Syracuse Crunch Weekly
Wed. March 28 - Crunch vs. Binghamton - W, 5-1
Fri., March 30 - Crunch vs. Belleville - W, 4-1
Sat., March 31 - Crunch vs. Charlotte - L, 4-1
Fri., April 6 - Crunch at Binghamton - 7:05 p.m.
Sat., April 7 - Crunch vs. Utica - 7 p.m.
Sun., April 8 - Crunch vs. Binghamton - 5 p.m.
Crunch close in on first round home-ice advantage
The Crunch won two of three games in Week 26, pushing their winning streak to seven games before dropping the final game of the weekend. With six games remaining over the final two weeks of the season, the Crunch's magic number to lock in home-ice for the North Division Semifinals is at two. The Crunch (43-20-3-4) are in second place in the North Division with 93 points. If the Crunch finish with at least six points over the final six games, they will set a new franchise record for points percentage in a single season.
The Crunch hit 90 points for the second straight season with a 5-1 win Wednesday against Binghamton. They continued their winning streak with a 4-1 defeat of Belleville Friday, before the Charlotte Checkers knocked off the Crunch, 4-1, Saturday.
The Crunch play their final three-in-three of the season in Week 27, battling Binghamton twice and Utica once.
Mathieu Joseph, 21, led the Crunch with five points (1g, 4a) in Week 26 to earn CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month with 15 points (5g, 10a) in March. He began the week with his sixth three-point game of the season Wednesday against the Devils and then had a goal and an assist for his team-leading 12th multi-point game Friday vs. Belleville.
Joseph paces the Crunch with 52 points (15g, 37a) in 66 games, ranking third among AHL rookies. His 37 assists are most on the Crunch and tied for second among rookies. Since the Crunch began their dramatic turnaround Nov. 22, Joseph has 46 points (12g, 34a) in 51 games while the Crunch have posted a 39-11-2-2 record, the best mark in the AHL over that timeframe. Those 46 points are ninth-most in the AHL in that span.
Gabriel Dumont ended his first month back in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization with three points in three games in Week 26. He logged his sixth multi-point performance in 17 games with the Crunch to move to 20 points (4g, 16a) this season.
Dumont, 27, has recorded at least one point in 12 games of his 17 games since joining the team Feb. 21. In 13 March games, he had 15 points (3g, 12a), which was tied for fifth in the AHL.
The Crunch allowed six total goals in three games last week, sliding their season average to 2.51 goals against per game. The Crunch allowed a total of nine goals in their seven-game winning streak, while allowing two or fewer goals in all seven games.
Syracuse ranks third in the AHL with their 2.51 goals against per game, only trailing Toronto (2.36) and Providence (2.41). Only twice have the Crunch ended a season allowing 2.51 or fewer goals per game. They allowed 2.51 in 2007-08 and a franchise-best 2.41 in 2001-02.
Defenseman Cal Foote has joined the Crunch following the conclusion of his WHL season with the Kelowna Rockets. Tampa Bay's 2017 first-round pick had a career-high 70 points (19g, 51a) for the Rockets this season. He added six points (1g, 5a) in four playoff games for Kelowna.
Upcoming: Binghamton, Utica
The Crunch have their final of four three-in-three weekends in Week 27, facing Binghamton and Utica.
Syracuse bookends the weekend with games against the Devils, visiting Binghamton Friday and then hosting the Devils Sunday. It's the final two games of the season series, which the Crunch lead 7-1. Syracuse has won the last seven against Binghamton, outscoring the Devils 31-8. The Devils - eliminated from playoff contention - are tied for fifth in the North Division with 57 points (23-36-7-4).
The Crunch host the Comets Saturday on their eighth annual Pucks For Paws night. After faltering with a 1-9-0-0 stretch from Feb. 21 to March 17, the Comets enter the week on a four-game winning streak with victories in six of the last seven. Their only loss in that span was a 2-0 loss to the Crunch. The Galaxy Cup series is tied at five wins apiece. The Comets (36-24-6-4) enter the week in fourth place in the North Division.
Week 26 Results
Wednesday, March 28 | Game 68 vs. Binghamton | W, 5-1
Binghamton 0 1 0 - 1 Shots: 12-9-14-35 PP: 0/6
Syracuse 3 0 2 - 5 Shots: 9-11-15-35 PP: 2/3
1st Period-Verhaeghe 14 (Cernak, Archambault), 6:47 (PP). Archambault 11 (Lynch, Joseph), 9:28. Verhaeghe 15 (Dumont, Joseph), 19:59 (PP). 3rd Period-Volkov 19 (Joseph), 8:09. Lynch 13 (Lipanov), 10:59. . . . Ingram 19-9-2 (35 shots-34 saves). A-4,444
Friday, March 30 | Game 69 vs. Belleville | W, 4-1
Belleville 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 7-10-11-28 PP: 0/5
Syracuse 1 1 2 - 4 Shots: 9-11-10-30 PP: 0/3
1st Period-Volkov 20 (Dumont, Gallant), 5:57. 2nd Period-Volkov 21 (Joseph, Thomas), 10:08. 3rd Period-Joseph 15 (Dumont), 3:16. Lynch 14 (Lipanov, Verhaeghe), 16:12. . . . Pasquale 14-6-6 (28 shots-27 saves). A-5,463
Saturday, March 31 | Game 70 vs. Charlotte | L, 4-1
Charlotte 1 1 2 - 4 Shots: 17-6-7-30 PP: 0/4
Syracuse 0 0 1 - 1 Shots: 9-9-10-28 PP: 1/5
3rd Period-Archambault 12 (Condra, Peca), 6:23. . . . Ingram 19-10-2 (29 shots-26 saves). A-5,887
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 15.7% (49-for-313) T-22nd (24th)
Penalty Kill 84.8% (290-for-342) T-3rd (T-8th)
Goals For 3.19 GFA (223) 6th (T-6th)
Goals Against 2.51 GAA (176) 3rd (3rd)
Shots For 30.50 SF/G (2135) 11th (10th)
Shots Against 26.51 SA/G (1856) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 15.66 PIM/G (1,096) 4th (4th)
Points 52 Joseph
Goals 21 Volkov
Assists 37 Joseph
PIM 172 Gallant
Plus/Minus +32 Bodie
Wins 19 Ingram
GAA 2.17 Domingue
Save % 0.919 Domingue
Single game tickets and packages 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. 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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