned by Stanley Steemer before being donated to charities in Central New York.


Wednesday, December 13 at W-B/Scranton | 7:05 p.m.                            

The Crunch face off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the third time this season. The teams have split the first two games, with the road team grabbing both wins during a home-and-home series Nov. 10-11.

Saturday, December 16 at Utica | 5 p.m.             

The Crunch and Comets go head-to-head for the third time in a four-game span Saturday at the Adirondack Bank Center. The Comets have won four straight, including a pair of wins against the Crunch last week.

Sunday, December 17 at Providence | 4:05 p.m.           

The Crunch play their fourth straight road game as they make the first of two trips to Providence this season. The Bruins have won seven straight games to surge to third in the Atlantic Division. The Crunch are 3-2-0-0 in their last five trips to Amica Mutual Pavilion after splitting two games there last season.


Friday, December 8 | Game 20 vs. Hershey | W, 4-1

Hershey         1 0 0 – 1     Shots: 6-4-12-22         PP: 0/3

Syracuse        2 1 1 – 4     Shots: 7-10-5-22         PP: 2/4

1st Period-Merelä 2 (Day, Carroll), 5:17 (PP). Chaffee 9 (Goncalves, Thompson), 13:01. 2nd Period-Allard 1 (Lilleberg, Merelä), 16:10. 3rd Period-Walcott 9 (Merelä, Myers), 17:24 (EN). . . . Tomkins 3-0-0 (22 shots-21 saves) A-4,816

Saturday, December 9 | Game 21 vs. Utica | L, 3-1

Utica               1 1 1 – 3     Shots: 4-5-9-18            PP: 0/3

Syracuse        1 0 0 – 1     Shots: 8-9-12-29         PP: 0/3

1st Period-Robert 8 (Element), 10:01. . . . Alnefelt 3-4-2 (17 shots-15 saves) A-5,745

Sunday, December 10 | Game 22 at Utica | L, 4-1

Syracuse        0 0 1 – 1     Shots: 6-8-5-19            PP: 0/3

Utica               1 0 3 – 4     Shots: 13-7-7-27         PP: 1/7

1st Period-Stephens 3 (Chaffee, Goncalves), 8:00. . . . Tomkins 3-1-0 (26 shots-23 saves) A-2,523

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play20.9% (19-for-91) 8th (7th)
Penalty Kill85.6% (89-for-104)7th (11th)
Goals For3.36 GFA (74)10th (6th)
Goals Against2.77 GAA (61)8th (7th)
Shots For29.32 SF/G (645)20th (14th)
Shots Against26.18 SA/G (576)4th (4th)
Penalty Minutes15.32 PIM/G (337)6th (7th)
Category Leader
Save %.903Tomkins
1. Cleveland2214710290.65976742576-4-0-08-3-1-06-4-0-00-2-0-02-0
2. Syracuse2213702280.63674613377-3-0-16-4-0-16-4-0-00-2-0-01-2
3. Toronto2110731240.57171603226-4-2-04-3-1-14-4-1-12-0-0-01-1
4. Belleville2210822240.54566742846-4-1-24-4-1-04-3-2-14-0-1-11-2
5. Rochester2011720240.60071842415-2-2-06-5-0-05-5-0-00-2-0-02-0
6. Utica2110830230.54867642095-3-1-05-5-2-06-4-0-04-0-0-00-0
7. Laval2361232170.37078953884-6-1-12-6-2-11-5-2-21-0-0-10-2

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