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 Syracuse Crunch

Syracuse Crunch Weekly - Vol. 30, No. 17

February 6, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Syracuse Crunch News Release


CRUNCH IN SECOND PLACE AT ALL-STAR BREAK

The Crunch earned three of six possible points over their final three games before the AHL All-Star Break in Week 17.

The Crunch closed out January with a 2-1 win at Rochester Wednesday night. The Crunch finished the month with an 8-2-0-0 record and improved to 3-0-0-0 at Blue Cross Arena this season. They returned home for a two-game set against Belleville. The Crunch lost the opener, 3-1, and then dropped the rematch in overtime, 4-3 to head into the All-Star Break.

The Crunch reached the All-Star Break with a 24-14-3-2 record. They have 53 points and are in second place in the North Division, just one point out of first place.

TOP PERFORMER

Cole Koepke had a hand in three of the six Crunch goals last week. Koepke picked up a primary assist on Waltteri Merelä's shorthanded goal that opened the scoring Wednesday in Rochester.

The 25-year-old notched his third career two-goal game in Saturday's overtime loss to the Senators. He opened the scoring with a deflection goal in the first period before adding a power-play goal later in the frame. Koepke became the fourth player on the Crunch to reach 10 goals this season. He has 20 points (10g, 10a) in 32 Crunch games this season. He has also added two assists in eight NHL games with Tampa Bay.

GONCALVES, THOMPSON REPRESENT CRUNCH

Forward Gage Goncalves and defenseman Jack Thompson represented the Crunch at the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic in San Jose on Sunday and Monday.

During the Skill Competition on Monday, Goncalves participated in the AHLTV Rapid Fire, Devcon Pass and Score and the Upper Deck Breakaway Relay. He helped the Eastern Conference earn points in both the Rapid Fire and the Pass and Score events.

Thompson saw action in the CCM Hardest Shot, the Devcon Pass and Score and the Upper Deck Breakaway Relay. Thompson registered 96.0 miles per hour in the Hardest Shot to help earn a point for the team with the highest overall average.

In the All-Star Challenge last night, the North Division played in three games. They tied with the eventual champion Pacific Division, defeated the Central Division in a shootout and lost to the Atlantic Division in their final game. Thompson contributed one assist.

THE "SECOND HALF" GETS UNDERWAY

With the AHL All-Star Break in the rearview mirror, the Crunch now set their sights on the final three months of the regular season. They are one point back of the Cleveland Monsters for the top spot in the North Division. Syracuse has finished in second place in two straight seasons.

Coming out of the break they have 29 games remaining - 14 at home and 15 on the road. Rochester is their most frequent opponent the rest of the way, with seven matches still on tap starting with this weekend's home-and-home series. The Crunch also have five meetings left with Belleville, four against both Utica and Toronto, two versus Laval, Lehigh Valley and Providence and one each against Hershey, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Springfield.

UPCOMING WEEK

Friday, February 9 at Rochester | 7:05 p.m.

The Crunch come out of the All-Star Break with the opening leg of a home-and-home series against the Rochester Americans Friday at Blue Cross Arena. The Crunch are 3-0-1-1 against the Amerks this season, including a 3-0-0-0 mark in Rochester. They are 17-6-2-0 over the last five seasons on the road against the Amerks. Rochester hit the break with a win in Laval and the Amerks are 21-16-3-1 this season, tying them for third in the North Division with 46 points.

Saturday, February 10 vs. Rochester | 7 p.m.

The Crunch and Amerks shift the home-and-home series to Syracuse Saturday night in the seventh match of the season series. In the two previous games at Upstate Medical University Arena, the Amerks have won in a shootout (Nov. 4) and in overtime (Dec. 23). Rochester is 15-9-1-0 in Syracuse over the last five seasons.

WEEK 17 RESULTS

Wednesday, January 31 | Game 41 at Rochester | W, 2-1

Syracuse 1 1 0 - 2 Shots: 5-9-4-18 PP: 0/2

Rochester 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 10-4-9-23 PP: 0/4

1st Period-Merelä 7 (Koepke, Myers), 7:43. 2nd Period-Chaffee 12 (Robert, Goncalves), 19:45. . . . Alnefelt 9-5-3 (23 shots-22 saves) A-3,516

Friday, February 2 | Game 42 vs. Belleville | L, 3-1

Belleville 0 2 1 - 3 Shots: 3-12-4-19 PP: 1/2

Syracuse 0 0 1 - 1 Shots: 7-5-15-27 PP: 0/1

3rd Period-Groshev 10 (Day, Robert), 16:15. . . . Tomkins 8-7-1 (18 shots-16 saves) A-5,216

Saturday, February 3 | Game 43 vs. Belleville | OTL, 4-3

Belleville 2 0 1 1 - 4 Shots: 9-5-11-7-32 PP: 0/0

Syracuse 2 0 1 0 - 3 Shots: 18-7-13-2-40 PP: 1/3

1st Period-Koepke 9 (Stephens, Walcott), 3:05. Koepke 10 (Thompson, Goncalves), 16:20 (PP). 3rd Period-Finley 6 (Stephens, Myers), 6:34. . . . Alnefelt 9-5-4 (32 shots-28 saves) A-6,077

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)

Power Play 17.6% (28-for-159) 19th (T-20th)

Penalty Kill 84.7% (150-for-177) 4th (5th)

Goals For 3.12 GFA (134) T-13th (12th)

Goals Against 2.72 GAA (117) 3th (5th)

Shots For 29.02 SF/G (1248) 20th (21st)

Shots Against 26.77 SA/G (1151) 3rd (3rd)

Penalty Minutes 13.40 PIM/G (576) 13th (11th)

Category Leader

Points 37 Goncalves

Goals 12 Chaffee

Assists 30 Goncalves

PIM 77 Element

Plus/Minus +24 Myers

Wins 9 Alnefelt

GAA 2.37 Alnefelt

Save % .909 Alnefelt

North Division GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT GF GA PIM HOME ROAD LAST 10 STREAK S/O

1. Cleveland 42 26 14 1 1 54 0.643 145 134 566 13-8-0-0 13-6-1-1 4-5-0-1 1-0-0-0 2-1

2. Syracuse 43 24 14 3 2 53 0.616 134 117 576 12-6-3-1 12-8-0-1 6-3-1-0 0-1-1-0 2-2

3. Toronto 41 19 14 6 2 46 0.561 150 124 571 8-7-4-0 11-7-2-2 6-2-1-1 3-0-1-1 2-2

4. Rochester 41 21 16 3 1 46 0.561 134 149 476 9-8-2-0 12-8-1-1 6-4-0-0 1-0-0-0 3-1

5. Belleville 42 20 17 2 3 45 0.536 120 135 733 10-6-1-2 10-11-1-1 3-6-0-1 2-0-0-0 1-3

6. Laval 43 19 18 4 2 44 0.512 150 157 735 12-8-2-1 7-10-2-1 6-4-0-0 0-1-0-0 2-2

7. Utica 42 18 17 4 3 43 0.512 131 139 460 10-9-1-3 8-8-3-0 5-4-1-0 1-0-0-0 1-3


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