CRUNCH CONTINUE SURGE
The Crunch pushed their point streak to five games (4-0-1-0) after earning five of six possible points in Week 26.
The week began with the final game of a four-game road trip; the Crunch lost in overtime, 4-3, against the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night. They returned home for back-to-back home wins Friday and Saturday. They scored four consecutive third period goals in a 5-3 win over Springfield Friday and then secured a 1-0 win over the Penguins on Saturday.
Syracuse has won seven straight home games and the Crunch are up to third place in the North Division at 34-24-7-2 (0.575). Six of their final nine games will be played at Upstate Medical University Arena.
Once again, forward Alex Barré-Boulet paced the Crunch in scoring in Week 26, racking up five assists over the three games. He recorded a pair of assists in Wednesday’s overtime loss in Toronto then picked up three more in Saturday’s win against Springfield, pushing the Quebec native into the team’s scoring lead with 55 points (16g, 39a) in 50 games.
Barré-Boulet ranks eighth overall in the AHL with his 39 assists, which represents a new career high.
Goaltender Max Lagace started all three games for the Crunch last week, earning another two wins (2-0-1) while stopping 89 of 96 shots for a .927 save percentage. The bulk of the work came in Saturday’s 48-save shutout performance against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. It was Lagace’s second 1-0 shutout win over the Penguins this season (March 18); he’s stopped all 73 shots against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.
The 48-saves were the most in a Crunch shutout since Jean-Philippe Levasseur made 46 in a 1-0 shootout loss Jan. 14, 2011 vs. Hamilton. This is the first time the Crunch have ever posted 1-0 shutout wins against the same opponent in a single season.
Veteran forward Riley Nash continues to produce since joining the Crunch. He led the way with three goals in Week 26. His late game-tying goal Wednesday at Toronto sent the game to overtime to earn the Crunch a valuable standings point. He followed up with his second multi-goal game Saturday, scoring twice in the third period to help the team overcome a 3-1 deficit.
Nash has recorded points in seven of his nine games since joining the Crunch; he has 11 points (5g, 6a).
Rookie defenseman Nick Perbix made his professional debut last week for the Crunch. The 23-year-old made his debut Wednesday at Toronto. His role increased over the weekend and he picked up a pair of assists; his first career point came with an assist on the team’s game-winning goal Friday and he followed with another primary assist on the game’s lone goal Saturday.
A St. Cloud State product, Perbix joined the Crunch on an amateur tryout (ATO) last week after signing an entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2022-23 season. He was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The Crunch make their lone trip to Springfield tomorrow to wrap their two-game series with the Thunderbirds. Syracuse rallied past the T-Birds in Syracuse over the weekend, kicking off what is now a three-game losing streak for Springfield (37-22-6-2).
They play their penultimate road game of the season Friday in Utica. It is the final of their 14-game regular season series. The Crunch are 3-9-1-0 against the Comets this season; they are 31-15-6-2 (0.648) against the rest of the AHL.
The Crunch finish off the week at home on Saturday against the Toronto Marlies, in their final regular season match. The Crunch have earned points in all three previous meetings against the Marlies, posting a 1-0-1-1 mark.
WEEK 26 RESULTS
Wednesday, April 6 | Game 65 at Toronto | OTL, 4-3
Syracuse 1 1 1 0 – 3 Shots: 8-9-11-4-32 PP: 0/2
Toronto 0 3 0 1 – 4 Shots: 11-11-1-2-25 PP: 0/2
1st Period-Koepke 20 (Claesson, Fortier), 0:14. 2nd Period-Raddysh 7 (Barré-Boulet, Goncalves), 2:05. 3rd Period-Nash 3 (Barré-Boulet, Hudon), 18:25. . . . Lagace 15-9-2 (25 shots-21 saves) A-1,703
Friday, April 8 | Game 66 vs. Springfield | W, 5-3
Springfield 0 2 1 – 3 Shots: 5-12-6-23 PP: 2/3
Syracuse 0 1 4 – 5 Shots: 11-12-14-37 PP: 1/4
2nd Period-Day 8 (Barré-Boulet), 18:59. 3rd Period-Nash 4 (Richard), 9:28. Richard 15 (Raddysh, Claesson), 12:25. Goncalves 16 (Perbix, Barré-Boulet), 17:24 (PP). Nash 5 (Barré-Boulet, Richard), 18:58 (EN). . . . Lagace 16-9-2 (23 shots-20 saves) A-4,365
Saturday, April 9 | Game 67 vs. W-B/Scranton | W, 1-0
W-B/Scranton 0 0 0 – 0 Shots: 13-21-14-48 PP: 0/4
Syracuse 0 1 0 – 1 Shots: 11-12-8-31 PP: 0/3
1st Period-Smith 2 (Perbix, Walcott), 2:56. . . . Lagace 17-9-2 (48 shots-48 saves) A-5,322
|Category||Average/Total||AHL Rank (Prev)|
|Power Play||17.9% (40-for-224)||T-24th (25th)|
|Penalty Kill||77.9% (173-for-222)||26th (25th)|
|Goals For||3.12 GFA (209)||12th (T-12th)|
|Goals Against||3.13 GAA (210)||T-18th (21st)|
|Shots For||32.21 SF/G (2158)||6th (6th)|
|Shots Against||26.64 SA/G (1785)||3rd (3rd)|
|Penalty Minutes||11.18 PIM/G (749)||26th (24th)|
|North Division||GP||W||L||OTL||SOL||PTS||PCT||GF||GA||PIM||HOME||ROAD||LAST 10||STREAK||S/O|
|1. x Utica||65||39||18||7||1||86||0.662||225||182||704||21-7-4-1||18-11-3-0||4-5-1-0||0-3-1-0||2-1|