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Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release 03-12-2024

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

CRUNCH SCOOP UP FIVE POINTS 

The Crunch pushed their point streak to a season-high six games (5-0-1-0) with a pair of wins in Week 22.

Syracuse traveled to Laval for a Wednesday night match against the Rocket to begin the week. The teams traded leads before the Crunch prevailed, 3-2, in overtime to push their winning streak to four games. Two nights later in Rochester, another back-and-forth game went to overtime after a late Crunch game-tying goal. The Amerks scored in the opening minute of overtime for the win. In the rematch Saturday in Syracuse, the Crunch scored twice in the third period to snag a 4-2 win against the Amerks.

The Crunch are 33-17-4-2 and enter the week in a tie for first place in the North Division with 72 points.

TOP PERFORMERS

Defenseman Sean Day had a point in all three games last week to extend his scoring streak to four games, his longest since a five-game run March 2-11, 2022. 

He began the week by setting up Gabe Fortier’s overtime game-winning goal Wednesday at Laval. He potted his fifth goal of the season Friday at Rochester and then nabbed an assist on the opening goal Saturday against the Americans.

Day has 21 points (5g, 16a) in 42 games this season for the Crunch. It’s the second-highest total in a single season in his career, behind his 40-point campaign in 2021-22.

***

Gage Goncalves led the Crunch with four points in Week 22. He started the week with two goals Wednesday at Laval to help the Crunch earn a 3-2 overtime win. He potted the game’s first goal and then pulled the Crunch into a 2-2 tie in the third period for his second career two-goal game (also Jan. 16, 2023 vs. Utica). He then grabbed two assists in the Crunch’s win against Rochester on Saturday.

Goncalves, 23, leads the Crunch with 47 points (10g, 37a) in 54 games this season. He has a team-leading 10 multi-point games. An AHL All-Star this season, Goncalves has played 197 career AHL games, logging 134 points (40g, 94a).

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Cole Koepke capped the week with his third career three-point game (1g, 2a) Saturday against Rochester. He had a point on the final three goals, including the eventual game-winning goal – his fourth this season. Koepke leads the Crunch with 15 goals this season.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Wednesday, March 13 vs. Rochester | 7 p.m.  

The Crunch play their third straight game against Rochester Wednesday at Upstate Medical University Arena. The teams split two games Friday and Saturday, leaving the Crunch with a 7-0-2-1 record against the Amerks this season. The teams will finish their 12-game season series in two weeks.

Rochester closed out a three-in-three weekend with a 3-2 home win against Utica to improve to 27-21-6-2. The Amerks jumped into third place with 62 points, but they are only one point ahead of both Belleville and Toronto.

Friday, March 15 vs. Belleville | 7 p.m.    

The Crunch close out a three-game homestand Friday against the Belleville Senators. The Crunch are winless this season against the Senators (0-3-1-1), with Belleville picking up three wins in Syracuse.

The Senators, who open the week Wednesday against Utica, are 28-23-2-3 this season. They have 61 points and are tied with Toronto for fourth place in the North Division.

Saturday, March 16 at Hershey | 7 p.m.        

The Crunch wrap up the weekend Saturday in Hershey as they conclude the two-game season series with the league-leading Bears. Hershey became the first team this season to clinch a Calder Cup Playoffs berth. They are 42-11-0-4 and have 88 points, which is 10 points clear of the next closest team.

The Crunch grabbed a 4-1 win in the first meeting on Dec. 8. The Bears are 23-5-0-0 at Giant Center this season, giving them the best home record in the AHL.

WEEK 22 RESULTS

Wednesday, March 6 | Game 54 at Laval | W, 3-2 (OT)

Syracuse        1 0 1 1 – 3     Shots: 17-5-11-1-34 PP: 0/4

Laval               0 2 0 0 – 2     Shots: 3-10-7-3-23  PP: 0/2

1st Period-Goncalves 9 (Barré-Boulet, Carroll), 15:23. 3rd Period-Goncalves 10 (Finley, Barré-Boulet), 1:00. Overtime-Fortier 8 (Day), 4:03. . . . Tomkins 13-9-1 (23 shots-21 saves) A-10,179

Friday, March 8 | Game 55 at Rochester | OTL, 4-3

Syracuse        1 1 1 0 – 3     Shots: 3-9-11-23      PP: 0/2

Rochester      1 1 1 1 – 4     Shots: 6-12-6-26      PP: 1/4

1st Period-Merelä 10 (Unassisted), 10:41. 2nd Period-Day 5 (Edmonds, Allard), 6:01. 3rd Period-Fortier 9 (Feist, Merelä), 16:16. . . . Tomkins 13-9-2 (26 shots-22 saves) A-5,401

Saturday, March 9 | Game 56 vs. Rochester | W, 4-2

Rochester      1 1 0 – 2     Shots: 5-11-3-19         PP: 0/2

Syracuse        1 1 2 – 4     Shots: 9-12-13-34       PP: 2/3

1st Period-Barré-Boulet 2 (Day, Finley), 6:32. 2nd Period-Finley 9 (Goncalves, Koepke), 18:52 (PP). 3rd Period-Koepke 15 (Goncalves, Carlile), 7:12 (PP). Merelä 11 (Koepke, Myers), 19:34 (EN). . . . Alnefelt 13-6-4 (19 shots-17 saves) A-6,236

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play19.1% (37-for-194) 15th (T-14th)
Penalty Kill85.0% (187-for-220)2nd (T-2nd)
Goals For3.13 GFA (175)T-11th (11th)
Goals Against2.71 GAA (152)6th (T-5th)
Shots For28.71 SF/G (1608)T-24th (25th)
Shots Against26.36 SA/G (1476)2nd (2nd)
Penalty Minutes12.48 PIM/G (699)19th (15th)
Category Leader
Points47Goncalves
Goals15Koepke
Assists37Goncalves
PIM84Element
Plus/Minus+27Myers
Wins13Alnefelt|Tomkins
GAA2.29Alnefelt
Save %.911Alnefelt
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Syracuse56331742720.64317515269915-8-3-118-9-1-17-2-1-05-0-1-02-2
2. Cleveland57331833720.63219418571817-10-1-016-8-2-35-3-1-10-2-0-04-3
3. Rochester56272162620.55417319559312-11-3-115-10-3-14-4-1-11-0-0-03-2
4. Belleville56282323610.54516117188014-10-1-214-13-1-16-4-0-00-2-0-02-3
5. Toronto55251992610.55519217277910-10-6-015-9-3-24-3-3-00-1-0-03-2
6. Laval57252462580.50919120095315-10-3-110-14-3-14-4-2-02-0-1-03-2
7. Utica55242344560.50916917559412-12-1-412-11-3-05-4-0-10-1-0-01-4
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