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Wed., March 13 – Crunch at Laval – W, 4-2
Fri., March 15 – Crunch vs. Hartford – W, 3-2
Sat., March 16 – Crunch vs. Binghamton – W, 4-1
Tue., March 19 – Crunch at Charlotte – 7 p.m.
Wed., March 20 – Crunch at Charlotte – 7 p.m.
Sat., March 23 – Crunch vs. Utica – 7 p.m.
Sun., March 14 – Crunch at Bridgeport – 5 p.m.
CRUNCH REACH 40 WINS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
The Crunch swept a three-game week and extended their points streak to seven games (6-0-1-0) to open up a season-high three-point lead in the North Division. The Crunch (40-17-4-2) also reached 40 wins for the second straight season; it’s the seventh time in franchise history and the 63 games needed to hit 40 wins are the fewest in franchise history.
Syracuse opened the week Wednesday in Laval with a 4-2 win over the Rocket, the Crunch’s fourth win in five games head-to-head. The Crunch collected two home wins to wrap up the week, fending off a late comeback bid by the Hartford Wolf Pack in a 3-2 win and then thumping Binghamton, 4-1, Saturday night to end the season series 9-1-0-0 against the Devils.
The Crunch have their sights set on the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy—awarded to the team with the best record in the AHL. No Syracuse-based AHL team has ever finished the regular season with the best record, but the Crunch enter the week three points behind the Charlotte Checkers with a two-game set in Charlotte to open the week.
Andy Andreoff extended his scoring streak to a season and career-high seven games with four points (2g, 2a) in three games last week. Skating on a line with rookies Ross Colton and Taylor Raddysh, the veteran had an assist Wednesday in Laval, scored a goal Friday against Hartford then recorded his 12th multi-point game of the season (1g, 1a) in Saturday’s win over Binghamton.
In his first season with the organization, Andreoff has established new career-highs in points (48), goals (24) and power-play goals (9), while his 24 assists have matched a career-high. His 48 points ranks fourth on the team, while his 24 goals rank third on the Crunch and are tied for 17th in the AHL.
Carter Verhaeghe snapped a three-game scoring drought with his 21st multi-point performance of the season Saturday against the Devils. He set up the game’s first goal with a power-play assist—his 20th—then scored a highlight-reel goal on a partial breakaway later in the game.
With 69 points, the 23-year-old has established a new single-season record for most points during the Lightning affiliation, now in its seventh season. That also ranks tied for 10th in a single season in franchise history; the Crunch record is 79 points, set by Lonny Bohonos in 1994-95 and matched by Bill Bowler in 2000-01.
He paces the Crunch with 21 multi-point outings in 63 games; Verhaeghe entered the season with 22 career multi-point games in 135 AHL contests.
Goaltender Eddie Pasquale won both of his starts last week to extend his personal winning streak to four games, his second such streak of the season. In his first full season with the organization, Pasquale has matched his career-high with 23 wins, which he set in 2011-12 with the St. John’s IceCaps; he finished 23-12-1 in 38 games that season and is 23-10-5 in 38 games this season. He also collected his third assist of the season, establishing a new career high.
Since Jan. 18, the 28-year-old has posted an 11-2-1 record with a 1.74 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. He has a league-high four shutouts in that span.
UPCOMING: CHARLOTTE, UTICA, BRIDGEPORT
Week 25 opens with a showdown between the teams with the best two records in the AHL as Syracuse visits Charlotte Tuesday and Wednesday. They are the final two games of the season series; two of the Crunch’s six regulation home losses are against the Checkers, but they both came in October during the Crunch’s 2-5-0-0 start. Charlotte leads Syracuse by three points for the top overall record in the AHL. Neither team has ever finished first overall in the regular season.
The Crunch’s lone home game is Saturday against the slumping Utica Comets, who have dropped out of a playoff position with seven straight losses (0-6-1-0). The Crunch lead the Galaxy Cup series with five wins in nine games.
Syracuse has a quick turnaround with a Sunday finale in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers. They are one of five teams, including the Crunch, with at least 80 points this season. The Crunch defeated the Sound Tigers, 3-1, in their only previous meeting Jan. 4 in Syracuse.
WEEK 24 RESULTS
Wednesday, March 13 | Game 61 at Laval | W, 4-2
Syracuse 1 1 2 – 4 Shots: 8-5-8-21 PP: 1/3
Laval 1 0 1 – 2 Shots: 9-7-16-32 PP: 1/5
1st Period-Foote 8 (Andreoff), 14:28. 2nd Period-Raddysh 16 (Colton, Stephens), 18:37 (PP). 3rd Period-Dumont 10 (Unassisted), 1:14. Barré-Boulet 29 (Pasquale), 19:14 (EN). . . . Pasquale 22-10-5 (32 shots-30 saves). A-4,354
Friday, March 15 | Game 62 vs. Hartford | W, 3-2
Hartford 0 0 2 – 2 Shots: 7-7-12-26 PP: 1/7
Syracuse 1 1 1 – 3 Shots: 9-13-2-24 PP: 0/3
1st Period-Volkov 14 (Dumont, Conacher), 1:07. 2nd Period-Andreoff 23 (Raddysh, Colton), 19:27. 3rd Period-Stephens 10 (Katchouk, Brassart), 1:56. . . . Pasquale 23-10-5 (26 shots-24 saves). A-5,371
Saturday, March 16 | Game 63 vs. Binghamton | W, 4-1
Binghamton 0 1 0 – 1 Shots: 6-6-6-18 PP: 1/5
Syracuse 1 2 1 – 4 Shots: 3-11-9-23 PP: 1/3
1st Period-Andreoff 24 (Barré-Boulet, Verhaeghe), 4:02 (PP). 2nd Period-Volkov 15 (Dumont, Tammela), 1:59. Verhaeghe 28 (Stephens, Labrie), 11:42. 3rd Period-Volkov 16 (Andreoff, Thomas), 19:02 (EN). . . . Ouellette 3-0-1 (18 shots-17 saves). A-6,033
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 21.2% (57-for-569) 5th (6th)
Penalty Kill 84.8% (256-for-302) 4th (4th)
Goals For 3.54 GFA (223) 3rd (3rd)
Goals Against 2.46 GAA (155) 1st (1st)
Shots For 28.38 SF/G (1788) 23rd (22nd)
Shots Against 28.54 SA/G (1798) 11th (11th)
Penalty Minutes 13.92 PIM/G (877) 6th (8th)
Points 69 Verhaeghe
Goals 29 Barré-Boulet
Assists 41 Verhaeghe
PIM 125 Andreoff
Plus/Minus +25 Masin
Wins 23 Pasquale
GAA 2.26 Ingram
Save % 0.922 Ingram