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Syracuse Crunch vs Rochester Americans game preview 12-23-2023

The Syracuse Crunch and Rochester Americans square off in a North Division matchup at the Upstate Medical University Arena this Saturday.

Two bitter North Division rivals will meet Saturday night as the Syracuse Crunch hosts the Rochester Americans. It is the third of twelve regular-season meetings between the teams, each winning on the other’s home ice.

The Crunch have been riding high for the most part this season, and are currently in second place in the North Division. They have encountered a bit of turbulence as of late, however, as they have lost their past two games. They dropped a 3-2 decision at home on Wednesday night to Laval. On Friday night, they fell at home 4-3 in overtime to the first-place Cleveland Monsters.

Syracuse is 5-4-1-0 in their last ten games.

Mitchell Chaffee has been a welcome addition to the Crunch this season. After spending the previous three in the Minnesota Wild organization with Iowa, Chaffee signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning this offseason. He has paid immediate dividends, as he is second on the team in scoring, leads the club in power-play goals, and is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals.

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The Rochester Americans

The Rochester Americans have been on a skid as of late as well. They have lost three games in a row, and are 3-6-0-1 in their last ten games. The Americans are in fourth place in the North Division.

The team got some bad news on Thursday, as the Buffalo Sabres announced they had loaned forward Jiri Kulich to Team Czechia for the World Junior Championship. Kulich has been outstanding for the Americans this season. He leads the league in goals and leads the team in points, power-play goals, shots, and game-winning goals.

Rochester has a prolific offense, as they are seventh in the American Hockey League in team scoring. The team’s problems have come from an inability to keep the puck out of the net. They are last in the league in goals allowed, shots allowed, and penalty killing.

Television coverage for Saturday night’s game will be on AHLTV, and the Crunch radio broadcast will be on ESPN Radio Syracuse. For more information about the Syracuse Crunch, including schedules and ticketing, visit

Team Records

Syracuse Crunch

  • Overall record: 15-9-1-2, 33 Pts – 2nd in the North Division.
  • Home record: 7-4-1-1, 16 Pts.
  • Goal differential: +13.
  • Head Coach: Joel Bouchard.

Rochester Americans

  • Overall record: 12-10-2-1, 27 Pts – 4th in the North Division.
  • Away record: 7-6-0-1, 15 Pts.
  • Goal differential: -19.
  • Head Coach: Seth Appert.

Team Offense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals For: 86.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.19 – 12th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 773.
  • Shots Per Game: 28.63 – 22nd in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 18.5% (20 for 108) – 16th in the AHL.

Rochester Americans

  • Goals For: 84.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.36 – 7th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 715.
  • Shots Per Game: 28.60 – 23rd in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 22.2% (18 for 81) – 6th in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Syracuse Crunch

  • 1.) Gage Goncalves: 5G + 18A = 23 Pts. Goncalves is 10th in the AHL in assists.
  • 2.) Mitchell Chaffee: 9G + 13A = 22 Pts.
  • 3.) Felix Robert: 9G + 10A = 19 Pts.
  • 4.) Gabriel Dumont: 8G + 10A = 18 Pts.
  • 5.) Jack Thompson: 2G + 15A = 17 Pts.
  • Shots: Jack Thompson with 74.
  • Power Play Goals: Mitchell Chaffee with four.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Jack Thompson with eleven.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: six are tied with one each.
  • Game-Winning Goals: Mitchell Chaffee, Gabriel Dumont, and Daniel Walcott with two each.
  • +/- Leader: Philippe Myers at +14. Myers is 2nd in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Shawn Element with 59. Element is 9th in the AHL in PIM.

Rochester Americans

*With Jiri Kulich currently playing for Buffalo, his statistics do not count on this list.

  • 1.) Isak Rosen: 8G + 13A = 21 Pts.
  • 2.) Brandon Biro: 8G + 8A = 16 Pts.
  • 3.) Mason Jobst: 7G + 8A = 15 Pts.
  • 4.) Lukas Rousek: 4G + 11A = 15 Pts.
  • 5.) Michael Mersch: 3G + 12A = 15 Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Jeremy Davies with 61.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Brandon Biro and Mason Jobst with three each.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Brandon Biro with ten.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Justin Richards with two. Richards is 8th in the AHL in SHG.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Isak Rosen with three. Rosen is 12th in the AHL in GWG.
  • +/- Leader: Damien Giroux and Nikita Novikov at +6 each.
  • PIM Leader: Jeremy Davies with 43.

Team Defense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals Against: 73.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.70 – 4th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 700.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 25.93 – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 86.8% (105 for 121) – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: six – 3rd in the AHL.

Rochester Americans

  • Goals Against: 84.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 4.12 – 32nd in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 862.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 34.48 – 32nd in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 73.7% (70 for 95) – 32nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: five – 6th in the AHL.


Syracuse Crunch

Hugo Alnefelt

  • Record: 4-4-3.
  • GAA: 2.36. Alnefelt is 6th in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 257.
  • Save Percentage: 0.905.
  • Shutouts: two. Alnefelt is 5th in the AHL in shutouts.

Matt Tomkins

  • Record: 4-3-0.
  • GAA: 2.57.
  • Saves: 158.
  • Save Percentage: 0.898.
  • Shutouts: none.

Rochester Americans

Dustin Tokarski

  • Record: 4-5-1.
  • GAA: 3.68.
  • Saves: 297.
  • Save Percentage: 0.889.
  • Shutouts: none.

Devin Cooley

  • Record: 5-3-2.
  • GAA: 3.78.
  • Saves: 309.
  • Save Percentage: 0.890.
  • Shutouts: none.
Alex Ackerman from the Syracuse Speaks podcast joins us in this episode for our Syracuse Crunch holiday party! This is our awards for the season so far, find out which Crunch were naughty or nice and what Santa brought them for presents (awards)! The Central New York Hockey Report Podcast is available on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

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