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Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release November 28, 2023

CRUNCH CLOSE NOVEMBER WITH TWO STRAIGHT WINS  

The Crunch earned a pair of home wins in three games surrounding Thanksgiving in Week 7. 

Syracuse dropped its second straight game, a 4-1 loss in Utica against the Comets Wednesday night. The team responded with a 3-0 shutout win over the Comets two nights later in Syracuse, backstopped by a 26-save shutout by Brandon Halverson. They made it back-to-back wins Saturday with a 4-3 shootout victory against the Laval Rocket; the Crunch are now 1-2 in games decided in a shootout this season.

The Crunch have won three straight home games – something they only accomplished twice last season – and they enter the week tied for second place in the North Division with 22 points (10-5-0-2). 

TOP PERFORMERS

Forward Gage Goncalves picked up his 100th career AHL point during a three-point performance Saturday versus Laval. The third-year pro is at 101 points (33g, 68a) in 160 career games.

Goncalves has six career games with at least three points. Saturday, the 22-year-old grabbed assists on the team’s first two goals before potting a game-tying goal in the third period. 

Goncalves leads the Crunch with 11 assists, and he is tied for second on the team with 14 points in 17 games.

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Defenseman Jack Thompson gobbled up three points last week to pace Crunch blueliners. The 21-year-old logged his fourth career multi-point game Friday versus Utica. He opened the scoring with a power-play goal before assisting on Declan Carlile’s second-period tally. Thompson’s goal stood as his second career game-winning goal.

After grabbing another assist on Gage Goncalves’ game-tying goal Saturday, Thompson stands at 12 points (2g, 10a) in 17 games. He is tied for third in the AHL with nine power-play points (2g, 7a).   

DUMONT REACHES 700

Crunch captain Gabriel Dumont became the 86th player in AHL history to skate in 700 league games last Friday. He has appeared in 244 Crunch games, which ranks seventh in team history.

The 33-year-old is in his 14th pro season, which began full-time in 2010-11. He spent six campaigns in the Montreal organization with their AHL affiliate (Hamilton and St. John’s). This is his sixth season – and fourth as captain – in Syracuse (2016-19 and 2021-24). He also spent two AHL seasons in Iowa (2019-21).

HALVERSON MAKES GOOD ON TRYOUT  

Goaltender Brandon Halverson earned his first career AHL shutout Friday against the Comets. The 27-year-old made 26 saves in a 3-0 win to improve to 4-1-0 this season with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. 

Halverson, who signed a professional tryout (PTO) with the Crunch on Nov. 7, has been signed to a two-year AHL contract through the 2024-25 season.

His four wins lead Crunch goaltenders.


UPCOMING WEEK 

Friday, December 1 vs. Toronto | 7 p.m.                  

The Crunch and Toronto Marlies play a home-and-home series, beginning Friday at Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse. Prior to Friday, the Marlies are the only team the Crunch have yet to play among their North Division foes.

The teams will square off eight times in 2023-24, up from six matches last season, which were split three wins apiece. The Marlies won two of their three visits to Syracuse last season, including one in overtime on Oct. 26, 2022.

Saturday, December 2 at Toronto | 4 p.m.                  

The team’s bus to Toronto for a late afternoon rematch at Coca-Cola Coliseum on Saturday. The Crunch earned two wins in three trips to Toronto last season, including a 16-save, 1-0 shutout, by Hugo Alnefelt in their most recent head-to-head game on Feb. 26, 2023.

The Marlies enter the week winless in their last four games (0-2-1-1), including three straight losses on home ice (0-2-1-0).

WEEK 7 RESULTS

Wednesday, November 22 | Game 15 at Utica | L, 4-1

Syracuse        0 0 1 – 1     Shots: 6-11-9-26         PP: 0/4

Utica               1 3 0 – 4     Shots: 13-11-5-29       PP: 1/4

3rd Period-Usau 4 (Myers, Day), 15:10. . . . Halverson 3-1-0 (23 shots-19 saves); Alnefelt ND (6 shots-6 saves) A-3,384

Friday, November 24 | Game 16 vs. Utica | W, 3-0

Utica               0 0 0 – 0     Shots: 7-9-10-26         PP: 0/5

Syracuse        1 1 1 – 3     Shots: 10-8-7-25         PP: 1/5

1st Period-Thompson 2 (Robert, Dumont), 13:58 (PP). 2nd Period-Carlile 2 (Groshev, Thompson), 0:24. 3rd Period-Merelä 1 (Allard, Fortier), 11:14. . . . Halverson 4-1-0 (26 shots-26 saves) A-5,478

Saturday, November 25 | Game 17 vs. Laval | W, 4-3 (SO)

Laval               2 1 0 0 0 – 2     Shots: 14-6-4-0-0-24   PP: 0/4

Syracuse        1 1 1 0 1 – 5     Shots: 12-16-7-0-1-36 PP: 2/5

1st Period-Robert 7 (Dumont, Goncalves), 1:14 (PP). 2nd Period-Chaffee 5 (Goncalves, Lilleberg), 4:27. 3rd Period-Goncalves 3 (Robert, Thompson), 7:28 (PP). Shootout-Laval 0 (Roy NG, Farrell NG, Stephens NG), Syracuse 1 (Chaffee NG, Carroll G). . . . Tomkins 1-0-0 (24 shots-21 saves) A-5,143

CategoryAverage/TotalAHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play20.3% (15-for-74) 8th (11th)
Penalty Kill85.2% (69-for-71)T-10th (14th)
Goals For3.59 GFA (61)4th (4th)
Goals Against2.88 GAA (49)T-10th (T-16th)
Shots For30.82 SF/G (524)11th (7th)
Shots Against26.00 SA/G (442)2nd (3rd)
Penalty Minutes15.06 PIM/G (256)6th (7th)
Category Leader
Points16Robert
Goals8Groshev
Assists11Goncalves
PIM33Dumont
Plus/Minus+10Myers
Wins4Halverson
GAA2.69Alnefelt
Save %.896Halverson
North DivisionGPWLOTLSOLPTSPCTGFGAPIMHOMEROADLAST 10STREAKS/O
1. Cleveland1712410250.73559512045-3-0-07-1-1-07-2-1-04-0-0-02-0
2. Syracuse1710502220.64761492565-2-0-15-3-0-15-3-0-22-0-0-01-2
3. Rochester1710520220.64765721895-1-2-05-4-0-05-4-1-00-1-0-01-0
4. Toronto178531200.58859482774-3-2-04-2-1-14-4-1-10-2-1-11-1
5. Utica156630150.50044451613-2-1-03-4-2-05-4-1-00-2-0-00-0
6. Laval185931140.38963773093-5-1-02-4-2-14-3-2-10-2-2-10-1
7. Belleville166811140.43841582074-4-0-12-4-1-03-6-1-00-4-1-01-1
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