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Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Look Forward to Playoffs After Dropping Season Finale


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Although the teams will meet in the playoffs, the Syracuse game against Rochester Saturday wasn’t much of a preview.

Looking to rest many of their regulars since they already clinched home ice in the first round, the Crunch had a lineup with 11 players who spent time in the ECHL this season and two more who joined the team after the conclusion of their junior seasons.

Alexander Volkov scored twice and Olivier Mantha made 39 saves in his AHL debut, but Syracuse fell to Rochester, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

The North Division Semifinal between the Crunch and Americans starts in Syracuse Friday.

“We’ll see what kind of team we’re going to have next week,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “For me, I expect our team to be ready to play next Friday.”

AHL Game Night: 4-13-18 Crunch at Comets

Crunch knock off another prospective playoff opponent.

SYR-2
UTI-1 (OT)

Eddie Pasquale allowed 1 goal on 28 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
3:29 SYR Walcott (5), (Tammela, Verhaeghe)
19:35 UTI Carcone (15), (unassisted)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
4:21 SYR Verhaeghe (17), (Volkov, Thomas)

Carter Verhaeghe and Pasquale were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse became the third Eastern Conference club to hit 100 points for the season with the win. The victory also significantly increased the odds the Crunch will draw the Rochester Americans in the opening round of the postseason.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-11-18 Crunch at Americans

Ingram defeats Americans almost single-handedly.

SYR-1
RCH-0

Connor Ingram pitched a 38 save shutout for the victory, helping Syracuse overcome a staggering 38-18 shot deficit in the game. Ingram is now sporting a very stout 20-11-6 record with a 2.33 GAA, .914 save percentage, and 4 shutouts. It's a rookie campaign I dare say has exceeded expectations given the past performance of similar Lightning goaltending prospects, and points to the fact Ingram could have higher upside.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
1:22 SYR Peca (13), (Verhaeghe, McNeill)

Ingram and Matthew Peca were the game's first and second stars.

Rochester looks to potentially be Syracuse's first round opponent in the playoffs, so there's positive and negative to consider in the night's victory heading into the postseason.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Lose Special Teams Battle to Devils


By Jeremy Houghtaling

With the parade to the penalty box lasting throughout most of the game, special teams play proved to be the difference.

The Crunch allowed a pair of Devils goals on the man-advantage and didn’t convert on their nine power play opportunities until late in the third period, as Syracuse fell to Binghamton, 4-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Sunday.

“They had six or seven power plays. We had six or maybe eight power plays,” Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx said. “I think our power play was not good enough. I think our PK was OK. We can’t go into the playoffs taking five or six penalties a game, for sure.”

AHL Game Night: 4-8-18 Devils at Crunch

Penalty trouble costs the Crunch.

BNG-4
SYR-2

Connor Ingram allowed 4 goals on 22 shots for the loss.

First Period
14:53 BNG Bertschy (14), (MacDonald, Kapla)(PP)
16:51 SYR Bourke (1), (Lipanov, Verhaeghe)
17:03 BNG Kennedy (4), (Latta, Rooney)

Second Period
17:27 BNG Seney (2), (Bertschy, MacDonald)(PP)

Third Period
11:58 BNG Mandat (3), (Thomson, Baddock)
18:57 SYR Peca (12), (Cernak, Condra)(PP)

Matthew Peca was the game's third star.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch Edge Comets in Possible Playoff Preview


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets could see a lot more of each other when the postseason starts in two weeks.

Erik Condra scored the lone goal and Eddie Pasquale made 26 saves for the shutout, as the Crunch topped the Comets, 1-0, in what could be a preview of the first round of the playoffs at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday.

Syracuse is No. 2 in the North Division, while Utica is battling for the No. 3 spot with Rochester.

“It’s a playoff game, and they’re probably going to be our first round matchup,” Pasquale said. “It seems like every time we play them it’s a low scoring game with a lot of penalties, a lot of extra stuff after the whistle. It’s that playoff environment and that’s the way it is.”

AHL Game Night: 4-7-18 Comets at Crunch

Pasquale outlasts the Comets.

UTI-0
SYR-1

Eddie Pasquale stopped all 26 shots he faced for the SO victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
14:55 SYR Condra (9), (Peca, Stephens)(PP)

Pasquale and Erik Condra were the game's first and second stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-6-18 Crunch at Devils

Shootout loss officially locks Syracuse into the second seed in their division.

SYR-3
BNG-4 (SO)

Eddie Pasquale allowed 3 goals on 39 shots before allowing 3 of 5 to convert in the penalty shot session for the SO loss.

First Period
10:41 SYR Foote (1), (Volkov, Bodie)
15:38 SYR Dumont (5), (Cernak, Joseph)(PP)

Second Period
2:39 BNG Pietila (11), (Lappin, Bertschy)(PP)
19:57 BNG Seney (1), (Lappin, Pietila)(PP)

Third Period
4:05 SYR Verhaeghe (16), (Peca, Volkov)
6:59 BNG Rooney (13), (Lappin)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
SYR- Stephens, Verhaeghe
BNG- Pietila, McLeod, Walman

Cal Foote was the game's second star after scoring on the very first shot of his pro career. Efficient.

Toronto clinched the North Division and the best record in the AHL tonight with the outcomes of the various games of the night. Syracuse therefore will finish second in the North Division.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Foote Impresses at First Crunch Practice


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Cal Foote got the full experience during his first day as a pro.

The new Syracuse Crunch defenseman was a part of the team's picture day before practice, and after he needed signed a slew of jerseys, sticks and other promotional items.

On the ice, he went through a full team practice and then was a part of a small group held afterward for extra conditioning drills.

Although it's not set when Foote will make his pro debut, Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx was impressed with the 19-year-old on day one.

"I like his calm out there. He seems to me that he looks like an old pro," Groulx said. "I like that."

AHL Game Night: 3-31-18 Checkers at Crunch

Checkers put abrupt end to Crunch win streak.

CHA-4
SYR-1

Connor Ingram allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss.

First Period
7:56 CHA Carrick (9), (Poturalski, McKegg)

Second Period
13:08 CHA McKegg (12), (Poturalski, Saarela)

Third Period
1:39 CHA McKegg (13), (Saarela, Poturalski)
6:23 SYR Archambault (12), (Condra, Peca)(PP)
18:37 CHA Saarela (24), (unassisted)(EN)

Ingram was the game's third star despite being victimized for 2 goals and 1 assist by ex-Lightning legend Greg McKegg. The betrayal cuts deep.

The Crunch are now off until Friday, when I suspect the game will be a-Foote in Bingo against the Devils.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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