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Syracuse Crunch

AHL Game Night: 11-11-17 Checkers at Crunch

Crunch have, hopefully, a breakthrough victory.

CHA-3
SYR-5

Michael Leighton allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the victory.

First Period
9:14 SYR McBain (1), (Verhaeghe, Yan)
11:39 SYR Condra (1), (McBain, Conacher)(PP)
14:25 SYR Joseph (3), (McBain, McGinn)(PP)
19:47 CHA Roy (3), (Kuokkanen, Carrick)(PP)

Second Period
2:35 CHA Poturalski (5), (Miller, Samuelsson)(PP)
11:51 SYR Bournival (5), (Volkov, Lynch)
14:57 CHA Saarela (3), (Kuokkanen, Schilkey)

Third Period
18:19 SYR Condra (2), (Cirelli, McBain)

Jamie McBain, Erik Condra, and Michael Bournival were the game's three stars.

After what seems like a long line of heartbreaking, close losses, the Crunch led by their veteran leaders finally managed to close the deal on a victory tonight. The team pulls to 2 games under .500 and can hopefully turn this victory into the start of a nice little winning streak that gets their campaign back on the right track.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Start Strong in Win Over Checkers


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch took it to the Charlotte Checkers in the first 19 minutes.

Crunch captain Erik Condra netted a goal in his long-awaited return, Jamie McBain had a hand in three goals and the Syracuse power play converted twice. The Checkers made it close late in the second period, but the Crunch held on to win, 5-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

“I thought we came out strong and overall, we played a very good game,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “They’re a good team. probably the best team we faced this year with Toronto. They have skill on every line. They play with a lot of poise and they make plays with the puck. It’s very impressive the way Charlotte is playing. Tonight we were a good team.”

Crunch Rookie Joseph Has Big Weekend After Meeting


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Mathieu Joseph was told to not worry about the statistics.

The Syracuse rookie, who averaged more than a point per game in junior, was held to a single assist over his first nine professional games. After a meeting with Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx, Joseph recorded four points in two games against the Rocket in front of friends and family in Laval.

Joseph is taking Groulx’s words to heart as he adapts to the pro game.

“He told me that he wanted me to have fun on the ice,” Joseph said. “My confidence wasn’t really there and I was trying to analyze the game too much. He gave me a little bit of a boost of confidence.”

AHL Game Day: 11-4-17 Crunch at Rocket

Crunch see another one slip away.

SYR-2
LAV-5

Connor Ingram allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
7:56 LAV Deslauriers (3), (Petti)
10:08 SYR Verhaeghe (1), (Joseph)
12:07 LAV Holland (4), (Gregoire)

Third Period
0:19 LAV Holland (5), (unassisted)
5:56 SYR Conacher (6), (Verhaeghe, McBain)(PP)
13:14 LAV Carr (7), (Holland, Froese)(PP)
18:24 LAV Holland (6), (Lernout)(EN)

Carter Verhaeghe was the game's third star.

This is a young team. I'm not surprised they've taken a step back from the veteran-heavy team of a season ago. But, you'd have hoped to have seen a little more progress to this point. A .375 winning percentage is obviously well below the standard for this organization, at the moment.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-3-17 Crunch at Rocket

Wins still eluding Crunch.

SYR-5
LAV-6 (SO)

Michael Leighton allowed 5 goals on 25 shots and 2 of 4 shooters to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
7:27 SYR Thomas (1), (Volkov, Cirelli)(PP)
12:06 LAV Froese (3), (Taormina)(PP)
17:29 SYR Joseph (1), (Thomas, McGinn)

Second Period
4:53 SYR Thomas (2), (Cirelli, Joseph)(PP)
6:24 LAV Gelinas (2), (Jerabek, Holland)
9:55 LAV Taormina (2), (Audette)(PP)
10:11 LAV Jerabek (1), (Gregoire, Petti)

Third Period
9:30 SYR Masin (2), (McGinn, Conacher)
11:24 LAV Audette (4), (Carr, Froese)(PP)
11:29 SYR Joseph (2), (unassisted)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Conacher
LAV- Holland, Froese

Mathieu Joseph was the game's third star. His 2 goals and 1 assist were matched by fellow prospect Ben Thomas.

Syracuse is only 5 points back of division leading Toronto, so it's not as if the hill to climb is insurmountable. But, the Crunch need to start putting together some wins pretty soon here. Close isn't enough after a subpar first 10 games of the year.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-1-17 Crunch at Senators

Wins continue to elude young Crunch.

SYR-3
BEL-4 (SO)

Michael Leighton allowed 3 goals on 20 shots and 1 of 3 to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
5:41 SYR Conacher (4), (Peca, Akeson)(PP)
19:13 BEL Perron (1), (Gagne)
19:59 SYR Masin (1), (Conacher, Peca)

Second Period
3:51 BEL Chlapik (2), (Lajoie, Burgdoerfer)(PP)
5:18 SYR Conacher (5), (Akeson, Bodie)(PP)
14:46 BEL Werek (4), (O'Brien, Paul)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYE- NONE
BEL- Gagne

Cory Conacher was the game's second star.

Syracuse remains in the North Division basement. There's time to get the ship righted, but the team needs to start collecting some wins over the next 10 games or so to get themselves on better footing.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-28-17 Crunch at Americans

Comeback Crunch get a desperately needed W.

SYR-3
RCH-2

Veteran Michael Leighton allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
9:40 RCH Gill (3), (Goers, Fedun)(PP)
16:53 SYR Bournival (4), (Lynch)

Second Period
15:25 RCH Criscuolo (3), (Smith)

Third Period
9:12 SYR Cirelli (2), (Erne, Thomas)(PP)
18:57 SYR Lynch (2), (Peca, Bournival)

Kevin Lynch and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and third stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Volkov Scores First Pro Goal, But Crunch Fall to Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Alexander Volkov received the drop pass and quickly fired it from the top of the right wing circle past Garrett Sparks.

The rookie’s first professional goal brought the Crunch to within one midway through the second period but the Marlies goalie finished with 29 saves, as Syracuse was topped by Toronto, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

“I scored my first goal, but I’m not happy because my team lost the game,” Volkov said. “I scored a goal, but it’s a bonus for me.”

AHL Game Night: 10-27-17 Marlies at Crunch

Young Crunch's growing pains continue.

TOR-4
SYR-2

Connor Ingram allowed 2 goals on 5 shots before giving way to veteran Michael Leighton who allowed 1 goal on 19 shots for the dreaded backdoor loss.

First Period
0:48 SYR Stephens (2), (Yan, Cernak)
4:21 TOR Aaltonen (1), (unassisted)
10:27 TOR Greening (2), (Dermott, Liljegren)

Second Period
3:28 TOR Greening (3), (Mueller, Timashov)
8:57 SYR Volkov (1), (Erne)

Third Period
17:26 TOR Johnsson (3), (Smith, Rosen)

Alexander Volkov was the game's second star after scoring his first pro goal.

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising the Crunch have struggled to produce wins with the amount of roster turnover that happened over the offseason and the number of veterans that have been replaced by rookie pros. That doesn't make it sting any less, though.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch's Thomas Looks to Be Impact Player at Both Ends of the Ice


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A deep playoff run last season was key to Ben Thomas’ development.

The defenseman went from earning a regular shift to more duties, including special teams, during his rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch. Each step of the way to the Calder Cup Finals added to Thomas’ confidence, and he frequently looked to join and support the rush.

Thomas looks to become more an impact player at both ends of the ice in his second pro season.

“I think it’s a part of my game. I like to jump in the rush and help create offense,” Thomas said. “I think now I definitely have the confidence to do that and get back into my position to be a good defender. It’s been one thing I’ve always liked to implement in my game, and I’m going to try and continue to do it.”

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