Syracuse Crunch

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-13-17 Marlies at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star thrives on imperial home ice.

TOR-1
SYR-5

Syracuse Leads the Series 3-2

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory in the kind of bounceback game you need from your goaltender in playoff time after the odd rough outing (which happens in a long playoff run).

First Period
8:26 TOR Oleksy (1), (Findlay, Clune)
11:24 SYR Peca (3), (Condra, Racine)

Second Period
3:18 SYR Vermin (4), (Conacher, Gourde)
9:25 SYR Lynch (1), (Walcott)

Third Period
1:35 SYR Racine (1), (Gourde)(SH)
16:22 SYR Dumont (2), (Condra, Bournival)(EN)

McKenna, Slater Koekkoek, and Gabriel Dumont were the game's three stars.

With the chips down the Syracuse Crunch brought their best effort to the rink tonight in an absolutely critical Game Five tilt in a tied up series. Mind you, this series should be over right now were it not for the Crunch's late game collapse in Game Three, but that contest is water under the bridge at this point. Now Syracuse gets Jake Dotchin back from suspension heading into a potential closeout game. It's never easy to finish off a good opponent on the road at playoff time, but champions typically find a way.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-10-17 Crunch at Marlies

All square in the battle for the North Division.

SYR-2
TOR-3

Series Tied 2-2

Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 15 shots for the loss before being pulled at the First Intermission. Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 14 shots he faced the rest of the way to give his team a chance.

First Period
4:45 SYR Erne (2), (unassisted)
5:51 TOR Clune (1), (Rychel)
8:05 TOR Rychel (2), (Kapanen)(PP)
16:24 TOR Moore (2), (O'Reilly, Griffith)(PP)

Second Period
2:23 SYR Thomas (1), (Koekkoek, Dumont)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Syracuse got outshot 29-19 in the contest and momentum is now firmly in the camp of the Marlies with the Dotchin suspension still with 1 game left to burn.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-9-17 Crunch at Marlies

Late game collapse points to trouble for Crunch.

SYR-3
TOR-5

Syracuse Leads the Series 2-1

Mike McKenna allowed 5 goals on 34 shots for the loss. Man, Syracuse could've really used a couple of more timely saves in this one.

First Period
11:44 SYR Erne (1), (Froese, Taormina)

Second Period
1:54 SYR Froese (3), (Taormina, Peca)(PP)
10:07 TOR Johnsson (4), (Kapanen, O'Reilly)(PP)
13:52 TOR Johnsson (5), (Greening)

Third Period
9:05 SYR Condra (4), (Koekkoek, McGinn)
18:04 TOR Leipsic (3), (Nielsen, Kapanen)
18:22 TOR Grundstrom (2), (Griffith, Oleksy)
18:37 TOR Kapanen (2), (unassisted)

The Crunchning Death Star ran into their first serious technical problem before Game Three learning of a 3 game suspension to Jake Dotchin for a late hit thrown in Game Two. Dotchin ended Tampa Bay's regular season playing like a NHL top-four defenseman, and losing Dotchin for the lineup for a key stretch of this series is a troubling problem for the Crunch defensive corps. They really need to get one of these games in Toronto and tonight they came within two minutes of pulling off the task before the bottom fell out. Now Toronto has momentum and an opportunity to knot the series up, putting some serious pressure back on Syracuse's shoulders while they're still without Dotchin's services for two more games. Game Four looms large.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Surge Early, Hang On Late in Game 2 Win Over Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch surged early, but had to hang on at the end.

The Crunch scored three times before the Marlies got a shot on goal and limited the Marlies to two shots in the first 20 minutes. Toronto was able to capitalize on three power plays to cut its deficit to two, but Syracuse held on for an 8-5 win in Game 2 of the North Division Finals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Syracuse leads the series 2-0 as the series continues in Toronto Tuesday.

“I think tonight showed some of our best hockey and then later in the game maybe not some of our best,” Crunch forward Matthew Peca said. “Limiting a team to two shots is pretty good. It’s all a part of how well we started. We were hitting. We were shooting. We were keeping the puck in their zone. We just have to play in their end and we’ll be fine.”

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-6-17 Marlies at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star snowmans unsuspecting Marlies.

TOR-5
SYR-8

Syracuse Leads the Series 2-0

Mike McKenna allowed 5 goals on 19 shots for the victory. Maybe not a banner night for McKenna, but he got that sweet nectar known as goal support.

First Period
3:27 SYR Conacher (2), (Froese, Thomas)(SH)
4:48 SYR Bournival (1), (Conacher, Gourde)
9:30 SYR Peca (1), (Bournival, Erne)
15:15 TOR Johnsson (3), (Holl)
19:39 SYR McGinn (3), (Froese, Taormina)(PP)

Second Period
2:29 SYR Vermin (2), (Walcott, Lynch)
4:00 SYR Peca (2), (Condra, McGinn)
8:15 TOR O'Reilly (1), (Grundstrom, Griffith)(PP)
12:00 TOR Kapanen (1), (Dermott)(PP)

Third Period
10:46 TOR Grundstrom (1), (Nielsen, Griffith)(PP)
11:58 SYR Conacher (3), (Gourde)(SH)
16:18 SYR Vermin (3), (Masin, Gourde)(EN)
18:56 TOR Griffith (1), (Greening)

Cory Conacher, Matthew Peca, and Michael Bournival were the game's three stars. There's little doubt this has been a veteran-heavy effort in the playoffs thus far, but it's good to see Matthew Peca having a good playoff run too, and he's now up to a point a game so far.

Syracuse did an excellent job to hold serve at home in Game One and Two, making sure that Toronto suffered properly for stubbing their toe in their regular season finale on the way to losing the North Division crown. That said, the old adage is still true: it's not a series until someone loses a game at home. Syracuse's challenge now is to win at least one game in the Marlies' barn with a view toward winning this series as quickly as possible in preparation for the colossal challenge that awaits if they can make it to the conference final.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Froese Haunts Former Team, Crunch Take Game 1 Against Marlies


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dealt at the deadline, Byron Froese had a chance to show what he could do against his former team.

Froese finished with a goal and an assist to lift the Syracuse Crunch over the Toronto Marlies, 3-1, in Game 1 of the North Division Finals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. Game 2 is set for Saturday in Syracuse.

“It’s not personal, but you always want to play well against a team that traded you away, right?” Froese said. “I don’t think I left on bad trms at all, but it’s an exciting series and it’s a big series for us.”

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-5-17 Marlies at Crunch

Crunch win Game Uno on Cinco de Mayo.

TOR-1
SYR-3

Syracuse Leads the Series 1-0

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 25 shots for the victory.

First Period
1:39 TOR Johnsson (2), (Nielsen, Moore)
14:40 SYR Condra (3), (Froese, Taormina)(PP)

Second Period
16:15 SYR Froese (2), (Erne, Walcott)

Third Period
18:43 SYR Gourde (1), (Conacher, Condra)(EN)

Byron Froese, McKenna, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars. Froese, the ex-Marlie, with a first taste of vengeance against his ex-organization.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Top IceCaps in OT, Advance to North Division Finals


By Jeremy Houghtaling

A former member of the IceCaps came back to haunt the team.

Gabriel Dumont scored 2:18 into overtime to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 overtime win over St. John’s in Game 4 of the North Division Semifinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.

The Crunch take the series 3-1 and advance to the North Division Finals, while the IceCaps’ franchise is set to move to Laval next season.

“There was two guys in front, so I didn’t really see it go in. I just heard the puck hit the middle post and the goal light go on,” Dumont said. “I was pretty excited and I didn’t know what to do.”

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-28-17 IceCaps at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star moves on to its next target.

STJ-1
SYR-2 (OT)

Syracuse Wins the Series 3-1

Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 27 shots for the victory. After an uneven close to his regular season after the trade deadline, McKenna's upped his game for the postseason.

First Period
16:41 SYR Condra (2), (McGinn, Peca)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
14:27 STJ Matteau (3), (Audette, de la Rose)(PP)

Overtime
2:18 SYR Dumont (1), (Froese, Erne)

McKenna, Gabriel Dumont, and Erik Condra were the game's three stars as the veterans continue to drive the bus for the Crunch.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Win Game 3, Push IceCaps to Brink of Elimination


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Despite letting an early two-goal lead slip away, the Syracuse Crunch found a way to pull out a win.

Byron Froese scored with 3:55 left in the second period and the Crunch held the IceCaps off the board the rest of the way, as Syracuse beat St. Johns, 3-2, in the North Division Semifinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Wednesday. Syracuse leads the series 2-1 and hosts Game 4 of the best-of-five series on Friday.

Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx knew the series would be a physical back-and-forth battle.

“It’s been like that since day one and we don’t expect anything different Friday,” he said. “It’s a hard-fought battle and we found a way to win, so it’s good.”

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