Syracuse Crunch Weekly Release
Presented by Penske Truck Rental
Wed., Dec. 11 – Crunch at Providence – W, 4-1
Fri., Dec. 13 – Crunch at Charlotte – L, 3-2
Sat., Dec. 14 – Crunch at Charlotte – W, 5-4
Wed., Dec. 18 – Crunch at Bridgeport – 7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 20 – Crunch vs. Belleville – 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 21 – Crunch vs. Binghamton – 7 p.m.
Crunch record another four-point week
The Crunch played the first three games of their four-game, eight-day road trip in Week 11 and collected a pair of wins. It’s the second straight week the Crunch have snagged four of six possible points and it improved the team to 15-10-2-0. They remain in sixth place in the North Division with 32 points.
Syracuse opened the road trip with a stop in Providence, where the Crunch scored a 4-1 win behind a Gemel Smith hat trick. They then split a two-game set in Charlotte; the Checkers rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 win over the Crunch Friday night before the Crunch flipped the script with a third-period rally in a 5-4 win Saturday.
The Crunch finish their trip and then play two home games before entering the holiday break in Week 12.
Forward Gemel Smith paced the Crunch with five goals in Week 11. He started the week with a hat trick—the second on his AHL career—against Providence, where he played for the Bruins last season. Smith scored the game’s first goal in Friday’s loss to Charlotte and then started the Crunch’s comeback with another tally Saturday night, giving him a three-game goal scoring streak.
For his efforts, the 25-year-old was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week. It’s the first time the Toronto native has been recognized as the league’s player of the week. He is the first Crunch player to win it since Carter Verhaeghe did so for the week ending Feb. 3, 2019. After the Crunch went back-to-back seasons without a player of the week, Smith’s award makes it three straight seasons at least one Crunch player has been recognized by the league.
Veteran Cory Conacher logged an assist in all three Crunch games in Week 11 to extending his scoring streak to a season-high six games. He has eight points (3g, 5a) in that span. He also has a five-game assist streak—the longest active streak in the AHL—entering the week. This is his first scoring streak of at least six games since his 12-game run last year between Nov. 3 and Dec. 7.
In his fifth season with the Crunch, Conacher ranks third on the team with 20 points (8g, 12a) in 23 games. In 203 career Crunch games, Conacher has 121 assists, which ranks fourth in franchise history, just five assists behind Lonny Bohonos for second place.
Goaltender Mike Condon made his first Crunch appearances in the Crunch’s 5-4 win against the Charlotte Checkers Saturday night.
The Massachusetts native was limited to three games between the Belleville and Ottawa Senators last season due to a hip injury. Saturday’s appearance was his first game action since Nov. 9, 2018 for Belleville.
Condon was acquired by Tampa Bay over the summer in exchange for Ryan Callahan. He has a 29-20-6 record in 58 career AHL games.
Upcoming: Bridgeport, Belleville, Binghamton
The Crunch play their final three games before the holiday break in Week 12.
The Crunch finish off their four-game road trip Wednesday night in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers. The teams have played twice in Syracuse, with the Crunch collecting 5-1 and 5-2 wins. Bridgeport (10-15-3-1) sits in last place in the Atlantic Division.
Syracuse hosts the Belleville Senators Friday night in their second head-to-head match. The Crunch rallied from a 2-0 and 3-1 deficit to win over the Senators in overtime in their first meeting. The Sens enter the week on a three-game winning streak to jump up to third in the North Division.
The Crunch end the week with a home match against the Binghamton Devils (8-15-4-0). They are 18-3-0-1 versus Binghamton since the start of the 2017-18 season, including 2-0 this season.