Weekly Release – Vol. 29, No. 1



The Crunch began their 29th season with a pair of shootout losses to the Cleveland Monsters at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It was only the second time the Crunch ever began a season with a shootout (also 2012-13), and it’s the first time they’ve ever played back-to-back shootouts to kick off a season.

In Friday’s season opener the Crunch never led, but rallied back from deficits of 1-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 to earn a point before falling in a four-round shootout to the Monsters. The next afternoon, the Crunch and Monsters traded a pair of one-goal leads, with the Crunch tying the game with 11.9 seconds left in regulation. They came up empty in the ensuing shootout after a scoreless overtime to lose the game, 5-4.

This week the Crunch face Rochester in a home-and-home series that concludes with the Crunch’s 29th home opener on Saturday at Upstate Medical University Arena.


Back for his second season in Syracuse, Simon Ryfors delivered during opening weekend with three goals and four points in two games. He began the season with his second career two-goal and three-point game in Friday’s shootout loss to Cleveland. The Swede followed that with the first goal of Saturday’s game, a 5-4 shootout defeat.

Ryfors, 25, collected 35 points in 72 games during his first North American season in 2021-22. He is one of five AHL players with three goals during opening weekend.


Felix Robert made a good first impression in his Crunch debut last week. The third-year-pro racked up a pair of multi-point outings in his first two Crunch games, collecting one goal and one assist Friday before adding three points (1g, 2a) Saturday.

Saturday’s three-point game was the second of his AHL career (also March 12, 2022 vs. Laval). In two seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Robert totaled 47 points (22g, 25a) in 90 games. He signed a two-year contract with the Lightning this summer.


Alex Barré-Boulet continued his torrid scoring pace with the Crunch, chalking up five assists—four of which were primary assists—in two games. He reached 200 AHL/Crunch points during Friday’s game, becoming the sixth player in franchise history with 200 career points.

With 204 points (85g, 119a) in 204 games, Barré-Boulet ranks fifth in Crunch history in scoring. He is one point shy of matching Cory Conacher’s mark for the most during the Lightning affiliation and he needs another 37 to tie the all-time franchise record.


Rookie Jack Finley, the youngest player on the Crunch roster, became the first among the group of rookies to score his first AHL/pro goal. The 20-year-old scored the game-tying goal with 11.9 seconds left in regulation to send Saturday’s game to overtime.

A 2020 second round pick by the Lightning, Finley finished with three points (1g, 2a) during opening weekend.


When Cole Koepke debuted for the Lightning on opening night last week, he became the 77th player to play for Tampa Bay after skating for the Crunch during this affiliation.

The teams jointly announced a five-year affiliation extension that will carry though 2026-27.


The Crunch and Rochester Americans square off in a home-and-home series that culminates with the Crunch’s 29th home opener Saturday at Upstate Medical University Arena.

The Crunch owned an 8-3-1-0 versus the Amerks in 2021-22, including wins in eight of the final 10 games.

Syracuse last hosted the Amerks in a home opener in 2017-18, an overtime loss for the Crunch.


Friday, October 14 | Game 1 at Cleveland | SOL, 6-5

Syracuse        1 2 2 0 0 – 5     Shots: 8-12-9-4-0-33  PP: 3/4

Cleveland      3 1 1 0 1 – 6     Shots: 12-11-12-3-1-39                      PP: 0/2

1st Period-Dumont 1 (Robert, Barré-Boulet), 3:27. 2nd Period-Ryfors 1 (Goncalves, Smith), 1:24. Ryfors 2 (Barré-Boulet, Raddysh), 19:40 (PP). 3rd Period-Robert 1 (Finley, Goncalves), 5:04 (PP). Smith 1 (Ryfors, Raddysh), 16:27 (PP). Shootout-Syracuse 2 (Smith G, Ryfors NG, Goncalves G, Barré-Boulet NG), Cleveland 3 (Bemstrom NG, Marchenko G, Fix-Wolansky G, Fonstad G). . . . Lagace 0-0-1 (38 shots-33 saves) A-9,425

Saturday, October 15 | Game 2 at Cleveland | SOL, 5-4

Syracuse        1 2 1 0 0 – 4     Shots: 7-13-14-2-0-36                         PP: 1/3

Cleveland      1 1 2 0 1 – 5     Shots: 8-7-15-4-1-35   PP: 0/2

1st Period-Ryfors 3 (Robert, Raddysh), 8:11. 2nd Period-Robert 2 (Barré-Boulet, Smith), 11:51 (PP). Raddysh 1 (Barré-Boulet, Finley), 18:03. 3rd Period-Finley 1 (Barré-Boulet, Robert), 19:48. Shootout-Syracuse 0 (Smith NG, Ryfors NG, MacArthur NG), Cleveland 1 (Bemstrom G, Marchenko NG). . . . Alnefelt 0-0-1 (34 shots-30 saves) A-5,890

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