CRUNCH TURN ATTENTION TO NOVEMBER
The Crunch earned one point in three games during the final week of October in Week 3.
Syracuse dropped both tilts of a home-and-home series with the Toronto Marlies to begin the week. Wednesday, the Crunch surrendered five third-period goals in a 5-3 loss in Toronto. Then on Friday they rallied from two goals down in the third to force overtime before losing, 4-3. The Cleveland Monsters came to Syracuse and knocked off the Crunch, 4-2, Saturday.
After a 1-3-1-2 start to the season, the Crunch turn the page and begin November with a three-game road trip this week.
Alex Barré-Boulet led the Crunch offensively in Week 3, producing five points (2g, 3a) in three games. He surged into the team and AHL lead with 12 points (2g, 10a) through seven games. It’s the most points he’s had in the first seven games of a season in his five-year career.
Barré-Boulet has logged at least one point in six of the first seven games of the season and he has five multi-point performances to date. That includes the final two games of Week 3; he opened the week with a single assist in Toronto before scoring his first two goals of the season to pull the Crunch into overtime Friday against the Marlies. He earned two assists in Saturday’s loss versus Cleveland.
The 25-year-old ranks fourth in Crunch history with his 211 career points in 209 games. He sits one behind Mark Hartigan for third place.
Gemel Smith extended his season-opening scoring streak to seven games with four points (1g, 3a) in three games last week. It establishes a new career high for Smith, who is tied with Providence’s Luke Toporowski for the longest active scoring streak in the AHL.
The Toronto native opened the week with a multi-point game Wednesday in Toronto, earning a goal and assist against the Marlies. He then notched single assists in both home games to close the week, giving the veteran an assist in all seven games this year.
Smith is tied with Felix Robert and Darren Raddysh for second on the team in scoring with 10 points (3g, 7a). Since joining the organization in the 2019-20 season, he has logged 64 points (33g, 31a) in 73 Crunch games.
The Crunch have opened the season with a 1-3-1-2 record in October. In six Octobers under head coach Ben Groulx, the Crunch are a combined 17-20-5-2, which is a 0.466 points percentage in 44 games.
They typically find their footing once the calendar flips; Syracuse is 205-109-24-23 (0.633) in the remaining 361 regular season games under Groulx since 2016-17.
THIRD PERIOD’S THE FUN PERIOD
Through October, the Crunch have scored 26 goals and allowed 30 in seven games. The majority of the scoring in Crunch games has come in the third period.
In the third period, the Crunch have outscored their opponents, 14-13, which constitutes 48.2% of total scoring in their games this season. The 14 goals are the most scored by a team in the third period, while the 13 allowed are tied with Rochester for the most given up.
UPCOMING: ROCHESTER, CHARLOTTE
The Crunch begin November with a three-game road trip that takes them to Rochester and Charlotte.
Syracuse makes its second of six scheduled visits to Blue Cross Arena Wednesday night for a match with the Amerks. The teams have split the first two games of their season series, with the Amerks winning, 4-3, in Rochester and the Crunch topping them, 6-2, in Syracuse over a home-and-home series two weeks ago.
The Crunch then play a weekend set at Bojangles Coliseum versus the Charlotte Checkers Friday and Saturday. It’ll be their only trip to Charlotte this season. Last season, the teams traded wins during their four-game series with both teams earning 5-3 victories on back-to-back days in Charlotte last December. The Checkers are 4-0-0-0 at home to begin the season and they are 4-1-1-0 overall.
WEEK 3 RESULTS
Wednesday, October 26 | Game 5 at Toronto | L, 5-3
Syracuse 0 1 2 – 3 Shots: 5-6-12-23 PP: 1/3
Toronto 0 0 5 – 5 Shots: 13-7-16-36 PP: 2/4
2nd Period-Ryfors 4 (Smith, Barré-Boulet), 19:35 (PP). 3rd Period-Smith 3 (Ryfors, Walcott), 2:39. Robert 6 (Walcott, Raddysh), 16:52. . . . Lagace 1-2-1 (35 shots-31 saves) A-2,843
Friday, October 28 | Game 6 vs. Toronto | OTL, 4-3
Toronto 2 1 0 1 – 4 Shots: 15-7-8-7-37 PP: 1/6
Syracuse 0 1 2 0 – 3 Shots: 8-18-14-0-40 PP: 0/3
2nd Period-Carrick 2 (Jones, Smith), 2:16. 3rd Period-Barré-Boulet 1 (Jones), 2:42. Barré-Boulet 2 (Day), 6:05. . . . Lagace 1-2-2 (37 shots-33 saves) A-4,167
Saturday, October 29 | Game 7 vs. Cleveland | L, 4-2
Cleveland 2 1 1 – 4 Shots: 17-12-7-36 PP: 1/4
Syracuse 0 0 2 – 2 Shots: 11-13-16-40 PP: 1/4
3rd Period-Ryfors 5 (Barré-Boulet, Raddysh), 2:26. Raddysh 3 (Barré-Boulet, Smith), 16:21. . . . Alnefelt 0-1-1 (36 shots-32 saves) A-4,014