Weekly Release – Vol. 28, No. 17

weekly-release-–-vol-28,-no.-17

CRUNCH COLLECT BACK-TO-BACK WINS

 

The Crunch maintained their grasp on fifth place in the North Division and won two straight games to close out Week 17. Syracuse went 2-1-0-0 during the week to improve to 17-16-3-1 on the season, good for a 0.514 points percentage.

 

The month opened with a two-game set in Belleville against the Senators. The Sens rallied from a 2-0 deficit and scored a late game-winning goal to knock off the Crunch, 4-3, on Wednesday. In the rematch on Friday, the Crunch scored three first period goals en route to a 4-2 win. Back home at Upstate Medical University Arena on Saturday, the Crunch earned a season series split with the Charlotte Checkers following a 3-1 victory in the fourth head-to-head meeting this season.

 

TOP PERFORMERS

 

Veteran forward Charles Hudon led the Crunch with three goals over three games in Week 17. He netted a goal in Wednesday’s loss to Belleville then scored the first two goals of the game Friday to power the Crunch to a 4-2 win. That put him briefly into a tie for the team’s goal-scoring lead at 15 markers before Gabriel Dumont scored his 16th Saturday.

 

In his first season in the organization, Hudon has 27 points (15g, 12a) in 32 games, ranking second on the team. He has nine goals in his past 11 games since Jan. 8, leading the team in that span; the next closest player is Dumont with five goals over 14 games.

 

***

 

Goaltender Corbin Kaczperski stole the show in his first AHL start Saturday against the Charlotte Checkers. The rookie turned aside 32 shots and led the Crunch to a 3-1 win to close the week. Charlotte scored with 16.6 seconds remaining to snap his shutout bid; in two appearances for the Crunch, Kaczperski has stopped 35 of 36 shots for a .972 save percentage.

 

The 25-year-old started the season in the SPHL with Vermilion County. He earned himself a contract with the ECHL’s Iowa Heartlanders before landing a PTO with the Crunch earlier this month.

 

NEARLY HALFWAY HOME

 

The Crunch will cross the halfway point of their season tomorrow night. No matter the result, the Crunch are assured to be at least 0.500 after 38 games; Syracuse has had at least a 0.500 record midway through the season every year since 2011-12. In 2019-20, at what was expected to be the midpoint of the season, the Crunch were 18-16-2-2.

 

The Crunch will have played their first 38 games over 125 days. Their final 38 games are scheduled to take place over 79 days.

 

“AHL ALL-STAR BREAK”

 

This past weekend was scheduled to be the AHL All-Star Classic in Laval. Because the event was postponed, the league did not name All-Stars for any teams, but there would have been several strong Crunch candidates to represent the North Division.

 

Captain Gabriel Dumont leads the Crunch in goals (16) and points (31) and is on pace to smash his previous career high for goals in a season (20). 

 

Cole Koepke leads Crunch rookies with 22 points and Sean Day paces the blueline with 21. 

UPCOMING: LAVAL

 

The Crunch hit the road for a three-game series in Laval in Week 18. The Crunch are actually scheduled to play Laval four straight times, with the Rocket on the docket in Syracuse Feb. 18.

 

The teams have split the first two games of the eight-game regular season series with the home team winning both contests. The Crunch earned a 4-0 shutout win Nov. 6 and the Rocket responded with a 3-2 victory Jan. 12. This week’s slate of three games are the final three between the clubs at Place Bell in 2021-22.

 

The Rocket’s three-game homestand against the Crunch comes on the heels of five straight road games. They went 2-2-1-0 overall, but finished with back-to-back losses at Utica (in overtime) and at Belleville. Laval is in fourth place in the North Division with a 17-13-3-0 record. Along with the Crunch, the Rocket have the most remaining games this season with 39.

 

WEEK 17 RESULTS

 

Wednesday, Feb. 2 | Game 35 at Belleville | L, 4-3

Syracuse      2 1 0 – 3     Shots: 10-6-6-22         PP: 0/2

Belleville      2 1 1 – 4     Shots: 13-9-9-31        PP: 2/9

1st Period-Labrie 4 (Ryfors, Raddysh), 2:21. Goncalves 6 (Jones, Sustr), 14:38. 2nd Period-Hudon 13 (Barré-Boulet, Labrie), 5:36. . . . Miftakhov 4-7-2 (31 shots-27 saves) A-0

 

Friday, Feb. 4 | Game 36 at Belleville | W, 4-2

Syracuse      3 0 1 – 4     Shots: 16-7-1-24         PP: 0/3

Belleville      0 1 1 – 2     Shots: 3-13-6-22        PP: 1/4

1st Period-Hudon 14 (Barré-Boulet), 2:31. Hudon 15 (Fortier, Claesson), 15:23. Walcott 3 (Ryfors, Claesson), 15:51. 3rd Period-Day 5 (Koepke, Barré-Boulet), 11:02. . . . Miftakhov 5-7-2 (22 shots-20 saves) A-470

 

Saturday, Feb. 5 | Game 37 vs. Charlotte | W, 3-1

Charlotte     0 0 1 – 1     Shots: 13-7-13-33       PP: 0/4

Syracuse      1 2 0 – 3     Shots: 9-12-9-30        PP: 1/4

1st Period-Dumont 16 (Richard, Sustr), 9:49. 2nd Period-Fortier 7 (Somppi, Elie), 4:55 (PP). Koepke 10 (Walcott), 5:21. . . . Kaczperski 1-0-0 (33 shots-32 saves) A-4,233

 

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 20.6% (27-for-131)  9th (7th)
Penalty Kill 76.2% (99-for-130) T-27th (T-29th)
Goals For 2.81 GFA (104) 23rd (T-24th)
Goals Against 3.14 GAA (116) 21st (T-22nd)
Shots For 30.08 SF/G (1113) 13th (13th)
Shots Against 26.51 SA/G (981) 3rd (3rd)
Penalty Minutes 12.35 PIM/G (457) 20th (21st)
Category   Leader
Points 31 Dumont
Goals 16 Dumont
Assists 18 Barré-Boulet
PIM 53 Dumont
Plus/Minus +10 Claesson
Wins 6 Alnefelt
GAA 2.82 Miftakhov
Save % .898 Miftakhov
North Division GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT GF GA PIM HOME ROAD LAST 10 STREAK S/O
1. Utica 38 27 6 5 0 59 0.776 141 96 472 16-3-2-0 11-3-3-0 7-2-1-0 2-0-0-0 1-0
2. Toronto 36 21 12 2 1 45 0.625 120 119 498 10-5-1-1 11-7-1-0 7-2-1-0 4-0-1-0 1-1
3. Rochester 40 22 15 2 1 47 0.588 145 146 467 12-6-2-1 10-9-0-0 3-4-2-1 0-2-0-0 2-1
4. Laval 33 17 13 3 0 37 0.561 106 115 498 10-3-2-0 7-10-1-0 6-3-1-0 0-1-1-0 1-0
5. Syracuse 37 17 16 3 1 38 0.514 104 116 457 9-8-0-1 8-8-3-0 5-5-0-0 2-0-0-0 1-1
6. Belleville 35 17 18 0 0 34 0.486 106 109 434 8-10-0-0 9-8-0-0 5-5-0-0 1-0-0-0 2-0
7. Cleveland 39 13 19 4 3 33 0.423 106 134 541 5-12-1-1 8-7-3-2 1-9-0-0 0-7-0-0 1-3

Players Mentioned

Gabriel Dumont

#40 Gabriel Dumont

C
5′ 10″
190 lbs

Charles Hudon

#55 Charles Hudon

F
5′ 10″
187 lbs

Cole Koepke

#45 Cole Koepke

F
6′ 1″
172 lbs

Sean Day

#74 Sean Day

D
6′ 3″
218 lbs

Players Mentioned

Gabriel Dumont

#40 Gabriel Dumont

5′ 10″
190 lbs
C

Charles Hudon

#55 Charles Hudon

5′ 10″
187 lbs
F

Cole Koepke

#45 Cole Koepke

6′ 1″
172 lbs
F

Sean Day

#74 Sean Day

6′ 3″
218 lbs
D

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