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Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release December 19, 2023

CRUNCH BACK IN WIN COLUMN TO END WEEK  

The Crunch quickly got back on track to earn consecutive wins to close out Week 10, finishing the week with two wins in three outings. 

Syracuse played three road games, beginning with a 4-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wednesday night. It was the team’s third straight defeat. The Crunch snapped the skid with a 2-0 shutout win Saturday at Utica. Hugo Alnefelt made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season. After an overnight trip to Providence, the Crunch made it two wins in two days with a 4-1 win against the Bruins.

The Crunch head home for three straight games with a 15-8-0-2 record, good for second place in the North Division. 

TOP PERFORMERS

Captain Gabriel Dumont busted out of a scoring slump with a pair of goals in Sunday’s win in Providence. The veteran had gone six games without a point – his longest personal drought since March 2022.

The two-goal effort came 24 hours after leaving Saturday’s game at Utica twice for two separate incidents resulting in cuts to his face. First, he took a shot off his face, then he was on the receiving end of a vicious cross check resulting in a major penalty near the end of the game. Dumont battled through to notch his sixth and seventh goals of the season.

The veteran is in line to play his 800th pro game Wednesday against Laval. He has 90 NHL games and 709 AHL games to his credit, including 389 with Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliates (Hamilton and St. John’s).

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Cole Koepke had a strong return to the Crunch lineup following close to a month-on recall with Tampa Bay. The winger grabbed three points during the week in his first three games back with the Crunch. 

Koepke set up Tristan Allard’s eventual game-winning goal Saturday at Utica. Koepke then notched his first multi-point game of the season Sunday in Providence. He scored a power-play goal – which became the game-winner – and added an assist later in the game. The Minnesota native has nine points (4g, 5a) in 14 games this season with the Crunch; he also played in eight games with Tampa Bay.  

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Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season Saturday at Utica. He previously made 35 saves in a blanking of the Cleveland Monsters on Oct. 20 – both have been on the road. 

The Swedish-born netminder has five career shutouts in the AHL. He has shut out five different teams and all five have been on the road – at Charlotte, Providence, Toronto, Cleveland and Utica. He was also involved in a shared shutout during the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs on the road in Laval. Only five goalies in franchise history have recorded more than Alnefelt’s five shutouts with the Crunch.

Syracuse has four shutouts this season, including a pair against the Comets, and Alnefelt leads the team with two.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Wednesday, December 20 vs. Laval | 7 p.m.       

The Crunch host the Laval Rocket for the third time this season to begin a three-game homestand. Syracuse has won the first two matches of the eight-game season series. The most recent meeting (Nov. 25) went to a shootout before the Crunch earned the win. At 7-13-3-2, Laval is in last place in the North Division.

Friday, December 22 vs. Cleveland | 7 p.m.   

The Cleveland Monsters come to Syracuse Friday for a matchup between the top two teams in the North Division. Cleveland leads Syracuse by one point atop the division with both teams winning their last two games. The clubs split a two-game set in Cleveland during the second weekend of the season.

Saturday, December 23 vs. Rochester | 7 p.m.           

The Crunch face off against the Rochester Americans in the final game before the league’s holiday break. The teams have met only twice so far in this 12-game season series; they split two games in a four-day span to begin November. The Amerks are 12-8-2-1 and are five points behind the Crunch entering the week.

WEEK 10 RESULTS

Wednesday, December 13 | Game 23 at W-B/Scranton | L, 4-1

Syracuse               0 1 0 – 1     Shots: 9-10-6-25  PP: 0/4

W-B/Scranton     1 3 0 – 4     Shots: 10-10-6-26 PP: 0/5

2nd Period-Element 3 (Walker, Allard), 15:01. . . . Tomkins 3-2-0 (26 shots-22 saves) A-2,463

Saturday, December 16 | Game 24 at Utica | W, 2-0

Syracuse        0 1 1 – 2     Shots: 12-6-4-22         PP: 0/4

Utica               0 0 0 – 0     Shots: 3-6-9-18            PP: 0/3

2nd Period-Allard 2 (Koepke, Merelä), 18:54. 3rd Period-Element 4 (Finley), 7:14. . . . Alnefelt 4-4-2 (18 shots-18 saves) A-2,865

Sunday, December 17 | Game 25 at Providence | W, 4-1

Syracuse            0 2 2 – 4     Shots: 8-11-8-27     PP: 1/4

Providence        1 0 0 – 1     Shots: 9-6-8-23        PP: 1/7

2nd Period-Dumont 6 (Merelä, Lilleberg), 10:40. Koepke 4 (Walcott, Usau), 13:29 (PP). 3rd Period-Robert 9 (Thompson, Goncalves), 6:06. Dumont 7 (Merelä, Koepke), 17:33 (EN). . . . Tomkins 4-2-0 (23 shots-22 saves) A-7,741

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play19.4% (20-for-103) 12th (8th)
Penalty Kill86.6% (103-for-119)4th (7th)
Goals For3.24 GFA (81)11th (10th)
Goals Against2.64 GAA (66)4th (8th)
Shots For28.76 SF/G (719)22nd (20th)
Shots Against25.72 SA/G (643)2nd (4th)
Penalty Minutes15.36 PIM/G (384)7th (6th)
Category Leader
Points20Goncalves
Goals9Chaffee|Robert|Walcott
Assists16Goncalves
PIM59Element
Plus/Minus+14Myers
Wins4Alnefelt|Halverson|Tomkins
GAA2.21Alnefelt
Save %.908Alnefelt
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Cleveland2416710330.68883762958-4-0-08-3-1-07-3-0-02-0-0-02-0
2. Syracuse2515802320.64081663847-3-0-18-5-0-17-3-0-02-0-0-01-2
3. Toronto2312731280.60983653416-4-2-06-3-1-14-4-1-14-0-0-01-1
4. Rochester2312821270.58778922835-2-2-07-6-0-15-4-0-10-1-0-02-1
5. Belleville24101022240.50068813226-4-1-24-6-1-04-3-2-10-2-1-01-2
6. Utica23101030230.50068702595-5-1-05-5-2-04-6-0-00-2-0-00-0
7. Laval2571332190.380831054174-6-1-13-7-2-12-4-2-20-1-0-00-2
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