By Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.
The Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets will meet on Wednesday night for the seventh of fourteen regular-season meetings at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY. The teams are separated by four points in the North Division standings, with the Comets in second place and the Crunch right behind them in third. The Crunch have four of the six games played between the teams so far this season, but the Comets have won the last two.
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The Comets enter Wednesday night’s game looking to reignite offense that has suddenly gone ice cold. Over their last ten games, they managed a 0.500 record at 5-5-0-0 but they have only scored a total of five goals over their past five games. It hasn’t helped that the Comets have been missing two of their main cogs on offense in forwards, Nolan Foote and Tyce Thompson. Foote has missed nine games and Thompson has the last six games due to injuries.
The Crunch have had no problems scoring goals, as in their last two games they have outscored the Hartford Wolfpack and Providence Bruins by a combined margin of 11-3. Their 7-2-1-0 mark in their past ten games has helped the Crunch to surge up the standings to get within striking distance of the Comets in the North Division. As good as the offense has been, the goaltending of Hugo Alnefelt has been just as important in the recent hot streak for Syracuse. His stellar play earned him the AHL Player of the Week honor for the week ending January 29th, 2023.
With an ultra-important two points on the line, here’s how the Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets match up for Wednesday night’s game.
Syracuse Crunch Team Records
- Overall Record: 20-14-3-3, 46 points – 3rd place in the North Division.
- Away Record: 10-8-0-2, 22 points.
- Head Coach: Ben Groulx.
Utica Comets Team Records
- Overall Record: 22-14-5, 50 points – 2nd place in the North Division.
- Home Record: 11-7-2-1, 25 points.
- Head Coach: Kevin Dineen.
Syracuse Crunch Team Offense
- Goals For: 146 (8th in the AHL).
- Goals Per Game: 3.65 (4th in the AHL).
- Shots: 1,256.
- Shots Per Game: 31.40 (8th in the AHL).
- Power Play: 18.5% (24 for 130 – 21st in the AHL).
Utica Comets Team Offense
- Goals For: 125 (20th in the AHL).
- Goals Per Game: 2.98 (22nd in the AHL).
- Shots: 1,211.
- Shots Per Game: 28.83 (28th in the AHL).
- Power Play: 18.3% (23 for 126 – 23rd in the AHL).
Syracuse Crunch Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders
1.) Alex Barré-Boulet: 12 goals + 36 assists = 48 points. Barré-Boulet is 4th in the AHL in points and assists and 17th in +/-.
2.) Darren Raddysh: 11 goals + 32 assists = 43 points. Raddysh is 8th in the AHL in points, 6th in assists, and 8th in +/-.
3.) Gemel Smith: 13 goals + 22 assists = 35 points.
4.) Simon Ryfors: 15 goals + 18 assists = 33 points.
5.) Gage Goncalves: 8 goals + 22 assists = 30 points. Goncalves is 18th in the AHL in +/-.
- Shots Leader: Alex Barré-Boulet with 125.
- Power Play Goals Leader: Felix Robert and Simon Ryfors with four each.
- Game-Winning Goals Leader: Daniel Walcott with three.
- +/- Leader: Declan Carlile at +24. Carlile is 1st in the AHL in +/-.
- PIM Leader: Gemel Smith with 85. Smith is 6th in the AHL in PIM.
Utica Comets Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders
1.) Graeme Clarke: 16 goals + 18 assists = 34 points.
2.) Nolan Stevens: 12 goals + 15 assists = 27 points.
3.) Andreas Johnsson: 7 goals + 16 assists = 23 points.
4.) Brian Pinho: 8 goals + 13 assists = 23 points.
5.) Ryan Schmelzer (4 goals + 16 assists) + Reilly Walsh (3 goals + 17 assists) = 20 points each.
- Shots Leader: Graeme Clarke with 118.
- Power Play Goals Leader: Nolan Foote with four.
- Game Winning Goals Leader: Nolan Foote with five.
- +/- Leader: Jeremy Groleau and Andreas Johnsson at +10.
- PIM Leader: Mason Geertsen with 102. Geertsen is 3rd in the AHL in PIM.
Syracuse Crunch Team Defense
- Goals Against: 127 (15th in the AHL).
- Goals Against Per Game: 3.18 (20th in the AHL).
- Shots Allowed: 1,221.
- Shots Allowed Per Game: 30.53 (18th in the AHL).
- Penalty Kill: 80.4% (131 for 163 – 16th in the AHL).
- Shorthanded Goals Scored: 4 (19th in the AHL).
Utica Comets Team Defense
- Goals Against: 123 (11th in the AHL).
- Goals Against Per Game: 2.93 (11th in the AHL)
- Shots Allowed: 1,196.
- Shots Allowed Per Game: 28.48 (5th in the AHL).
- Penalty Kill: 78.0% (96 for 123 – 24th in the AHL).
- Shorthanded Goals Scored: 5 (14th in the AHL).
Syracuse Crunch Goaltending
- Hugo Alnefelt: Record: 11-5-1 / GAA: 2.20 / Save Percentage: 0.929 / Saves: 472 / Shutouts: 2. Alnefelt is 4th in the AHL in GAA, 2nd in save percentage, and 4th in shutouts.
- Max Lagace: Record: 8-7-4 / GAA: 3.62 / Save Percentage: 0.879 / Saves: 472 / Shutouts: 1.
Utica Comets Goaltending
- Akira Schmid: Record: 9-3-3 / GAA: 2.27 / Save Percentage: 0.915 / Saves: 379 / Shutouts: 1. Schmid is 5th in the GAA and 10th in save percentage.
- Nico Daws: Record: 11-9-1 / GAA: 2.82 / Save Percentage: 0.901 / Saves: 530 / Shutouts: 0. Daws is 19th in the AHL in wins.
Wednesday night’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 pm EST. Radio coverage will be on K-Rock and the television broadcast will be on AHLTV.
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