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Syracuse Crunch at Providence Bruins game preview 12-17-2023

The Syracuse Crunch travel to Providence to take on the Bruins for the first of four regular-season meetings this season. The puck drop is scheduled for 4:05 pm.

The Crunch will be looking to strengthen their hold on second place in the North Division. Less than twenty-four hours before this Sunday’s game, they defeated North Division rival the Utica Comets 2-0 at the Adirondack Bank Center. Hugo Alnefelt made eighteen saves to earn his second shutout of the season. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Crunch and improved their record to 6-4-0-0 in their last ten games.

Syracuse is 5-3-0-0 against North Division opponents this season.

Providence has the worst penalty-killing unit in the AHL at 74.0%, which could lead to a big game for Syracuse defenseman Jack Thompson. Thompson has fifteen points this season, with eleven (two goals and nine assists) coming on the power play. He is tied for second in power play assists among AHL defensemen and is one behind Ontario’s Brandt Clarke for the lead.

The CNY hockey scoreboard for December 16, 2023

The Providence Bruins

The Bruins will attempt to halt a two-game losing streak in Sunday’s game and are coming off an 8-2 loss to the Toronto Marlies on Friday night. They are in fourth place in the Atlantic Division and have one win and two losses against North Division opponents this season.

Providence has been especially strong in the second period this season, and just about even in the first and third frames. The goals for vs goals against per period break down as follows:

  • 1st period: 18-22
  • 2nd period: 27-15
  • 3rd Period: 32-36

Syracuse will need to be on the lookout for Bruins forward Georgii Merkulov, who leads the team in nearly all offensive categories. They will also need to score goals against one of the better goaltender tandems in the AHL Brandon Bussi and Michael DiPietro. Bussi has solid numbers and ranks nineteenth in the league in wins. DiPietro is eleventh in GAA and save percentage, and ranks third in shutouts.

Television coverage for Sunday’s game from the Amica Mutual Pavilion will be on AHLTV. The Crunch radio broadcast will be carried on ESPN Syracuse. For more information about the Syracuse Crunch, including schedules and ticketing, visit

Team Records

Syracuse Crunch

  • Overall record: 14-8-0-2, 30Pts – 2nd in the North Division.
  • Away record: 7-5-0-1, 15Pts.
  • Goal Differential: +12.
  • Head Coach: Joel Bouchard.

Providence Bruins

  • Overall record: 13-9-2-2, 30Pts – 4th in the Atlantic Division.
  • Home record: 5-4-1-2, 13Pts.
  • Goal differential: +2.
  • Head Coach: Ryan Mougenel.

Team Offense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals For: 77.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.21 – 14th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 692.
  • Shots Per Game: 28.83 – 22nd in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 19.2% (19 for 99) – 15th in the AHL.

Providence Bruins

  • Goals For: 79.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.04 – 17th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 737.
  • Shots Per Game: 28.35 – 25th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 16.1% (19 for 118) – 22nd in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Syracuse Crunch

  • 1.) Mitchell Chaffee: 9G + 10A = 19Pts.
  • 2.) Gage Goncalves: 4G + 15A = 19Pts.
  • 3.) Felix Robert: 8G + 9A = 17Pts.
  • 4.) Maxim Groshev: 8G + 7A = 15Pts.
  • 5.) Gabriel Dumont (5G + 10A) and Jack Thompson (2G + 13A) = 15 Pts each.
  • Shots Leader: Jack Thompson with 66.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Mitchell Chaffee with four.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Jack Thompson with eleven.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: six are tied with one each.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Mitchell Chaffee, Gabriel Dumont, and Daniel Walcott with two each.
  • +/- Leader. Philippe Myers at +12. Myers is 7th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Shawn Element with 45. Element is 15th in the AHL in PIM.

Providence Bruins

  • 1.) Georgii Merkulov: 10G + 13A = 23Pts. Merkulov is 14th in the AHL in points and 19th in goals.
  • 2.) John Farinacci: 6G + 13A = 19Pts.
  • 3.) Justin Brazeau: 8G + 8A = 16Pts.
  • 4.) Fabian Lysell: 6G + 10A = 16Pts.
  • 5.) Jayson Megna: 6G + 10A = 16Pts.
  • Shots Leader George Merkulov with 71. Merkulov is 19th in the AHL in shots.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Georgia Merkulov with five. Merkulov is 16th in the AHL in PPG.
  • Power Play Points Leader: George Merkulov with nine.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leaders: Luke Toporowski and John Farinacci with one each.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Georgii Merkulov with three,
  • +/- Leader: Alec Regula at +15. Regula is 1st in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Joey Abate with 61. Abate is 5th in the AHL in PIM.

Team Defense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals Against: 65.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.71 – 5th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 620.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 25.83 – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 86.6% (97 for 112) – 4th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: six – 2nd in the AHL.

Providence Bruins

  • Goals Against: 77.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.96 – 15th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 786.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 30.23 – 20th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 74.0% (71 for 96) – 32nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: two – 18th in the AHL.


Syracuse Crunch

Hugo Alnefelt

  • Record: 4-4-2.
  • GAA: 2.21 – 6th in the AHL.
  • Saves: 228.
  • Save Percentage: 0.908.
  • Shutouts: two – 5th in the AHL.

Matt Tomkins

  • Record: 3-2-0.
  • GAA: 2.77.
  • Saves: 115.
  • Save Percentage: 0.891.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Providence Bruins

Brandon Bussi

  • Record: 7-4-3 – Bussi is 19th in the AHL in wins.
  • GAA: 2.73.
  • Saves: 405.
  • Save Percentage: 0.910.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Michael DiPietro

  • Record: 6-4-0.
  • GAA: 2.46 – DiPietro is 11th in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 256.
  • Save Percentage: 0.918 – DiPietro is 11th in the AHL in save percentage.
  • Shutouts: two – DiPietro is 3rd in the AHL in shutouts.

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