Syracuse Crunch Weekly
Fri., April 12 - Crunch vs. Laval - W, 5-1
Sat., April 13 - Crunch vs. Rochester - W, 4-3
Sun., April 14 - Crunch at Utica - SOL, 4-3
Fri., April 19 - Crunch vs. Cleveland - 7 p.m.
Sat., April 20 - Crunch vs. Cleveland - 7 p.m.
Tue., April 23 - Crunch at Cleveland - 7:30 p.m.
Thu., April 25 - Crunch at Cleveland - 7 p.m. (if necessary)
Sat., April 27 - Crunch vs. Cleveland - 7 p.m. (if necessary)
CRUNCH WIN NORTH DIVISION, READY FOR CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS
The Crunch finished a record-setting regular season with five of a possible six points in a season-ending three-in-three to claim the North Division championship for the second time in the last three seasons.
Syracuse started the week with a 5-1 trouncing of the Laval Rocket Friday night at the War Memorial Arena. That set up a showdown with the Rochester Americans Saturday night; the Crunch prevailed, 4-3, to officially clinch the division in the final home game of the regular season. Syracuse ended the season with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Utica Comets Sunday evening at the Adirondack Bank Center.
The Crunch's division title is their fourth in franchise history and their third in seven seasons as a Lightning affiliate.
Carter Verhaeghe ended the regular season on a five-game points streak (4g, 3a), including five points (3g, 2a) last week. After a three-point outing Friday against the Rocket, Verhaeghe saved his heroics for late in the third period Saturday, scoring the go-ahead goal with 3:21 remaining in the Crunch's division-clinching win over the Amerks.
Verhaeghe's finish gave him 34 goals and 82 points on the season; he established a new franchise record for most points in a season and claimed the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the AHL's top scorer-the first Crunch player to win the award. He also tied teammate Alex Barré-Boulet for the Willie Marshall Award, given to the AHL's top goal scorer; they join Tyler Johnson (2012-13) as the only Crunch players to win the award.
The Crunch tied or set multiple team records during their 25th regular season. Their 47 wins and 102 points are tied for the most in franchise history, but they are the most in a 76-game schedule; their previous mark was set during an 80-game season. Because of that, the Crunch's 0.671 points percentage is a new team record, surpassing last year's 0.658.
The Crunch ended the season at 47-21-4-4 and their 25 losses (L+OTL) ties for the fewest in franchise history.
Of their 47 wins, 27 came at the War Memorial Arena, where the Crunch posted a 27-8-1-2 record; it ties for the most home wins in franchise history. The Crunch tied for the AHL lead with a 0.750 points percentage at home this season. They suffered regulation home losses to five teams: Rochester (3), Charlotte (2), Toronto (1), Providence (1) and Utica (1).
The Crunch have also won multiple individual regular season awards. Carter Verhaeghe is the first Crunch player to win the John B. Solleberger Trophy as the league's top scorer. He and Alex Barré-Boulet also shared the Willie Marshall Award for the AHL's leading goal scorer, only the second time the Crunch have won that award. Verhaeghe was named a 2018-19 AHL First Team All-Star while Barré-Boulet was named to the 2018-19 AHL All Rookie Team after becoming the first Crunch rookie to lead the AHL in rookie scoring with 68 points.
Eddie Pasquale became the first Crunch goalie to win the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award presented to the goaltender(s) with at least 25 games played on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season. The Crunch led the AHL with 2.46 goals against per game.
UPCOMING: NORTH DIVISION SEMIFINALS VS. CLEVELAND
The Crunch meet up with the Cleveland Monsters in the North Division Semifinals, a best-of-five series that gets underway with a pair of home games this weekend. The Crunch host Game 1 Friday, April 19 and Game 2 Saturday, April 20. The series shifts to Cleveland for games three and four; if necessary a Game 5 would be back in Syracuse Saturday, April 27.
Syracuse and Cleveland split a four-game season series as the Monsters joined the North Division prior to the season. The teams played a two-game set in Cleveland Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, with both teams claiming a win. The teams also split two games in Syracuse; the Monsters won 4-3 in a shootout Jan. 11, while the Crunch earned a 6-3 victory Feb. 2. The two Monsters wins in the series were past regulation.
This is the first time the Crunch and Monsters will meet in the Calder Cup Playoffs, but it is the third time for the two cities. The Syracuse Stars and Cleveland Barons played in 1938 and the Barons and Syracuse Warriors squared off in 1953.
WEEK 28 RESULTS
Friday, April 12 | Game 74 vs. Laval | W, 5-1
Laval 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 7-7-7-21 PP: 1/4
Syracuse 2 2 1 - 5 Shots: 9-9-9-27 PP: 2/5
1st Period-Volkov 22 (Barré-Boulet, Verhaeghe), 1:34. Andreoff 26 (Raddysh, Gaunce), 2:39. 2nd Period-Verhaeghe 32 (Gaunce, Conacher), 1:21 (PP). Verhaeghe 33 (Dumont, Barré-Boulet), 10:27. 3rd Period-Barré-Boulet 34 (Conacher), 16:23. . . . Pasquale 26-12-6 (27 shots-26 saves). A-5,904
Saturday, April 13 | Game 75 vs. Rochester | W, 4-3
Rochester 1 0 2 - 3 Shots: 6-11-9-26 PP: 1/2
Syracuse 1 0 3 - 4 Shots: 13-8-11-32 PP: 0/2
1st Period-Raddysh 18 (Stephens, Masin), 10:26. 3rd Period-Stephens 11 (Raddysh, Labrie), 2:30. Verhaeghe 34 (Barré-Boulet), 16:39. Dumont 15 (Gaunce), 18:06 (EN). . . . Pasquale 27-12-6 (26 shots-23 saves). A-6,285
Sunday, April 14 | Game 76 at Utica | SOL, 4-3
Syracuse 1 2 0 0 0 - 3 Shots: 4-9-5-0-0-18 PP: 1/3
Utica 0 2 1 0 1 - 2 Shots: 9-15-12-6-1-43 PP: 2/8
1st Period-Volkov 23 (Stephens, Verhaeghe), 3:49 (PP). 2nd Period-Somppi 2 (Unassisted), 4:09. Valleau 3 (Volkov), 15:22. Shootout-Utica 2 (Sifers NG, Jasek G, Lind G), Syracuse 1 (Verhaeghe NG, Bligh G, Valleau NG). . . . Tolvanen 3-2-1 (42 shots-39 saves). A-3,917
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 20.9% (65-for-311) 5th (5th)
Penalty Kill 84.5% (311-for-368) 5th (4th)
Goals For 3.47 GFA (264) 3rd (4th)
Goals Against 2.46 GAA (187) 1st (1st)
Shots For 27.95 SF/G (2124) 25th (25th)
Shots Against 28.82 SA/G (2190) 13th (13th)
Penalty Minutes 14.26 PIM/G (1084) 7th (7th)
Points 82 Verhaeghe
Goals 34 Barré-Boulet, Verhaeghe
Assists 48 Verhaeghe
PIM 150 Andreoff
Plus/Minus +36 Masin
Wins 27 Pasquale
GAA 2.35 Pasquale
Save % 0.916 Pasquale
Single game tickets and ticket packages for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs 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 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 and #RaiseIt.
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