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Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release April 16, 2024

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

CRUNCH HIT FINAL REGULAR SEASON WEEK  

The Crunch dropped back-to-back shootout decisions to the Toronto Marlies in Week 27, setting the stage for a thrilling finish to the regular season this week.

Syracuse rallied to earn crucial standings points in two straight matches against the Marlies. On Friday, it was Alex Barré-Boulet’s third-period tally which tied the game at one and forced overtime. Saturday, the team clawed back from deficits of 2-0, 3-2, and 5-3 to force overtime; Quinn Schmiemann scored the tying goal in the third period. They went a combined 0-for-6 in the two shootouts, losing both by 1-0 scores. 

The Crunch have three games remaining in the regular season, and can still finish anywhere from first place to fourth place. They lead the North Division with 84 points (38-23-4-4). 

TOP PERFORMERS

Alex Barré-Boulet paced the Crunch with four points (1g, 3a) in two games last week. He ripped home a game-tying goal with less than five minutes remaining in the third period on Friday against the Marlies. He then notched his first three-point game of the season on Saturday in the rematch against Toronto.

In the process, Barré-Boulet became the first Crunch player to record at least 300 points with the franchise. He holds the franchise record with 301 points (113g, 188a) in 291 career Crunch games. He has 18 points (4g, 14a) in 20 games with the Crunch this season.

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Max Crozier picked up his first career three-point game on Saturday against the Marlies. The rookie defenseman had primary assists on a pair of tying power-play goals in the first and second periods. He then ripped a power-play goal of his own later in the second period, marking a season-high for power-play goals in a game for the Crunch.

Crozier has a team-leading 11 points (2g, 9a) in 10 games since March 22, four off the league lead in that span.

IT COMES DOWN TO THE WIRE

The ultra-tight North Division comes down to the final weekend of the regular season. Four playoff berths have been clinched, but no team has been eliminated from playoff contention entering the final week.

The Crunch begin the week in first place with 84 points. They lead the division by a single point, but they hold the tiebreaker on Rochester, Cleveland, and Toronto – the only three teams who can still mathematically catch the Crunch. Syracuse’s magic number to earn a fifth division title in franchise history stands at five.

UPCOMING WEEK 

Wednesday, April 16 at Belleville | 7 p.m.                  

The Crunch open the week with their final regular season trip to Canada to face off against the Belleville Senators on Wednesday. It’s their last chance to earn a win at Belleville this season; the Crunch are 0-2-0-1 at Belleville and 1-4-1-1 overall against the Senators this season.

The Senators had their five-game winning streak snapped with an 8-2 loss at Rochester on Saturday. They currently hold the final playoff position in the North Division with 76 points (35-28-3-3), but their lead is just two points over Laval. They cannot clinch a spot on Wednesday, but their magic number stands at four entering the week.

Friday, April 20 at Utica | 7 p.m.     

The Crunch and Comets renew hostilities in the opening leg of a home-and-home series Friday at the Adirondack Bank Center. It’s their first head-to-head meeting in almost two months (Feb. 25); both teams have six wins over the first 12 games of the series. 

The Comets sit in last place in the North Division entering a three-in-three weekend to close out the season. They are three points behind the Senators for the final playoff position. The Comets finish their regular season Sunday against Rochester.

Saturday, April 21 vs. Utica | 7 p.m.         

The Crunch play their regular-season finale on Saturday against the Comets. Syracuse enters the final home game with an 18-11-3-3 mark at Upstate Medical University Arena. It is the second time this season that the Crunch and Comets will square off on consecutive days; the Comets won both legs of a home-and-home series on Dec. 9-10.

WEEK 27 RESULTS

Friday, April 12 | Game 68 vs. Toronto | SOL, 2-1

Toronto     0 1 0 0 1 – 2     Shots: 10-8-9-2-1-30                               PP: 1/4

Syracuse    0 0 1 0 0 – 1     Shots: 5-14-7-2-0-28                               PP: 0/3

3rd Period-Barré-Boulet 4 (Fortier, Finley), 15:10. Shootout-Toronto 1 (Steeves G, Shaw NG), Syracuse 0 (Goncalves NG, Barré-Boulet NG, Edmonds NG). . . . Halverson 6-2-1 (29 shots-28 saves) A-6,187

Saturday, April 13 | Game 69 vs. Toronto | SOL, 6-5

Toronto     3 2 0 0 1 – 6     Shots: 13-6-10-2-1-32     PP: 0/2

Syracuse    2 2 1 0 0 – 5     Shots: 7-14-4-2-0-27                               PP: 3/7

1st Period-Usau 7 (Barré-Boulet), 5:03. Merelä 13 (Crozier, Goncalves), 14:42 (PP). 2nd Period-Goncalves 13 (Crozier, Barré-Boulet), 9:34 (PP). Crozier 3 (Barré-Boulet, Goncalves), 15:16 (PP). 3rd Period-Schmiemann 2 (Robert, Day), 4:25. . . . Alnefelt ND (19 shots-14 saves), Halverson 6-2-2 (12 shots-12 saves) A-6,180

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play19.8% (49-for-248) T-8th (T-11th)
Penalty Kill83.6% (224-for-268)T-7th (T-7th)
Goals For3.09 GFA (213)T-13th (14th)
Goals Against2.80 GAA (193)8th (7th)
Shots For29.13 SF/G (2010)T-21st (22nd)
Shots Against26.48 SA/G (1827)3rd (3rd)
Penalty Minutes12.35 PIM/G (852)19th (20th)
Category Leader
Points57Goncalves
Goals20Koepke
Assists44Goncalves
PIM98Element
Plus/Minus+30Myers
Wins15Tomkins
GAA2.27Halverson
Save %.915Halverson
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. x Syracuse69382344840.60921319385218-11-3-320-12-1-14-4-0-20-1-0-23-4
2. x Rochester69372363830.60122623371417-12-3-220-11-3-18-1-0-11-0-0-04-3
3. x Cleveland69372453820.59422323288620-14-2-017-10-3-32-6-2-00-1-0-04-3
4. x Toronto693423102800.58024421099815-12-7-019-11-3-26-3-1-02-0-1-06-2
5. Belleville69352833760.551202207100218-12-2-217-16-1-15-4-1-00-1-0-02-3
6. Laval70332962740.529232237109719-12-3-114-17-3-16-4-0-01-0-0-03-2
7. Utica69312756730.52921121777115-13-1-516-14-4-15-3-1-11-0-1-12-6
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