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Syracuse Crunch vs Hartford Wolf Pack series preview

The Syracuse Crunch will play a home-in-home series against an Atlantic Division opponent for the second weekend in a row. This time, they will face the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, the Hartford Wolf Pack. The first game will be in Syracuse on Friday night, and the scene will shift to Hartford on Saturday night.

The Crunch enter this weekend in second place in the North Division while riding a two-game winning streak. Last Saturday night, they completed a home-in-home series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with a 6-3 victory at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Two days later, they played a morning game at Bridgeport and defeated the Islanders 5-4 in their school-day game.

Syracuse has been very comfortable on the road this season, compiling a 5-1-0-1 record away from Salt City. Conversely, they have struggled at the Upstate Medical University Arena. In five games in front of their home crowd, they have registered two wins and one shootout loss.

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The Crunch have kept pace in a competitive North Division by going 5-3-0-2 in their last ten games. They are top ten in the American Hockey League in goals per game, goals against per game, power play, and penalty kill. Syracuse leads the league in shorthanded goals scored with five.

The Hartford Wolf Pack

Like their opponents this weekend, the Hartford Wolf Pack are in second place in their division – holding down that spot in the Atlantic. The Wolf Pack recently experienced a coaching change when Kris Knoblauch was hired as coach of the Edmonton Oilers on November 12th. Assistant coach Steve Smith has taken over the head coaching duties on an interim basis. Ironically, Smith won the Stanley Cup three times with the Oilers during his playing career.

The defense has been the name of the game for Hartford. They are first in the AHL in goals against per game, due in large part to their goaltending tandem. Louis Domingue and Dylan Garand are among the league leaders in all major goaltending categories. Domingue in particular has been spectacular. He is second in the AHL in both GAA and save percentage.

The Wolf Pack, like the Crunch, have been better on the road than at home this season. They are 5-1-2-0 away from the XL Center and 3-2-0-0 in their home rink.

These two games will be the only meetings between the teams this regular season. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. EST. Television coverage for both games will be on AHLTV and the radio broadcast will be on ESPN Radio Syracuse. Here’s the tale of the tape between the Syracuse Crunch and the Hartford Wolfpack.

Team Records

Syracuse Crunch

  • Overall record: 7-3-0-2, 16 Pts.
  • Place in standings: 2nd place in the North Division.
  • Home record: 2-2-0-1, 5 Pts.
  • Away record: 5-1-0-1, 11 Pts.
  • Head Coach: Joel Bouchard.
  • Goal differential: +12.

Hartford Wolf Pack

  • Overall record: 8-3-2-0, 18 Pts.
  • Place in standings: 2nd in the Atlantic Division.
  • Home record: 3-2-0-0, 6 Pts.
  • Away record: 5-1-2-0, 12 Pts.
  • Head Coach: Steve Smith.
  • Goal differential: +14.

Team Offense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals For: 46.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.83 – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Shots: 392.
  • Shots Per Game: 32.67 – 6th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 22.2% (12 for 54) – 6th in the AHL.

Hartford Wolf Pack

  • Goals For: 41.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.15 – 16th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 421.
  • Shots Per Game: 32.38 – 7th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 19.6% (10 for 51) – 12th in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Team Leaders

Syracuse Crunch

  • 1.) Felix Robert: 6G + 7A = 13 Pts. Robert is 16th in the AHL in points and 19th in goals.
  • 2.) Maxim Groshev: 7G + 5A = 12 Pts. Groshev is 14th in the AHL in goals.
  • 3.) Mitchell Chaffee: 3G + 8A = 11 Pts.
  • 4.) Gage Goncalves: 2G + 9A = 11 Pts.
  • 5.) Jack Thompson: 1G + 7A = 8 Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Jack Thompson with 32.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Gabriel Dumont with three. Dumont is 11th in the AHL in PPG.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Jack Thompson with seven.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leaders: five are tied with one each.
  • +/- Leaders: Philippe Myers and Felix Robert at +7. They are 14th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Shawn Element with 28. Element is 17th in the AHL in PIM.

Hartford Wolf Pack

  • 1.) Jonny Brodzinski: 8G + 6A = 14 Pts. Brodzinski is 6th in the AHL in goals and 9th in points.
  • 2.) Alex Belzile: 4G + 8A = 12 Pts.
  • 3.) Riley Nash: 5G + 5A = 10 Pts.
  • 4.) Mac Hollowell: 1G + 9A = 10 Pts. Hollowell is 15th in the AHL in assists.
  • 5.) Brett Berard: 2G + 7A = 9 Pts.
  • Shots Leaders: Brett Berard and Brennan Othmann with 40 each. They are tied for 15th in the AHL in shots.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Jonny Brodzinski with three. Brodzinski is 10th in the AHL in PPG.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Jonny Brodzinski with six.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Adam Edstrom with one.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Alex Belzile with two.
  • +/- Leader: Connor Mackey at +11. Mackey leads the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Matt Rempe with 23.

Team Defense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals Against: 34.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.83 – 8th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 312.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 26.00 – 3rd in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 85.5% (47 for 55) – 6th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 5 – 1st in the AHL.

Hartford Wolf Pack

  • Goals Against: 27.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.08 – 1st in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 370.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 28.46 – 11th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 85.2% (46 for 54) – 11th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 1 – 17th in the AHL.

Goaltenders

Syracuse Crunch

Hugo Alnefelt

  • Record: 2-2-2.
  • GAA: 2.67. Alnefelt is 19th in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 130.
  • Save Percentage: 0.890.
  • Shutouts: 1.

Brandon Halverson

  • Record: 2-0-0.
  • GAA: 3.23.
  • Saves: 56.
  • Save Percentage: 0.889.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Vinnie Purpura

  • No AHL statistics.

Hartford Wolf Pack

Louis Domingue

  • Record: 4-1-0. Domingue is 11th in the AHL in wins.
  • GAA: 1.60. Domingue is 2nd in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 122.
  • Save Percentage: 0.938. Domingue is 2nd in the AHL in save percentage.
  • Shutouts: one.

Dylan Garand

  • Record: 4-1-2. Garand is 14th in the AHL in wins.
  • GAA: 2.30. Garand is 10th in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 204. Garand is 14th in the AHL in saves.
  • Save Percentage: 0.927. Garand is 6th in the AHL in save percentage.
  • Shutouts: one.

For more information about the Syracuse Crunch, including schedules and ticketing, visit https://syracusecrunch.com.

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