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Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release January 9, 2024

CRUNCH SWEEP WEEKEND SET IN TORONTO  

The Crunch ended a week-long layoff between games and grabbed two wins in two games against the Toronto Marlies at Coca-Cola Coliseum to begin 2024.

Syracuse overcame a pair of deficits to rally past the Marlies, 6-3, in the opener on Saturday. The team broke a 2-2 tie with four goals in the third period to pull away with the win. The rematch on Sunday required overtime before Joe Carroll netted the overtime winner to cap the weekend.

The Crunch ended their stretch of five straight road contests with a 3-2-0-0 record and now return home to kick off a six-game homestand this weekend. They are in second place in the North Division with 40 points and an 18-11-2-2 record.

TOP PERFORMERS

Joe Carroll led the Crunch with a team-high six points, including four goals, over the weekend in Toronto.

He tallied two goals and one assist in both games to lead the Crunch to a pair of wins. Saturday, the rookie broke a 2-2 tie with a go-ahead goal early in the third period. He then added a second goal – which became the game-winning goal – less than two minutes later for his first career two-goal game. 

For an encore on Sunday, Carroll again broke a 2-2 tie in the third period with a power-play goal. After the Marlies forced overtime, the Carp, Ontario native potted the overtime game-winning goal for his second straight winner.

Carroll is the first Crunch player this season to record three points in consecutive games. After beginning the season on a PTO, Carroll signed an AHL contract with the Crunch on Dec. 7. He has 13 points (8g, 5a) in 24 games, and he leads the Crunch with three game-winning goals, plus the team’s only shootout game-winner.

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Forward Jack Finley logged back-to-back multi-point performances last weekend in Toronto. The second-year-pro picked up a goal and assist on Saturday and then notched two assists on Sunday for his first two multi-point games of the season.

Finley scored a highlight-reel goal to tie the score in the second period and then had the lone assist on Joe Carroll’s go-ahead goal in the third. The 21-year-old collected a pair of primary assists, including one on the overtime winner.

After missing the start of the season due to injury, Finley has seven points (2g, 5a) in 16 games played.  

THREE DEFENSEMEN MAKE NHL DEBUTS

Three Crunch defensemen made their NHL debuts last week for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Declan Carlile debuted Thursday in Minnesota and finished with 11:27 of ice time and a plus-1 rating in a Lightning win.

Jack Thompson and Emil Lilleberg both saw their first NHL action Saturday in Boston. Thompson finished with 11:39 of ice time while Lilleberg had 11:48 in Tampa Bay’s loss. 

Carlile and Thompson are back with the Crunch while Lilleberg remains with the Lightning.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Friday, January 12 vs. Springfield | 7 p.m.       

The Crunch play their first home game in 19 days to begin a six-game homestand – their longest of the season. It’s the first of two matches between the teams this season after the Crunch swept the two-game set last year. Their last match-up was Dec. 16, 2022, a 4-2 Crunch win in Syracuse. Springfield enters the week on a five-game winless streak (0-3-1-1) to fall to sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 16-12-3-2 record.

Saturday, January 13 vs. Cleveland | 7 p.m.       

The Crunch and Monsters finish their season series Saturday at Upstate Medical University Arena. The teams split two games in Cleveland in October before the Monsters won in overtime the week before Christmas. The Monsters lead the North Division and are in second place overall in the AHL with 47 points.

Monday, January 15 vs. Utica | 1 p.m.       

The Crunch’s annual MLK Day matinee features a match with the Utica Comets. It’s the seventh time since 2016-17 they are hosting an afternoon game on the holiday. Syracuse is 6-0-0-0 and has outscored opponents 20-6 in that span, including last year’s 5-1 win against the Comets. Utica has lost three straight shootouts and is 0-5-0-3 in the last eight games.

WEEK 13 RESULTS

Saturday, January 6 | Game 32 at Toronto | W, 6-3

Syracuse        1 1 4 – 6     Shots: 7-9-8-24            PP: 1/4

Toronto         2 0 1 – 3     Shots: 9-21-10-40       PP: 1/5

1st Period-Dumont 9 (Carroll, Goncalves), 14:40 (PP). 2nd Period-Finley 2 (Groshev, Carlile), 6:08. 2nd Period-Carroll 5 (Finley), 3:23. Carroll 6 (Unassisted), 4:59. Koepke 5 (Stephens, Crozier), 15:53. Koepke 6 (Merelä), 19:54 (EN). . . . Tomkins 6-4-1 (40 shots-37 saves) A-6,429

Sunday, January 7 | Game 33 at Toronto | W, 4-3 (OT)

Syracuse        2 0 1 1 – 4     Shots: 6-2-12-1-21  PP: 1/4

Toronto         0 2 1 0 – 3     Shots: 12-6-9-0-27  PP: 1/5

1st Period-Merelä 3 (Goncalves, Massicotte), 3:48. Groshev 9 (Finley, Carroll), 8:21. 3rd Period-Carroll 7 (Goncalves, Carlile), 8:50. Overtime-Carroll 8 (Finley), 2:49. . . . Alnefelt 5-5-3 (27 shots-24 saves) A-5,371

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play17.7% (23-for-130) 21st (21st)
Penalty Kill85.0% (125-for-147)T-5th (5th)
Goals For3.15 GFA (104)14th (T-16th)
Goals Against2.73 GAA (90)5th (4th)
Shots For27.97 SF/G (923)27th (25th)
Shots Against26.42 SA/G (872)2nd (2nd)
Penalty Minutes15.00 PIM/G (495)6th (6th)
Category Leader
Points30Goncalves
Goals10Robert
Assists23Goncalves
PIM66Element
Plus/Minus+17Myers
Wins6Tomkins
GAA2.46Alnefelt
Save %.904Tomkins
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Cleveland3323910470.71211210342410-4-0-013-5-1-08-2-0-01-0-0-02-0
2. Syracuse33181122400.606104904957-4-2-111-7-0-15-3-2-02-0-0-01-2
3. Belleville31161122360.58189964428-5-1-28-6-1-06-3-1-06-0-0-01-2
4. Rochester31151231340.5481011213726-6-2-09-6-1-14-5-1-02-0-1-03-1
5. Toronto31131251320.516106944187-7-4-06-5-1-13-5-2-00-5-2-01-1
6. Laval32131432310.4841071225537-6-1-16-8-2-18-2-0-04-0-0-02-2
7. Utica29101333260.44884943325-7-1-35-6-2-02-5-0-30-5-0-30-3
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