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Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch is honoring the significant role the Erie Canal had in shaping the city of Syracuse by rebranding to the Syracuse Canal Mules on Saturday, March 30 when the team hosts the Providence Bruins.

Built between 1817 and 1825, the original Erie Canal was a 363-mile artificial waterway from Albany to Buffalo. The canal developed Syracuse and turned the city into an economic and social hub. Barges were pulled from city to city by mules walking along the canal’s towpaths. A hybrid cross between horses and donkeys, mules are intelligent and tough working animals that became the key to spreading goods, people, and ideas across New York State.

The Crunch is taking on the Canal Mules identity to pay homage to the first-known beer league hockey team that skated on the Erie Canal in the early 1920s. The original Syracuse Canal Mules team was made primarily of Greenway Brewery workers who would play on the Erie Canal during prohibition. The team was known to bring homebrewed beverages to these pick-up games. The Canal Mules dissolved in 1923 when the portion of the Erie Canal running through downtown Syracuse was filled in and the team was lost to history. One hundred years later, the Crunch is honoring the Canal Mules and the role they played in creating a worldwide tradition.

During the night, the Crunch will wear Canal Mules specialty jerseys featuring a special logo and crest. The jerseys have a cream-colored body with thick blue stripes across the shoulders and along the bottom.

To further support the night, Talking Cursive Brewery has brewed Canal Mule Fuel that will be available in cans at the Upstate Medical University Arena during the March 30 game. Talking Cursive is located on the same block in downtown Syracuse that Greenway Brewery took up when it opened in 1852 and operated through the early 1900s.

Tickets for Syracuse Canal Mules Night are on sale now at A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Erie Canal Museum.

Canal Mules merchandise will be available at the merchandise stand located behind Section 105 during the game.

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).


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