Fri., March 6 - Crunch at Toronto - L, 5-2
Sat., March 7 - Crunch at Toronto - W, 2-1
Wed., March 11 - Crunch at Utica - 7 p.m.
Fri., March 13 - Crunch at Rochester - 7:05 p.m.
Sat., March 14 - Crunch vs. Belleville - 7 p.m.
CRUNCH SPLIT WEEKEND IN TORONTO
The Crunch earned one win in their two-game weekend series at Coca-Cola Coliseum against the Toronto Marlies in Week 22. Syracuse was bumped out of a playoff position after the Binghamton Devils swept a three-in-three weekend. The Crunch are three points behind the Devils with 15 games to play in the regular season.
The Crunch slipped up Friday night in Toronto, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Marlies. It was just their third regulation loss since Feb. 1. The team responded with a tightly contested, 2-1 win Saturday night for their third win in four matches against the Marlies this season.
Syracuse has the most difficult remaining schedule in the AHL, with their opponents combining for a 0.601 points percentage. This week, the Crunch face the top three teams in the North Division-Utica, Rochester and Belleville-over a four-day stretch.
Taylor Raddysh scored a goal in both Crunch games over the weekend, and he finished with three points (2g, 1a) in two games against the Marlies. The 22-year-old netted a power-play goal in Friday's loss before adding a goal and assist in Saturday's 2-1 win. His deflection goal four minutes into the third period turned into the game-winner for Syracuse.
With 14 goals in 23 games since the start of 2020, Raddysh has established a new career-high with 19 goals this season. His 19 goals in 61 games top the 18 tallies in 70 games he recorded as a rookie last season. His 19 goals rank third on the team, while his 35 points are fifth on the Crunch.
Goaltender Spencer Martin earned the lone Crunch win in Week 22 with a 31-save performance Saturday night in Toronto. The win brought Martin back to the 0.500 mark this season (11-11-5) for the first time since he was 5-5-0 Dec. 13.
The 24-year-old has a 4-0-2 record in his last six starts dating to Feb. 7. In that span, he has posted a 2.13 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. He has allowed three goals or fewer in 11 straight appearances dating to Jan. 17, lowering his goals-against average for the season to 3.07.
Gemel Smith logged his 11th multi-point game of the season Saturday night against the Marlies. He tied the game with a second-period strike on a rebound, and then he set up the eventual game-winning goal in the third period.
The two points over the weekend give the Toronto native a career-high tying 40 points for the second straight season. He has a career-best 22 goals along with 18 assists in 49 games.
JOINING THE PRO RANKS
The Crunch signed Merrimack College forward Sami Tavernier to an amateur tryout last week and he made his pro debut Friday at Toronto. He was held off the scoresheet in the Crunch loss.
UPCOMING: UTICA, ROCHESTER, BELLEVILLE
The Crunch take on the top three teams in the North Division in succession in Week 23.
The Crunch head to Utica Wednesday night for their third straight road game. It's the eighth of 12 matches in the regular season series; including Wednesday night, 1/3 of the Crunch's remaining schedule is against the Comets. Syracuse is 3-3-0-1 in the first seven games of the Galaxy Cup series and the teams are separated by six points in the North Division standings. The Comets have won six of their last seven games and they ride a three-game winning streak into Wednesday's match.
Syracuse ends its run of four straight road games Friday in Rochester against the Amerks. It is the 10th head-to-head meeting this season, with three more on tap, including Friday. The Amerks have won six of the nine against the Crunch, but Syracuse does maintain a 3-3-2-1 mark against the Amerks. Rochester earned a weekend sweep over division-leading Belleville to move within six points of first place.
The week ends with a Saturday home matchup against the Belleville Senators. Despite losing twice to Rochester, the Senators (38-19-4-1) remain tied for the top mark in the Eastern Conference. Their success has mainly come on the road, where the Sens are a league-best 23-4-3-0 this season, including a 1-0-1-0 mark in Syracuse. Belleville has won the last three matches against the Crunch by scores of 7-3, 8-2 and 5-2.
WEEK 22 RESULTS
Friday, March 6 | Game 60 at Toronto | L, 5-2
Syracuse 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 5-5-11-21 PP: 2/6
Toronto 2 1 2 - 5 Shots: 9-9-10-28 PP: 2/6
2nd Period-Barré-Boulet 27 (Gaunce, Joseph), 8:26 (PP). 3rd Period-Raddysh 18 (Yan, Somppi), 14:55 (PP). . . . Wedgewood 13-8-2 (27 shots-23 saves). A-4,023
Saturday, March 7 | Game 61 at Toronto | W, 2-1
Syracuse 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 14-9-6-29 PP: 0/1
Toronto 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 5-16-11-32 PP: 0/7
2nd Period-Smith 22 (Katchouk, Raddysh), 17:28. 3rd Period-Raddysh 19 (Gaunce, Smith), 4:00. . . . Martin 11-11-5 (32 shots-31 saves). A-6,723
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 20.4% (53-for-260) T-6th (8th)
Penalty Kill 82.3% (223-for-271) 15th (T-13th)
Goals For 3.26 GFA (199) 10th (10th)
Goals Against 3.43 GAA (209) 27th (T-27th)
Shots For 29.33 SF/G (1789) 21st (20th)
Shots Against 28.98 SA/G (1768) 8th (9th)
Penalty Minutes 13.26 PIM/G (809) 11th (T-11th)
Points 56 Barré-Boulet
Goals 27 Barré-Boulet
Assists 31 Colton
PIM 86 Walcott
Plus/Minus +10 Witkowski
Wins 13 Wedgewood
GAA 3.01 Wedgewood
Save % .894 Martin
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.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.
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