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CRUNCH HIT NEW YEAR IN SECOND PLACE 

Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release

January 2, 2024

The Crunch finished off a 14-game December, tied for their busiest month of the season, with three road games in Week 12.

Syracuse opened a five-game road swing last Wednesday in Rochester with a 3-1 win over the Americans. The Crunch scored all three goals in a 37-second span for their second win in two tries at Blue Cross Arena. The team then traveled to Laval for a pair of contests at Place Bell to wrap up 2023. The Crunch lost both, 3-2 Friday and 4-1 Saturday, and they’ve now lost 12 straight regular season games in Laval.

Despite consecutive losses, the Crunch begin 2024 in second place with a 16-11-2-2 record and 36 points. Syracuse wraps up its road trip this weekend with two games in Toronto against the Marlies.

TOP PERFORMERS

Forward Shawn Element made his mark for the Crunch in Week 12. The 23-year-old scored a team-high three goals over the three games. He tallied twice in 37 seconds – during which the Crunch scored three times – to lead the Crunch to a 3-1 win Wednesday at Rochester. He then added a goal in the Crunch’s loss to the Rocket on Saturday.

His two-goal performance against the Amerks marked his first career multi-goal game. After scoring again on Saturday, Element has seven goals and 11 points in 29 games this season. The Victoriaville, Quebec native is two goals away from matching his total from last season, which he produced in 49 games.

Element also notched his team-leading third fight of the season during the third period of Friday’s loss against the Rocket.

***

Gage Goncalves continued his hot play into the final week of 2023. The third-year-pro scored the middle goal of the team’s three strikes in 37 seconds Wednesday at Rochester; his goal proved to be the game-winning goal in their 3-1 win. He then notched a multi-point performance with a goal and assist Friday at Laval to extend his scoring streak to a career-high tying six games. 

His two-point outing was his seventh multi-point game of the season, tying with Mitchell Chaffee for the team lead. The 22-year-old leads the Crunch with 28 points (7g, 21a); he enters the week tied for 10th in league scoring and tied for seventh in assists.  

CRUNCH, LIGHTNING SWAP DEFENSEMEN

The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Phil Myers from the Crunch on Monday. The Lightning returned on loan Sean Day to the Crunch at the same time. 

Myers is on his third recall to Tampa, where he has played one game this season for the Lightning. He has appeared in 27 games with the Crunch, collecting eight points (2g, 6a). His plus-17 rating leads the Crunch and ranks third in the AHL.

Day has not skated in a game yet this season for the Lightning. He has played in 17 games for the Crunch and has picked up eight assists. He has missed seven of the last eight Crunch games while on recall to the Lightning.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Saturday, January 6 at Toronto | 4 p.m.                

The Crunch play their first game of 2024 on Saturday in Toronto against the Marlies. It’s the first of two games at Coca-Cola Coliseum this weekend for the Crunch and the fourth of five straight road games. The Crunch won, 3-1, in Toronto in December, and they are 5-2-1-0 in their last eight trips to Toronto. Mitchell Chaffee had a two-goal performance in the last meeting and has three goals and four points in two games against the Marlies this season.

The Marlies (13-10-4-1) enter the week in fourth place in the North Division. They have lost four straight (0-3-1-0), which comes after winning five in a row.

Sunday, January 7 at Toronto | 4 p.m.      

The Crunch and Marlies rematch on Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum. It’s the second time this season that the teams play on back-to-back days. The Crunch swept a home-and-home series Dec. 1-2; they won 4-3 in the first game and 3-1 in the second leg.

WEEK 12 RESULTS

Wednesday, December 27 | Game 29 at Rochester | W, 3-1

Syracuse        0 3 0 – 3     Shots: 4-8-3-15            PP: 0/1

Rochester      0 0 1 – 1     Shots: 10-8-5-23         PP: 0/1

2nd Period-Element 5 (Groshev, Carlile), 6:36. Goncalves 6 (Chaffee, Allard), 6:59. Element 6 (Fortier), 7:13. . . . Tomkins 5-3-1 (23 shots-22 saves) A-6,265

Friday, December 29 | Game 30 at Laval | L, 3-2

Syracuse        1 0 1 – 2     Shots: 9-11-18-38       PP: 1/4

Laval               1 1 1 – 3     Shots: 5-8-7-20            PP: 1/4

1st Period-Fortier 3 (Goncalves, Merelä), 11:49. 3rd Period-Goncalves 7 (Thompson, Carlile), 19:28. . . . Alnefelt 4-5-3 (20 shots-17 saves) A-10,219

Saturday, December 30 | Game 31 at Laval | L, 4-1

Syracuse        0 0 1 – 1     Shots: 13-7-6-26         PP: 0/6

Laval               2 2 0 – 4     Shots: 9-12-10-31       PP: 2/7

3rd Period-Element 7 (Robert, Thompson), 17:29. . . . Tomkins 5-4-1 (31 shots-27 saves) A-10,286

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play17.2% (21-for-122) 21st (12th)
Penalty Kill85.4% (117-for-137)5th (4th)
Goals For3.03 GFA (94)T-16th (11th)
Goals Against2.71 GAA (84)4th (4th)
Shots For28.32 SF/G (878)25th (22nd)
Shots Against25.97 SA/G (805)2nd (2nd)
Penalty Minutes15.13 PIM/G (469)6th (7th)
Category Leader
Points28Goncalves
Goals10Robert
Assists21Goncalves
PIM64Element
Plus/Minus+17Myers
Wins5Tomkins
GAA2.42Alnefelt
Save %.901Alnefelt
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Cleveland3021810430.717103943709-4-0-012-4-1-07-3-0-00-1-0-02-0
2. Syracuse31161122360.58194844697-4-2-19-7-0-13-5-2-00-2-0-01-2
3. Belleville29141122320.55284944128-5-1-26-6-1-06-3-1-04-0-0-01-2
4. Toronto28131041310.55499823827-5-3-06-5-1-15-4-1-00-3-1-01-1
5. Rochester29141221310.534931143335-6-2-09-6-0-13-6-0-11-0-0-03-1
6. Laval30111432270.450991165157-6-1-14-8-2-16-3-0-12-0-0-00-2
7. Utica27101331240.44478863085-7-1-15-6-2-04-5-0-10-5-0-10-1
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