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 Syracuse Crunch

Syracuse Crunch Weekly - Vol. 30, No. 19

February 20, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Syracuse Crunch News Release


CRUNCH SPLIT ROAD GAMES IN WEEK 19

The Crunch took to the road for a pair of games in Week 19, beginning a three-game road swing.

Syracuse played a back-and-forth affair on Wednesday in Belleville before eventually falling to the Senators, 6-5. The Crunch built a 3-1 lead in the second period before the Senators rallied for the comeback win; it marked the most goals allowed by the Crunch this season and was the first regulation loss all year when they scored at least three goals (24-1-2-1).

The Crunch quickly got back to their identity and defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 2-1, at the PPL Center Saturday night. They are 7-3-0-0 all-time at the PPL Center.

The Crunch are 27-15-3-2 entering the final weekend of February, which features the club's second three-in-three of the season.

TOP PERFORMERS

Defenseman Declan Carlile extended his scoring streak to a career-best four games with assists in both games last week. The 23-year-old has 19 points (5g, 14a) in 47 games this season. He is two assists and five points away from matching his rookie totals, set in 69 games last season.

The Merrimack College product, who signed as an undrafted free agent on March 16, 2022, has skated in 126 of a possible 134 games since debuting with the Crunch on April 1, 2022. The Hartland, Michigan native also made his NHL debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this season on Jan. 4 at Minnesota.

***

Cole Koepke kept his hot hand with goals in both Crunch games in Week 19. The third-year-pro tallied to give the Crunch a 3-1 lead in Wednesday's match in Belleville. He then cashed in with a power-play goal early in the third period Saturday at Lehigh Valley. That goal gave the Crunch a 2-1 lead and held up as the game-winning goal, his third of the season.

Koepke has scored goals in three straight games since Feb. 10; it's the first time he has scored in three consecutive games since he tallied in a career-high five straight Dec. 11, 2021-Jan. 8, 2022. The Hermantown, Minnesota native now leads the Crunch with 13 goals while contributing 24 points in 36 games.

***

Hugo Alnefelt earned a win in his lone start for the Crunch last week. The 22-year-old grabbed his team-leading 11th win of the season, improving to 11-5-4 in 21 games played. The Swede is 7-0-1 in his last eight decisions dating to his win Jan. 7 in Toronto.

The third-year-pro has posted a 2.28 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage this season; he has a 2.08 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage during his 7-0-1 streak.

His 77 games played and 38 career Crunch wins are seventh most in team history. He is 38-24-10 since joining the Crunch for the 2021-22 season.

UPCOMING WEEK

Friday, February 23 at Utica | 7 p.m.

The Crunch begin their second three-in-three weekend of the season Friday at Utica in the third of three straight road games for the Crunch. The teams, who will rematch Sunday in Syracuse, have split the first 10 games of their season series. The Comets have won three of the five meetings in Utica, including a 3-1 win in the most recent match (Jan. 27). The Comets enter the week in last place in the North Division with a 20-20-4-3 record and 47 points.

Saturday, February 24 vs. Belleville | 7 p.m.

The Crunch return home for the middle game of their three-game weekend as they search for their first victory against the Belleville Senators. The Crunch are 0-2-1-1 this season against the Senators and they lost a pair of home games on back-to-back nights prior to the All-Star Break (Feb. 2-3).

After losing at home to Hershey on Monday, the Senators (23-20-2-3) spend the rest of the week in New York, facing Rochester Wednesday and Friday before wrapping up their week in Syracuse.

Sunday, February 25 vs. Utica | 5 p.m.

The Crunch finish the weekend with their only Sunday home game of the season when they face the Comets. It concludes the team's second three-in-three weekend; Syracuse went 1-2-0-0 in its first instance (Dec. 8-10) with a pair of losses against the Comets. The Crunch are 2-1-0-0 on Sundays this season. They have won their last two home games versus the Comets and they are 3-2-0-0 at home in the series.

WEEK 19 RESULTS

Wednesday, February 14 | Game 46 at Belleville | L, 6-5

Syracuse 0 3 2 - 5 Shots: 7-9-13-29 PP: 0/1

Belleville 1 1 4 - 6 Shots: 4-11-9-24 PP: 0/2

2nd Period-Finley 7 (Fortier, Goncalves), 0:48. Edmonds 5 (Carlile, Allard), 6:29. Koepke 12 (Thompson, Day), 7:13. 3rd Period-Merelä 9 (Stephens, Koepke), 2:42. Day 3 (Carroll, Finley), 19:59. . . . Tomkins 9-8-1 (24 shots-18 saves) A-1,768

Saturday, February 17 | Game 47 at Lehigh Valley | W, 2-1

Syracuse 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 8-14-4-26 PP: 2/4

Lehigh Valley 0 1 0 - 1 Shots: 7-9-10-26 PP: 1/4

2nd Period-Dumont 10 (Merelä, Carlile), 11:26 (PP). 3rd Period-Koepke 13 (Thompson, Goncalves), 1:32 (PP). . . . Alnefelt 11-5-4 (26 shots-25 saves) A-8,758

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)

Power Play 17.8% (30-for-169) 20th (22nd)

Penalty Kill 84.3% (161-for-191) T-5th (5th)

Goals For 3.13 GFA (147) T-13th (T-14th)

Goals Against 2.72 GAA (128) 5th (4th)

Shots For 29.02 SF/G (1364) 21st (20th)

Shots Against 26.53 SA/G (1247) 2nd (2nd)

Penalty Minutes 13.13 PIM/G (617) 16th (14th)

Category Leader

Points 40 Goncalves

Goals 13 Koepke

Assists 33 Goncalves

PIM 82 Element

Plus/Minus +23 Myers

Wins 11 Alnefelt

GAA 2.28 Alnefelt

Save % .912 Alnefelt

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

1. Cleveland 48 29 15 2 2 62 0.646 165 154 634 14-9-1-0 15-6-1-2 4-4-1-1 3-0-0-1 3-2

2. Syracuse 47 27 15 3 2 59 0.628 147 128 617 13-6-3-1 14-9-0-1 6-3-1-0 1-0-0-0 2-2

3. Rochester 47 24 17 5 1 54 0.574 154 168 526 10-9-3-0 14-8-2-1 5-3-2-0 1-0-0-0 3-1

4. Toronto 47 21 16 8 2 52 0.553 165 146 658 9-9-6-0 12-7-2-2 4-2-3-1 1-0-2-0 2-2

5. Belleville 48 23 20 2 3 51 0.531 139 156 778 12-9-1-2 11-11-1-1 5-5-0-0 0-1-0-0 1-3

6. Laval 48 21 20 5 2 49 0.510 167 174 818 12-8-2-1 9-12-3-1 3-6-1-0 0-1-1-0 2-2

7. Utica 47 20 20 4 3 47 0.500 148 156 510 10-11-1-3 10-9-3-0 6-4-0-0 1-0-0-0 1-3


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