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Crunch Topped by Phantoms, 5-4

January 15, 2020 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch News Release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. --- The Syracuse Crunch were topped by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 5-4, tonight at the PPL Center.

After exchanging goals in the first period, the Crunch lead through most of the second period, but the Phantoms rallied to build a lead and take the victory. The Crunch are now 18-17-2-2 on the season.

Goaltender Spencer Martin stopped 28-of-33 shots in net for the Crunch, while Jean-Francois Berube turned aside 23-of-27. Syracuse converted on 2-of-4 power play opportunities and went 5-for-7 on the penalty kill.

The Crunch and Phantoms exchanged goals in the opening frame and ended the period tied, 2-2. The Phantoms opened scoring 3:15 into the game. Maksim Sushko skated the puck into the zone down the right wing and fired a wrister off the far post and in with the help of Eric Knodel and Kyle Criscuolo. Syracuse knotted the game with a power-play goal at 6:13. Ross Colton one-timed a feed from Ben Thomas from the top of the right circle. Cory Conacher tallied the secondary assist.

Lehigh Valley regained the lead at 7:47 when Morgan Frost jammed in a shot down low off assists from Pascal Laberge and Chris Bigras. Just nine seconds later, the Crunch evened the score again. Danick Martel sent the puck ahead for Boris Katchouk to speed down the left wing. He sauced a feed over for Alex Barre-Boulet to knock in out of midair.

Syracuse took the lead 51 seconds into the middle stanza. Taylor Raddysh centered a pass for Martel to send bar down as he came streaking down the slot. Thomas made it a multi-point night on the play. The Phantoms tied it up 3-3 with 1:22 remaining in the second period when Max Willman capitalized on a giveaway out front.

Lehigh Valley regained the lead with a power-play goal 3:19 into the final frame. Eric Knodel dropped a pass back in his own zone for Morgan Frost to skate down the left wing and beat Martin five-hole. Berube tallied a point on the goal. They built a two-goal lead with another power-play tally late in the third. Greg Carey gloved down a pass from Cal O'Reilly and shoveled in a backhander. Chris Bigras recorded the secondary helper.

Conacher one-timed a feed from Barre-Boulet on the power play to pull the Crunch within one with 2:07 remaining in the game, but the Crunch were unable to complete the comeback. Colton earned his second point of the night on the final goal.

The Crunch return home to host the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday at 7 p.m.

Ticket packages and single game tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit or follow the club on Facebook (, Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.

Crunchables: Ross Colton is on a four-game points streak (3g, 4a)...Alex Barre-Boulet has goals in back-to-back games...Cory Conacher has points in four consecutive games (2g, 5a). He is the fifth Crunch player in franchise history to reach 200 points with the team...The Crunch are 0-4-1-1 when tied after two periods.

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