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Crunch Weekly

February 18, 2020 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch News Release

LAST WEEK

Wed., Feb. 12 - Crunch at Binghamton - W, 1-0

Fri., Feb. 14 - Crunch vs. Utica - W, 3-2

Sat., Feb. 15 - Crunch vs. Rochester - SOL, 4-3

Mon., Feb. 17 - Crunch at Belleville - L, 5-2

THIS WEEK

Fri., Feb. 21 - Crunch vs. Cleveland - 7 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 22 - Crunch vs. Lehigh Valley - 7 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 23 - Crunch at Springfield - 5:05 p.m.

CRUNCH CLOSE PLAYOFF GAP TO ONE POINT

The Crunch grabbed five of eight possible points during a four games in six days stretch to pull within one point of the final North Division playoff spot with 22 games remaining on the Crunch's schedule.

Syracuse began the week with its first shutout win of the season, getting 33 saves from Scott Wedgewood in a 1-0 win Wednesday night at Binghamton. The goalie collected a second straight win Friday night in a 3-2 victory over Utica. The Crunch pushed their points streak to a season-high six games (4-0-0-2) with a shootout loss to the Rochester Americans Saturday before that streak ended in a 5-2 loss at Belleville Monday.

The Crunch prepare for their third of five three-in-three weekends in Week 20.

TOP PERFORMERS

Ross Colton led the Crunch in scoring with four points (1g, 3a) in four games in Week 19. After being held scoreless in the Crunch's 1-0 win at Binghamton, the second-year pro collected an assist in each of the next three games. He also scored his 10th goal of the season Monday afternoon, giving him his eighth multi-point performance of the season; the goal was his first since Jan. 18, snapping a 12-game drought.

With six points (1g, 5a) in his last six games, the New Jersey native ranks fourth on the Crunch with 35 points (10g, 25a) in 54 games. He finished his rookie season with 31 points (14g, 17a) in 66 games.

***

Defenseman Ben Thomas put up three points in Week 19, finishing second on the team during the week. He produced a multi-point outing (1g, 1a) Friday against Utica and logged an assist Saturday against the Amerks. Friday's outing was his fourth multi-point performance of the season and it snapped a nine-game scoring drought.

The fourth-year blueliner ranks third among the team's defensemen with 16 points (3g, 13a). He has already matched his total from last season, but he has done so in 19 fewer games. With 0.33 points per game, he is slightly ahead of his career-best (0.31), which he produced in 2017-18 with 22 points in 72 games.

A PAIR OF TWENTIES

Crunch forwards Gemel Smith and Alex Barré-Boulet became the third pair of teammates to reach 20 goals this season when the duo hit that mark last week. Smith netted his 20th goal in Friday's win against Utica, but he left Saturday's game with an injury and did not play Monday. Barré-Boulet notched his 20th tally Monday against the Senators.

It is Smith's first 20-goal season in his five-year AHL career; his previous career-high was 16 goals last year for Providence. Barré-Boulet has reached 20 goals in each of his first two seasons; last year he tied with Carter Verhaeghe for the league lead with 34 goals.

Smith and Barré-Boulet joins Belleville rookies Josh Norris (28) and Alex Formenton (23), and Utica's Reid Boucher (28) and Justin Bailey (24) as teammate 20-goal scorers.

UPCOMING: CLEVELAND, LEHIGH VALLEY, SPRINGFIELD

The Crunch start a three-in-three weekend with back-to-back home games against Cleveland and Lehigh Valley. They are 3-0-0-0 against the Monsters this season, but the teams haven't met since Nov. 16, a 4-2 Crunch win. Syracuse host the Phantoms Saturday for Pride Night, with the Crunch wearing specialty jerseys. The Phantoms bested the Crunch, 5-4, Jan. 15.

The three-in-three ends in Springfield for the second of two meetings with the T-Birds, who beat the Crunch, 4-1, Jan. 17 in Syracuse.

All three games this week will wrap up the respective season series with their three opponents.

WEEK 19 RESULTS

Wednesday, Feb. 12 | Game 51 at Binghamton | W, 1-0

Syracuse 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 7-6-5-18 PP: 0/4

Binghamton 0 0 0 - 0 Shots: 12-10-11-33 PP: 0/7

1st Period-Walcott 7 (Unassisted), 0:13. . . . Wedgewood 10-6-2 (33 shots-33 saves). A-2,219

Friday, Feb. 14 | Game 52 vs. Utica | W, 3-2

Utica 0 0 2 - 2 Shots: 6-7-8-21 PP: 0/1

Syracuse 1 1 1 - 3 Shots: 17-16-9-42 PP: 1/3

1st Period-Thomas 3 (Somppi), 2:03. 2nd Period-Smith 20 (Raddysh, Colton), 3:32 (PP). 3rd Period-Raddysh 16 (Katchouk, Thomas), 15:40. . . . Wedgewood 11-6-2 (21 shots-19 saves). A-5,488

Saturday, Feb. 15 | Game 53 vs. Rochester | SOL, 4-3

Rochester 0 2 1 0 1 - 4 Shots: 8-16-13-1-1-39 PP: 1/5

Syracuse 0 1 2 0 0 - 3 Shots: 1-8-7-2-0-18 PP: 0/2

2nd Period-Somppi 5 (Walcott), 2:44. 3rd Period-Katchouk 11 (Martel, Stephens), 0:38. Volkov 7 (Thomas, Colton), 1:13. Shootout-Rochester 2 (Oglevie G, Leier NG, Mittelstadt G), Syracuse 0 (Volkov NG, Barré-Boulet NG). . . . Martin 8-11-4 (38 shots-35 saves). A-5,991

Monday, Feb. 17 | Game 54 at Belleville | L, 5-2

Syracuse 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 12-6-12-30 PP: 1/7

Belleville 0 3 2 - 5 Shots: 7-11-8-26 PP: 1/5

2nd Period-Colton 10 (Barré-Boulet, Foote), 0:33 (PP). 3rd Period-Barré-Boulet 20 (Colton, Joseph), 3:21. . . . Wedgewood 11-7-2 (26 shots-21 saves). A-3,766

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)

Power Play 19.9% (46-for-231) 9th (9th)

Penalty Kill 82.3% (195-for-237) T-12th (14th)

Goals For 3.28 GFA (177) T-9th (T-6th)

Goals Against 3.54 GAA (191) T-28th (T-29th)

Shots For 29.56 SF/G (1596) 19th (19th)

Shots Against 28.89 SA/G (1560) 11th (8th)

Penalty Minutes 13.22 PIM/G (714) 10th (12th)

Category Leader

Points 46 Barré-Boulet

Goals 20 Barré-Boulet, Smith

Assists 26 Barré-Boulet

PIM 78 Walcott

Plus/Minus +9 Gaunce

Wins 11 Wedgewood

GAA 3.00 Wedgewood

Save % .891 Wedgewood

Single game tickets and packages for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial 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.comor follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.


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