Fri., Oct. 4 - Crunch at Rochester - OTL, 3-2
Fri., Oct. 11 - Crunch at Cleveland - 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 12 - Crunch at Cleveland - 7 p.m.
CRUNCH CLAIM A ROAD POINT IN SEASON OPENER
The Crunch began their 26th season with a season-opening, 3-2 overtime loss to the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena. Syracuse is now 10-10-2-1 with three ties in season openers dating back to the Crunch's 7-7 tie with Albany in their inaugural game Sept. 30, 1994. During the Lightning era, the Crunch are now 3-3-1-1 in eight season openers.
In the game, the Crunch rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits, but lost with 43 seconds remaining in overtime for their first season-opening overtime loss since a 4-3 setback in Binghamton in 2013-14. The only other past-regulation loss in the Crunch's first game of the season during the Lightning affiliation came in 2012-13 (the first year of the affiliation), when the Crunch suffered a 6-5 shootout defeat to Rochester.
Despite allowing three goals, Crunch netminder Louis Domingue was a bright spot for the Crunch last week. Now in his third season in the Lightning organization, Domingue made his first AHL start since March 16, 2018, denying 30-of-33 shots he faced to snag a point for the Crunch. The 27-year-old was sharp in net and made some acrobatic stops, including his best save late in overtime, which extended the game for the Crunch.
The 27-year-old spent last season in Tampa Bay as the backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy and posted a 21-5-0 record in 26 appearances. He set a Lightning franchise record with 11 straight wins from Nov. 29 to Feb. 19 and his 21 wins set a new career high.
In 2017-18 with the Crunch, he was 13-5-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage; he won seven-straight starts from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15.
Domingue also chipped in with an assist on Danick Martel game-tying goal in the third period. It was Domingue's third career AHL assist and his first since the 2013-14 season when he had two with the Portland Pirates.
Danick Martel potted a goal in his first game of the season for the Crunch. It was his first goal since May 9, 2018 in the Atlantic Division Finals against Charlotte. The 24-year-old was limited to 13 games last season between the Crunch and Lightning. In Tampa Bay, Martel was the 13th forward and only dressed in nine games, adding two assists. In a four-game conditioning assignment with the Crunch, he added one assist.
The Drummondville, Quebec native has skated in 204 career AHL games-199 with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms-and has 122 career points (69g, 53a). Martel has played on opening night in the AHL four times in his career and he has scored at least one goal in all four games; he has tallied seven goals in those four games, including an opening night hat trick for the Phantoms in 2017-18.
Cory Conacher opened the season with a power-play goal for the Crunch's first goal of the season. The veteran winger is back for his fifth season with the Crunch. After a 64 point regular season last year, the 29-year-old ranks fifth in franchise history for points with 168 (59g, 109a). His 0.928 points per game ranks third among that group.
Conacher would need 74 points this season to match Brad Moran's franchise record at 241 points.
UPCOMING: GAMES 2 & 3 AT CLEVELAND | OCT. 11-12
The Crunch continue their season-opening four-game road trip with a pair of matches in Cleveland against the Monsters. The two teams met in last year's North Division Semifinals, where the Monsters upset the Crunch in four games to advance to the North Division Finals.
Friday marks the home opener for the Monsters, who began the season with a two-game sweep of the Laval Rocket at Place Bell. They started the year with a 3-2 win over the Rocket then followed up with a 4-1 win the next day.
Like last season, this year's season series is four games, making this the only trip to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. In last year's regular season series, the Crunch and Monsters both won two games with the Crunch going 2-0-1-1. Cleveland won the best-of-five playoff series in four games, culminating in a 3-0 shutout in Game 4 in Cleveland.
GEMEL SMITH, LUKE SCHENN JOIN CRUNCH
The Lightning bolstered the Crunch's roster this week with the additions of forward Gemel Smith and defenseman Luke Schenn.
Schenn, 29, split last season between the Anaheim and Vancouver organizations, seeing time in the NHL and AHL with San Diego and Utica. The fifth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Schenn has appeared in 734 NHL games with Toronto, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Arizona, Anaheim and Vancouver.
Smith, 25, started the season with the Lightning and logged a goal in three games. He has 21 points in 83 career NHL games, while notching 126 points in 233 AHL games. Last season with Providence, Smith had 40 points (16g, 24a) in 47 games, leading the Bruins in scoring after joining the team. Smith signed a one-year deal with the Lightning on July 8.
WEEK 1 RESULTS
Friday, Oct. 4 | Game 1 at Rochester | OTL, 3-2
Syracuse 0 1 1 0 - 2 Shots: 11-5-12-1-29 PP: 2/5
Rochester 0 1 1 1 - 3 Shots: 10-9-9-1-33 PP: 2/5
2nd Period-Conacher 1 (Masin, Mueller), 8:30 (PP). 3rd Period-Martel 1 (Domingue), 11:24. . . . Domingue 0-0-1 (33 shots-30 saves). A-5,239
Points 1 5 players
Goals 1 Conacher, Martel
Assists 1 Masin, Mueller, Domingue
PIM 2 5 players
Plus/Minus +32 Masin
Wins 25 Pasquale
GAA 2.37 Pasquale
Save % 0.916 Pasquale
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 40.0% (2-for-5) T-3rd (5th)
Penalty Kill 100% (5-for-5) T-1st (5th)
Goals For 2.00 GFA (2) T-18th (3rd)
Goals Against 3.00 GAA (3) T-14th (1st)
Shots For 29.00 SF/G (29) 18th (25th)
Shots Against 33.00 SA/G (33) T-24th (13th)
Penalty Minutes 10.00 PIM/G (10) T-15th (7th)
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 www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.
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