Syracuse Crunch Weekly
Fri., Oct. 11 - Crunch at Cleveland - W, 2-1 Sat., Oct. 12 - Crunch at Cleveland - W, 6-3
Wed., Oct. 16 - Crunch at Utica - 7 p.m. Sat., Oct. 19 - Crunch vs. Charlotte - 7 p.m.
CRUNCH CLAIM A ROAD POINT IN SEASON OPENER
The Crunch swept a weekend set in Cleveland to extend their season-opening points streak to three games (2-0-1-0). It is the first time since the 2012-13 season (4-0-0-1) that Syracuse has begun with points in at least its first three games. It's the seventh time in team history the Crunch have collected at least a point in their first three games; their longest is a seven-game streak in 2001-02 when they were 4-0-3-0 (W-L-T-OTL).
In a North Division Semifinals rematch, the Crunch opened the weekend set in Cleveland with a 2-1 win over the Monsters. They followed up with a 6-3 win the next night to claim both games in their only trip to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this season.
The Crunch play twice in Week 3, rounding off a four-game road trip Wednesday in Utica before hosting the Charlotte Checkers for the 26th home opener in team history.
Second-year defenseman Cal Foote paced the Crunch with four points - all assists - in Week 2. He started the week by collecting the secondary assist on the Crunch's game-winning goal Friday night against the Monsters. The next night, he set a career-high with three assists in the Crunch's 6-3 win.
His three-point performance matched a career-high; he put up three points (1g, 2a) in the Crunch's 10-1 win over the Utica Comets Dec. 28, 2018.
As a rookie last season, Foote dressed in all 76 games - one of eight AHL players to do so - and produced 31 points (10g, 21a). He tied with Cameron Gaunce for the team lead in goals among defensemen and that also ranked fifth among rookie blueliners.
Veteran Gemel Smith made his Crunch debut over the weekend and collected a pair of assists in two games. He was held off the scoresheet in his debut Friday night, although a slick play along the boards helped set up the eventual game-winning goal. Saturday, the 25-year-old picked up primary assists on the Crunch's first and second goals with passes to Nolan Valleau and Dennis Yan respectively.
Smith began the season - his first in the organization - with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he dressed in the first three games of the season. He scored one goal in the Bolts' second game of the year against the Florida Panthers. He signed with the Lightning in July after playing for three teams last season. He skated in 17 NHL games with Dallas and Boston and in 47 games with the Providence Bruins, where he finished with 40 points (16g, 24a).
Peter Abbandonato was one of two Crunch players (Alex Barré-Boulet) to score more than one goal over the weekend. His power-play goal Friday night gave the Crunch a 2-0 lead and was his first professional goal in just is second pro game. He followed suit with another power-play goal the next night, a goal which gave the Crunch a 4-2 lead.
Both weekend goals held up as game-winners and the rookie is tied for the AHL lead with two game-winning goals through the first two weeks of the season.
Last year, then-rookie and fellow Quebec-native Alex Barré-Boulet began his pro career with goals in back-to-back games and his first pro goal, like Abbandonato's, held up as the game-winning goal.
UPCOMING: UTICA, CHARLOTTE
The Crunch take to the ice twice in Week 3, with matches against Utica and Charlotte on the docket.
Week 3 begins with a Wednesday clash in Utica against the Comets. It is Utica's home opener - the Crunch's third home opener as the visiting team - and is the first time the Crunch are the Comets' opponent for their first home game. Entering the week, the Comets (2-0-0-0) are one of three undefeated AHL teams, joining Toronto and Stockton. They have only played one game each week to begin the season and have wins over Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, both by 4-3 scores.
The Crunch finally return home to the War Memorial Arena Saturday night for their 26th home opener, presented by Upstate University Hospital. For the second straight season, they host the Charlotte Checkers in their home opener; last year the Crunch lost, 4-1, to the eventual Calder Cup champions. Charlotte is 2-2-0-0 through their first four games after storming their way to the league title last year.
Prior to the home opener, the Crunch will raise their 2018-19 North Division championship banner. It will join their other three division championship banners and their two conference championship banners. Syracuse will look to improve on its 12-7-4-1-1 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) record in home openers. Their last home opening win was in 2016-17.
WEEK 2 RESULTS
Friday, Oct. 11 | Game 2 at Cleveland | W, 2-1 Syracuse 1 1 0 - 2 Shots: 7-9-8-24 PP: 1/3 Cleveland 0 1 0 - 1 Shots: 13-8-11-32 PP: 0/2 1st Period-Barré-Boulet 1 (Schenn, Gaunce), 9:16. 2nd Period-Abbandonato 1 (Colton, Foote), 1:24 (PP). . . . Wedgewood 1-0-0 (32 shots-31 saves). A-11,676
Saturday, Oct. 12 | Game 3 at Cleveland | W, 6-3 Syracuse 3 2 1 - 6 Shots: 18-13-6-37 PP: 1/4 Cleveland 2 1 0 - 3 Shots: 10-10-13-33 PP: 0/6 1st Period-Valleau 1 (Smith, Conacher), 4:26. Yan 1 (Smith, Foote), 11:31. Martel 2 (Unassisted), 14:53. 2nd Period-Abbandonato 2 (Foote, Colton), 4:12 (PP). Barré-Boulet 2 (Conacher, Foote), 17:08. 3rd Period-Somppi 1 (Schenn, Raddysh), 8:37. . . . Domingue 1-0-1 (33 shots-30 saves). A-7,126
Leader Points 4 Foote Goals 2 Abbandonato, Barré-Boulet, Martel Assists 4 Foote PIM 6 Valleau Plus/Minus +2 Smith, Yan Wins 1 Domingue, Wedgewood GAA 1.00 Wedgewood Save % 0.969 Wedgewood
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev) Power Play 33.3% (4-for-12) 2nd (T-3rd) Penalty Kill 100% (13-for-13) T-1st (T-1st) Goals For 3.33 GFA (10) T-8th (T-18th) Goals Against 2.33 GAA (7) T-5th (T-14th) Shots For 30.00 SF/G (90) 15th (18th) Shots Against 32.67 SA/G (98) 23rd (24th) Penalty Minutes 9.33 PIM/G (28) 24th (T-15th)
Ticket packages and single game tickets for the 2019-20 season 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.
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