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Syracuse Crunch vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins preview

The Syracuse Crunch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins square off in a home-in-home series on Friday and Saturday nights.

Scheduling rarity is on tap for the fans of the Syracuse Crunch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as their teams face off in an inter-divisional Eastern Conference home-in-home series. Game one is Friday night at the Upstate University Medical Arena in Syracuse where the Crunch will be celebrating military appreciation night. The scene shifts to the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday where the Penguins will host and celebrate Veterans Day as well.

Friday night’s game will start at 7:00 p.m. EST, while the series finale will begin at 6:05 p.m.

The Syracuse Crunch

The Crunch have gotten off to a hot start in the thirtieth season in the AHL. They are 5-2-0-2 which is good for twelve points and third place in the North Division – two behind division-leading Rochester. Although the team has its last two games in the shootout, Syracuse has picked up at least one point in the standings in each of its last four games. They are also in the top ten league-wide in all major offensive and defensive categories.

The Crunch did lose a key member of their team on Tuesday. The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov for what looks like could be an extended stay. Kochetkov was outstanding for Syracuse this season – posting a record of 3-0-0, with a GAA of 1.63, a 0.932 save percentage, and one shutout. In response, the Crunch have signed goaltender Brandon Halverson to a PTO.

Episode #8 of the Central New York Hockey Report Podcast: Morrisville Mustangs featured on the CNY Hockey Report Podcast.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

The Penguins enter the weekend series with a record of 5-4-1-0, good for eleven points and fifth place in the Atlantic Division. They have been a team of opposites this season. On their home ice, they have been excellent, as they have a record of 4-1-1-0. The road, however, has been a mighty struggle for the team. They are 1-3-0-0 away from the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last played on Saturday night, which was a 3-2 overtime loss at Belleville. Since then, the team has received some good news and bad news.

On Thursday, the club’s NHL parent team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, announced they had reassigned forward Vinnie Hinostroza back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Hinostroza will help a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team that is starved for offense, as they are thirtieth in the league in goals per game. In five AHL games this season, Hinostroza has two goals and two assists.

The NHL gives, and it also takes away. In the same transactions that sent Hinostroza back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pittsburgh recalled goaltender Joel Blomqvist to the NHL. Blomqvist has been rock solid in the AHL this season – he has a record of 4-2-0, with a GAA of 1.91 and a save percentage of 0.920.

The television broadcast for both games will be on AHLTV, and radio coverage will be on ESPN Syracuse. Here’s the tale of the tape between the Syracuse Crunch and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Team Records

Syracuse Crunch

  • Overall Record: 5-2-0-2, 12 Pts.
  • Home Record: 2-1-0-1, 5 pts.
  • Away Record: 3-1-0-1, 7 Pts.
  • Place in Standings: 3rd in the North Division.
  • Goal Differential: +12.
  • Head Coach: Joel Bouchard.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • Overall Record: 5-4-1-0, 11 Pts.
  • Home Record: 4-1-1-0, 9 Pts.
  • Away Record: 1-3-0-0, 2 Pts.
  • Place in Standings: 5th in the Atlantic Division.
  • Goal Differential: -5.
  • Head Coach: J.D. Forrest.

Team Offense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals For: 35.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.89 – 3rd in the AHL.
  • Shots: 301.
  • Shots Per Game: 33.44 – 5th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 23.8% (10 for 42) – 8th in the AHL.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • Goals For: 23.
  • Goals Per Game: 2.30 – 30th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 304.
  • Shots Per Game: 30.40 – 12th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 19.0% (8 for 42) – 13th in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Syracuse Crunch

  • 1.) Felix Robert: 6G + 5A = 11Pts. Robert is 13th in the AHL in goals.
  • 2.) Gage Goncalves: 1G + 7A = 8Pts.
  • 3.) Maxim Groshev: 2G + 5A = 7Pts.
  • 4.) Mitchell Chaffee: 1G + 6A = 7Pts.
  • 5.) Daniel Walcott (5G +1A) and Jack Thompson (1G + 5A) = 6Pts each.
  • Shots Leader: Felix Robert with twenty-eight.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Gabriel Dumont and Felix Robert with two each.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Jack Thompson with five.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leaders: four with one each.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: five with one each.
  • +/- Leader: Felix Robert at +6. Robert is 16th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Shawn Element with twenty-one. Element is 20th in the AHL in PIM.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • 1.) Sam Houde: 2G + 5A = 7Pts.
  • 2.) Rem Pitlick: 3G + 3A = 6Pts.
  • 3.) Ty Smith: 0G + 5A = 5Pts.
  • 4.) Jansen Harkins: 1G + 3A = 4Pts.
  • 5.) Xavier Ouellet: 1G + 3A = 4pts.
  • Shots Leader: Ty Smith with twenty-nine.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Rem Pitlick with three. Pitlick is 10th in the AHL in power-play goals.
  • Power Play Points Leaders: Rem Pitlick and Sam Houde with four each.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Joona Koppanen with one.
  • Game Winning Goals Leaders: Five are tied with one each.
  • +/- Leader: Jansen Harkins at +2.
  • PIM Leader: Taylor Fedun with fourteen.

Team Defense

Syracuse Crunch

  • Goals Against: 23.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.56 – 7th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 229.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 25.44 – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 89.5% (34 for 28) – 3rd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored (team): 4 – tied for 1st in the AHL.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • Goals Against: 28.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.80 – 12th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 265.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 26.50 – 6th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 85.3% (29 for 34) – 10th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored (team): 1 – 15th in the AHL.

Goaltenders

Syracuse Crunch

Hugo Alnefelt

  • Record: 2-1-2.
  • GAA: 2.33 – 16th in the AHL.
  • Saves: 114.
  • Save Percentage: 0.905.
  • Shutouts: 1.

Brandon Halverson

  • No AHL statistics.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Taylor Gauthier

  • Record: 0-0-1.
  • GAA: 2.89.
  • Saves: 26.
  • Save Percentage: 0.897.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Garret Sparks

  • Record: 0-1-0.
  • GAA: 6.00.
  • Saves: 18.
  • Save Percentage: 0.818.
  • Shutouts: 0.

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

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