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Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release – December 5, 2023

CRUNCH SWEEP WEEKEND SET AGAINST MARLIES

The Crunch snagged a pair of victories over the Toronto Marlies in a home-and-home series in Week 8. 

Syracuse earned a 4-3 win at Upstate Medical University Arena Friday night to extend their home winning streak to four games. The next afternoon in Toronto, Hugo Alnefelt made 35 saves, including 18 in the third period, to preserve a 3-1 Crunch win.

The Crunch have won four straight overall – and seven of their last nine since Nov. 11 – to hold second place in the North Division with 26 points (12-5-0-2). The team has matched its 19-game start from 2018-19 (12-5-2-0), a season which saw the Crunch set a franchise record for highest points percentage (0.671). 

TOP PERFORMERS

Fresh off a three-point game that marked his 100th career AHL point, forward Gage Goncalves nabbed three more points over two games in Week 8.

The third-year pro tallied a goal in the Crunch’s 4-3 win Friday against the Marlies and then he supplied two primary assists in the rematch on Saturday, a 3-1 win. After going five games without a point, Goncalves has six (2g, 4a) in the last three games to move into a tie for the team lead in scoring with 17 points (4g, 13a).

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Mitchell Chaffee notched back-to-back multi-point games to lead the Crunch with four points (3g, 1a) last week. The winger opened the scoring Friday with a power-play goal, before adding an assist later in the game. He then potted two more goals Saturday in Toronto, getting the eventual game-winner in the first period and an insurance, shorthanded goal in the third period.

Chaffee has scored a goal in three straight games for the third time in his career. He is in a three-way tie for the team’s goal-scoring lead with eight, and his 17 points are also tied for the most on the Crunch. 

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Making his first start in two weeks, Hugo Alnefelt delivered a 35-save performance to give the Crunch a 3-1 win Saturday against the Marlies. It snapped a personal five-game losing streak to improve his record to 3-3-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.

Alnefelt’s win was his 30th with the Crunch, making him the 13th goalie in franchise history to record at least 30 wins with the club.  

A STEADY START

The Crunch have moved into the second quarter of the season and stand at 12-5-0-2 one game into that segment of the schedule. That matches Syracuse’s 19-game start in 2018-19 when the Crunch established a new franchise record for the highest points percentage to end a season at 0.671.

The Crunch have made an eight-point improvement from their first 19 games of last season (7-8-2-2).


UPCOMING WEEK 

Friday, December 8 vs. Hershey | 7 p.m.                 

Two streaking teams collide when the Crunch hosts the defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears. The Bears (18-4-0-0) have won nine straight games and sit atop the AHL standings as they look to become the first team to repeat as champions since they won back-to-back Cups in 2008-09 and 2009-10. 

The Bears have outscored opponents 74-49 this season, including 36-20 during their winning streak.

Hershey won both matches against the Crunch last season, including a 4-1 win in Syracuse on March 25.

Saturday, December 9 vs. Utica | 7 p.m.    

The Crunch and Comets play their second home-and-home in three weeks starting Saturday in Syracuse for the 13th annual Stanley Steemer Tired Teddy Toss. The teams split their two-game set around Thanksgiving, with the home team winning both matches. Both clubs have a pair of wins so far in the season series, which features 14 total meetings.

Sunday, December 10 at Utica | 3 p.m.     

Both teams wrap up a three-in-three weekend Sunday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center. It’s the first of three three-in-three weekends this season for the Crunch and the first of five Sunday games for Syracuse.

13th ANNUAL STNALEY STEEMER TIRED TEDDY TOSS

The Crunch host their 13th annual Stanley Steemer Tired Teddy Toss Saturday against the Comets. Last season, the Crunch collected 7,689 stuffed animals, which were donated to local charities.

WEEK 8 RESULTS

Friday, December 1 | Game 18 vs. Toronto | W, 4-3

Toronto         0 0 3 – 3     Shots: 9-8-14-31         PP: 2/6

Syracuse        2 1 1 – 4     Shots: 14-8-4-26         PP: 1/4

1st Period-Chaffee 6 (Thompson, Dumont), 16:22 (PP). Element 2 (Thompson, Merelä), 19:58. 2nd Period-Goncalves 4 (Myers, Chaffee), 9:44. 3rd Period-Walcott 8 (Dumont, Day), 19:11 (EN). . . . Tomkins 2-0-0 (31 shots-28 saves) A-4,863

Saturday, December 2 | Game 19 at Toronto | W, 3-1

Syracuse        2 0 1 – 3     Shots: 11-7-7-25         PP: 1/3

Toronto         0 0 1 – 1     Shots: 6-11-19-36       PP: 0/4

1st Period-Carroll 4 (Goncalves, Carlile), 16:17 (PP). Chaffee 7 (Goncalves, Stephens), 18:38. 3rd Period-Chaffee 8 (Groshev), 16:21 (SH). . . . Alnefelt 3-3-2 (36 shots-35 saves) A-4,785

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play21.0% (17-for-81) 7th (8th)
Penalty Kill84.6% (77-for-91)11th (T-10th)
Goals For3.58 GFA (68)6th (4th)
Goals Against2.79 GAA (53)7th (T-10th)
Shots For30.26 SF/G (575)14th (11th)
Shots Against26.79 SA/G (509)4th (2nd)
Penalty Minutes16.05 PIM/G (305)4th (6th)
Category Leader
Points17Chaffee|Goncalves
Goals8Chaffee|Groshev|Walcott
Assists13Goncalves
PIM39Lilleberg
Plus/Minus+12Myers
Wins4Halverson
GAA2.49Alnefelt
Save %.903Alnefelt
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Cleveland1913510270.71169602246-4-0-07-1-1-07-2-1-00-1-0-02-0
2. Syracuse1912502260.68468533056-2-0-16-3-0-17-3-0-04-0-0-01-2
3. Rochester1911620240.63270782315-1-2-06-5-0-06-4-0-00-1-0-02-0
4. Toronto198731200.52663552974-4-2-04-3-1-13-5-1-10-4-1-11-1
5. Belleville198812190.50053662295-4-0-23-4-1-03-5-1-12-0-0-11-2
6. Utica187830170.47256611893-3-1-04-5-2-04-5-1-01-0-0-00-0
7. Laval2051131140.35068853303-5-1-02-6-2-13-4-2-10-4-2-10-1
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