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CRUNCH READYING FOR BUSY MARCH  

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

The Crunch maneuvered through a tough three-in-three weekend in Week 20, posting a 1-2-0-0 mark in their second three-game weekend of the campaign.

Syracuse began the weekend on the road with a solid 2-1 victory over the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center. Returning home on Saturday, the Crunch were upended by the Belleville Senators, 4-2, to fall to 0-3-1-1 head-to-head this season against the Senators. In the finale on Sunday, the Crunch lost against the Comets, 5-2, with Utica scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to break a 2-2 tie.

The Crunch are 28-17-3-2 and sit in second place in the North Division with 61 points.

TOP PERFORMERS

Defenseman Declan Carlile continues to pace the Crunch as he extended his scoring streak to a career-best seven games last week. The 23-year-old has 22 points (6g, 16a) in 50 games this season. He is two points shy of matching his totals from last year, which he set in 69 games.

The 23-year-old leads the Crunch in scoring in February with eight points (1g, 7a) over nine games. His seven-game scoring streak is tied for the second-longest active streak in the AHL.

The Merrimack College product, who signed as an undrafted free agent on March 16, 2022, has skated in 129 of a possible 137 games since debuting with the Crunch on April 1, 2022. The Hartland, Michigan native also made his NHL debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this season on Jan. 4 at Minnesota.

FRANCHISE LEADER BACK IN SYRACUSE

Forward Alex Barré-Boulet has been loaned to the Crunch from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The sixth-year pro has skated in an NHL career-high 36 games this season, contributing six goals and nine points. He made his Crunch season debut Sunday against the Comets, picking up an assist on the team’s tying goal in the second period.

The 26-year-old began his pro career with the Crunch in 2018-19, bursting onto the scene to win the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the league’s outstanding rookie and the Willie Marshall Award as the league’s leading goal scorer.

Since then, Barré-Boulet has gone on to set Crunch franchise records in goals (109), assists (175), and points (284) over 272 career Crunch games. Last season, the Montmagny, Quebec native finished second in the AHL in scoring with 84 points (24g, 60a), setting a new single-season franchise record for points.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Wednesday, February 28 at Rochester | 7:05 p.m.  

The Crunch closes out February tomorrow in Rochester against the Amerks. Syracuse is 4-4-1-0 so far in the month after its 1-2-0-0 weekend. The Crunch have earned points in all seven games this season against the Amerks, posting a 5-0-1-1 record. They are 4-0 at Blue Cross Arena this season, improving to 18-6-2-0 at Rochester in the last five seasons.

The Amerks are winless in their last three games (0-1-1-1). They are 24-18-6-2 this season and have 56 points, which puts them in a tie for fourth place in the North Division.

Friday, March 1 vs. Toronto | 7 p.m.                  

The Crunch begin their busiest month of the season – featuring 14 games – with the opening leg of a home-and-home series against the Toronto Marlies Friday at Upstate Medical University Arena. It’s Toronto’s second trip of the season to Syracuse and its first since Dec. 1. The Crunch are 4-0-0-0 head-to-head against the Marlies this season; the last match (Jan. 7 at Toronto) is the only one that required overtime. The Marlies have points in their last five games (3-0-2-0) to move into a fourth-place tie with 56 points (23-16-8-2).

Saturday, March 2 at Toronto | 4 p.m.     

The home-and-home series concludes Saturday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum in the Crunch’s final trip this season to Toronto. The Crunch have won all three games in Toronto this season, earning wins on Dec. 2, Jan. 6, and Jan. 7. This weekend marks the third two-game set – and second home-and-home – between the clubs. There will be a fourth April 12-13 in Syracuse.

WEEK 20 RESULTS

Friday, February 23 | Game 48 at Utica | W, 2-1

Syracuse        0 2 0 – 2     Shots: 9-7-3-19            PP: 1/3

Utica               0 1 0 – 1     Shots: 8-9-8-25            PP: 0/2

2nd Period-Carroll 11 (Fortier, Finley), 3:10 (PP). Carlile 6 (Myers, Usau), 18:50. . . . Tomkins 10-8-1 (25 shots-24 saves) A-3,022

Saturday, February 24 | Game 49 vs. Belleville | L, 4-2

Belleville         2 1 1 – 4     Shots: 7-12-5-24         PP: 1/3

Syracuse        1 1 0 – 2     Shots: 8-6-6-20            PP: 0/1

1st Period-Day 4 (Element, Carlile), 5:48. 2nd Period-Edmonds 6 (Day, Usau), 17:35. . . . Alnefelt 11-6-4 (23 shots-20 saves) A-6,122

Sunday, February 25 | Game 50 vs. Utica | L, 5-2

Utica               2 0 3 – 5     Shots: 11-13-15-39    PP: 1/4

Syracuse        1 1 0 – 2     Shots: 13-10-7-30       PP: 1/4

1st Period-Walcott 11 (Groshev, Carlile), 13:32. 2nd Period-Fortier 5 (Dumont, Barré-Boulet), 5:59. . . . Tomkins 10-9-1 (38 shots-34 saves) A-5,028

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play18.1% (32-for-177) 19th (20th)
Penalty Kill84.0% (168-for-200)T-7th (T-5th)
Goals For3.06 GFA (153)15th (T-13th)
Goals Against2.76 GAA (138)5th (5th)
Shots For28.66 SF/G (1433)26th (21st)
Shots Against26.70 SA/G (1335)3rd (2nd)
Penalty Minutes12.92 PIM/G (646)14th (16th)
Category Leader
Points40Goncalves
Goals13Koepke
Assists33Goncalves
PIM82Element
Plus/Minus+23Myers
Wins11Alnefelt
GAA2.32Alnefelt
Save %.910Alnefelt
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Cleveland51301533660.64717516565614-9-1-016-6-2-35-1-2-24-0-1-24-3
2. Syracuse50281732610.61015313864613-8-3-115-9-0-15-4-1-00-2-0-02-2
3. Belleville51262023570.55914916080012-9-1-214-11-1-17-3-0-03-0-0-02-3
4. Toronto49231682560.5711741486969-9-6-014-7-2-25-2-2-13-0-2-02-2
5. Rochester50241862560.56015717655010-10-3-114-8-3-14-2-3-10-1-1-13-2
6. Laval51222252510.50017218585813-10-2-19-12-3-14-5-1-00-2-0-03-2
7. Utica49212143490.50015416053310-12-1-311-9-3-05-5-0-01-0-0-01-3
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