Syracuse Crunch

The Syracuse Crunch are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play in Syracuse, New York, at the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial. They are the primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.[1]

Syracuse Crunch
2019–20 AHL season
Syracuse Crunch.svg
CitySyracuse, New York
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
ConferenceEastern
DivisionNorth
Founded1992
Home arenaUpstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial
ColorsBlue, white, silver, black
                   
Owner(s)Howard Dolgon
General managerStacy Roest
Head coachBenoit Groulx
MediaSyracuse Post-Standard
WTLA
AHL.TV (Internet)
AffiliatesTampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)
Franchise history
1992–1994Hamilton Canucks
1994–presentSyracuse Crunch
Championships
Division Championships4 (2001–02, 2012–13, 2016–17, 2018–19)
Conference Championships2 (2012–13, 2016–17)

HistoryEdit

Vancouver and Pittsburgh affiliations (1994–2000)Edit

The franchise originated in 1992 as the Hamilton Canucks, which were an affiliate of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks played in Hamilton, Ontario, for two seasons, before relocating to upstate New York in 1994. They were then renamed the 'Crunch' in a public vote of five names. The Crunch played their first game in Syracuse on September 30, 1994, against the Albany River Rats to a 7–7 tie with Lonny Bohonos scoring the first Crunch goal. The Crunch finished their first season 29–42–9–0, fifth place in the division, and outside the playoffs. The Crunch made the playoffs in the following season after finishing 31–37–5–7 and made it to the 1996 conference finals before losing to the eventual Calder Cup champion Rochester Americans. The team led the league in sellouts in 1996–97 and 1997–98 seasons.[2] In 1997, the Crunch added a second NHL affiliate with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 1998–99 AHL season was the Crunch's worst season as of 2020 with a 18–50–9–3 record. On the night before Thanksgiving in 1998, the Crunch suffered their worst loss in team history to the Providence Bruins, 14–2. They allowed an AHL record of 10 goals in the first period.[3] Goalie Craig Hillier allowed seven goals before being pulled for Mike Valley, who also allowed seven. The Penguins' affiliation ended after this season when they launched the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.[4]

The Crunch made the playoffs the following season, their last as Vancouver's AHL affiliate, but lost in the first round to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Columbus affiliation (2000–2010)Edit

The Crunch became the affiliate of the newly formed Columbus Blue Jackets following the 1999–2000 season. They made the playoffs in their first season under the Jackets, but lost in five games to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the first round. In the following 2001–02 season, the Crunch won their first division title in franchise history behind goaltender Jean-Francois Labbe. They swept the Philadelphia Phantoms in three games in the first round, but lost to the eventual Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves in the next round in seven games.

On March 17, 2002, the Crunch played against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. This game was infamously named the "St. Patrick's Day Massacre". The Crunch accumulated 124 penalty minutes, 80 of which were fighting related, while the Penguins had 162 penalty minutes with 102 for fighting. The Crunch won the game 4–0.[5] The Crunch would miss the playoffs the following season, their second worst season in franchise history, finishing 27-41-8-4.

In the 2003–04 season, the Crunch became the twelfth team to blow a 3–1 series lead when they lost to the Rochester Americans in the first round of the 2004 Calder Cup playoffs. The Crunch were on home ice for game seven and forward Kent McDonnell missed an empty net when the Americans' goalie Ryan Miller was caught out of position. Rochester then recovered with an odd-man rush and Norm Milley beat Crunch goalie Karl Goehring to win the game in overtime.[6]

The 2005–06 season was the best season the Crunch had during the 80-game schedule format. They scored a team record of 272 goals, but they also allowed 251 goals, and ended the regular season second in their division, 13 points behind Grand Rapids. They also had 47 wins, which is tied with their 2018–19 season record, albeit in four less games with the 76-game schedule. Andy Delmore won the Eddie Shore Award, scoring 72 points in 66 games, while also making the AHL First All-Star team at the end of the season. Mark Hartigan also scored 75 points in 49 games, averaging over a point and a half per game. They then lost in the first round of the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs to the Manitoba Moose in six games.

During the 2007–08 season, the Crunch went on a 15-game winning streak at the end of the season from March 8 to April 13, 2008, to make the playoffs. This streak is still the longest in team history as of 2020. They defeated the Manitoba Moose in six games, where five of them went to overtime. They advanced to the second round to face the Toronto Marlies, but blew another 3–1 series lead.

The Crunch played the first outdoor game in AHL history on February 20, 2010, against the Binghamton Senators. The Mirabito Outdoor Classic took place at the Grandstand at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The game set a then AHL attendance record of 21,508. Syracuse won the game 2–1, with goals scored by Alexandre Picard and David Liffiton. Goaltender Kevin Lalande made 36 saves en route to the Syracuse victory.

The Crunch missed the playoffs in their final two seasons as the affiliate of the Blue Jackets, as they switched their affiliation to the Springfield Falcons in 2010.[7]

Anaheim affiliation (2010–2012)Edit

The Anaheim affiliation lasted two seasons, resulting in one playoff appearance in the 2011–12 season. They lost in the first round to the St. John's IceCaps in four games. The affiliation produced future NHL players such as Kyle Palmieri, Nick Bonino, and Patrick Maroon.

Tampa Bay affiliation (2012–present)Edit

The Crunch signed a multi-year affiliation deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning beginning with the 2012–13 season.[8][9] The affiliation bought immediate success, resulting in the team's first division championship in 11 years. At the end of the 2012–13 regular season, Tyler Johnson won the Les Cunningham Award, Willie Marshall Award, and the President's Award. He was the first MVP in Crunch history. He totaled 65 points, scoring 37 goals and assisted on 28 goals. The team reached the 2013 Calder Cup finals, their first ever Calder Cup appearance, but lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins.[10]

On November 22, 2014, the Syracuse Crunch set a new United States indoor professional hockey attendance record with 30,715 fans at the Carrier Dome for the "Toyota Frozen Dome Classic".[11] Syracuse defeated the Utica Comets 2–1.

The Crunch won their second division title under the Tampa affiliation in 2016–17 season. They advanced to their second Calder Cup appearance, again against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins took the series in six games and won the series 4–2. They also lost an AHL record of 8 road games during the playoffs.

On May 5, 2018, the Syracuse Crunch played their longest game in team history,[12] which the Crunch lost 2–1 in double overtime to the Toronto Marlies. The game lasted 95 minutes and 10 seconds. The Crunch previously played two double overtime games, both in the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs. They played a double overtime game in the first round against the St. John's IceCaps, resulting in a 4–3 double overtime win. That game lasted 90 minutes and 37 seconds, their previous record. They also played another double overtime game in the 2017 Calder Cup Finals, a 6–5 loss in double overtime to the Grand Rapids Griffins, lasting 87 minutes and 2 seconds.

The 2018–19 season was the best season the Crunch has had during the 76-game schedule format. The Crunch tied a team record in points with 102, and tied a franchise record in wins with 47. Eddie Pasquale won the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award, Carter Verhaeghe won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy, and Verhaeghe and Alex Barre-Boulet both won the Willie Marshall Award, as they both tied for the league lead in goals scored. The Crunch also achieved 900 franchise victories with a 6–2 win over the Utica Comets on March 30, 2019.[13] The Crunch won their third division title in the Tampa affiliation, but were upset in four games by the Cleveland Monsters.

The Crunch played their first 62 games of the 2019–20 season, but the season was suspended on March 12, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[14] The season was ultimately cancelled on May 11, 2020.

The Crunch will face the Utica Comets in an outdoor game hosted by Utica at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York, on February 13, 2021.[15]

Syracuse hockey historyEdit

American Hockey League teams that played in Syracuse:

Other hockey teams that played in Syracuse:

LogosEdit

Owner Howard Dolgon came up with the superhero mascot Crunchman for the team's debut in 1994. In 2000, as the Crunch became an affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Crunchman was replaced with Al the Ice Gorilla. Al remained until 2012, when Dolgon found the new affiliation with Tampa Bay a good reason to return with Crunchman.[16]

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL SOL Points PCT Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing (Division) Year 1st
round
2nd
round
3rd
round
Finals
1994–95 80 29 42 9 0 67 .419 288 325 5th, South 1995 Did not qualify
1995–96 80 31 37 5 7 74 .463 257 307 5th, Central 1996 W, 3–1, BNG W, 4–3, BAL L, 1–4, RCH
1996–97 80 32 38 10 0 74 .463 241 265 4th, Empire State 1997 L, 0–3, RCH
1997–98 80 35 32 11 2 83 .519 272 285 3rd, Empire State 1998 L, 2–3, HAM
1998–99 80 18 50 9 3 48 .300 220 327 5th, Empire State 1999 Did not qualify
1999–00 80 35 35 9 1 80 .500 290 294 2nd, Empire State 2000 L, 1–3, HAM
2000–01 80 33 30 12 5 83 .519 235 254 3rd, Mid-Atlantic 2001 L, 2–3, WBS
2001–02 80 39 23 13 5 96 .600 228 193 1st, Central 2002 W, 3–0, PHI L, 3–4, CHI
2002–03 80 27 41 8 4 66 .413 201 256 4th, Central 2003 Did not qualify
2003–04 80 38 25 10 7 93 .581 239 235 2nd, North 2004 L, 3–4, RCH
2004–05 80 36 33 4 7 83 .519 215 230 5th, North 2005 Did not qualify
2005–06 80 47 25 5 3 102 .638 272 251 2nd, North 2006 L, 2–4, MTB
2006–07 80 34 34 4 8 80 .500 250 248 5th, North 2007 Did not qualify
2007–08 80 46 26 2 6 100 .625 247 201 2nd, North 2008 W, 4–2, MTB L, 3–4, TOR
2008–09 80 40 32 5 3 88 .550 214 226 5th, North 2009 Did not qualify
2009–10 80 34 39 4 3 75 .469 227 272 6th, East 2010 Did not qualify
2010–11 80 35 38 3 4 77 .481 221 250 6th, East 2011 Did not qualify
2011–12 76 37 29 5 5 84 .553 238 229 4th, East 2012 L, 1–3, STJ
2012–13 76 43 22 6 5 97 .638 247 201 1st, East 2013 W, 3–0, POR W, 4–0, SPR W, 4–1, WBS L, 2–4, GR
2013–14 76 31 32 4 9 75 .493 198 232 5th, East 2014 Did not qualify
2014–15 76 41 25 10 0 92 .605 218 219 2nd, Northeast 2015 L, 0–3, WBS
2015–16 76 32 29 11 4 79 .520 213 240 6th, North 2016 Did not qualify
2016–17 76 38 24 7 7 90 .592 232 227 1st, North 2017 W, 3–1, STJ W, 4–3, TOR W, 4–1, PRO L, 2–4, GR
2017–18 76 46 22 3 5 100 .658 236 193 2nd, North 2018 W, 3–0, RCH L, 0–4, TOR
2018–19 76 47 21 4 4 102 .671 264 187 1st, North 2019 L, 1–3, CLE
2019–20 62 30 23 4 5 69 .556 202 210 5th, North 2020 Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Players and coachesEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated August 7, 2020.[17][18][19]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
17   Peter Abbandonato C L 22 2019 Laval, Quebec Crunch
22   Ross Colton C L 24 2018 Robbinsville, New Jersey Lightning
1   Mike Condon G L 30 2019 Holliston, Massachusetts Lightning
24   Cameron Gaunce (A) D L 30 2018 Sudbury, Ontario Lightning
15   Jimmy Huntington C L 21 2019 Laval, Quebec Lightning
13   Boris Katchouk LW L 22 2018 Waterloo, Ontario Lightning
36   Alexei Lipanov C L 21 2019 Moscow, Russia Lightning
20   Ryan Lohin C L 24 2019 Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania Lightning
  Nikita Pavlychev C L 23 2020 Yaroslavl, Russia Crunch
18   Taylor Raddysh RW R 22 2018 Caledon, Ontario Lightning
23   Patrick Sieloff D R 26 2019 Ann Arbor, Michigan Lightning
16   Otto Somppi C L 22 2018 Helsinki, Finland Lightning
14   Devante Stephens D L 23 2019 White Rock, British Columbia Lightning
26   Ben Thomas D R 24 2016 Calgary, Alberta Lightning
8   Nolan Valleau D L 27 2018 Novi, Michigan Crunch
85   Daniel Walcott LW L 26 2015 Île-Perrot, Quebec Lightning
38   Clint Windsor G R 26 2020 Hamilton, Ontario Crunch
11   Dennis Yan LW L 23 2017 Portland, Oregon Lightning

Team captainsEdit

Head coachesEdit

Current coaching staffEdit

Honored numbersEdit

The Crunch raised a banner following a fan vote during the team's fifth season in honor of fan favorite #14 "Big Bad" John Badduke. It is not retired, as it would later be worn by former United States Olympian Darby Hendrickson, Serge Aubin, Richard Panik, Justin Courtnall, Brandon Alderson, Mike McNamee and most recently, Kevin Lynch.

During the 2008–09 AHL season, the team temporarily reserved, but not retired, #7 as a tribute to Paul Newman after his death. This honors Reg Dunlop, the player-coach for the fictional Charlestown Chiefs, which Newman played in the movie Slap Shot. The movie was filmed partially at Onondaga County War Memorial. Coincidentally, other scenes were filmed at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the home ice of the Crunch's former ECHL affiliate, the Johnstown Chiefs. The banner was raised October 14 and was up for the entire season, but the number was not retired, as it was most recently worn by Crunch player Mathieu Joseph in the 2019-20 season.

On March 26, 2016, the Syracuse Crunch retired Dolph Schayes' number #4. Schayes played for the Syracuse Nationals and their successor, the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the first player in the National Basketball Association to score 15,000 points in his career.[20] This number isn't officially retired, as the number was most recently worn by Jan Rutta during the 2018-19 season.

Notable Crunch alumniEdit

Franchise records and leadersEdit

Records as of the beginning of the 2019-20 AHL season

Single season recordsEdit

Goals: Lonny Bohonos, 40 (1995–96)
Assists: Bill Bowler, 58 (2000–01)
Points: Carter Verhaeghe, 82 (2018–19)
Penalty minutes: Jody Shelley, 357 (2000–01)
GAA: Jean-Francois Labbe, 2.18 (2001–02)
SV%: Jean-Francois Labbe, .928 (2001–02)

Single postseason recordsEdit

Goals: Lonny Bohonos, 16 (1996)
Assists: Ondrej Palat, 19 (2013)
Points: Cory Conacher, 28 (2017)
Penalty minutes: Richard Panik, 59 (2013)
Wins: Cedrick Desjardins (2013) and Mike McKenna (2017), 13
GAA: Cedrick Desjardins, 2.30 (2013)
SV%: Pascal Leclaire, .939 (2006)

Career recordsEdit

Career games: Brad Moran, 334
Career goals: Mark Hartigan, 107
Career assists: Brad Moran, 143
Career points: Brad Moran, 241
Career penalty minutes: Jeremy Reich, 820
Career goaltending wins: Karl Goehring, 78
Career shutouts: Jean-Francois Labbe and Karl Goehring, 11

Trophies and awardsEdit

Award winnersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Lightning to affiliate with AHL's Syracuse Crunch". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  2. ^ Mancuso, Jim (2005). Hockey in Syracuse. Arcadia Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 0738538981.
  3. ^ Mark Divver (2016-11-24). "Mark Divver: Looking back at the night P-Bruins set AHL record with 10 goals in one period". Providence Journal Star. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  4. ^ "Penguins Farm Team Affiliations". PittsburghHockey.net. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2017-03-17). "BLOW BY BLOW – THE ST. PATRICK'S DAY MASSACRE". Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  6. ^ Lindsay Kramer (2018-04-18). "Last playoff showdown with Rochester Amerks is a painful memory for the Syracuse Crunch". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  7. ^ Central New York. "Blue Jackets all but packed and gone; Dolgon targets new parent club for Crunch". Syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  8. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch Announce Long-Term Affiliation Extension". OurSportsCentral.com. September 12, 2018.
  9. ^ Brett Carlsen (June 6, 2013). "10 things to know If you're jumping on the Syracuse Crunch bandwagon | syracuse.com". Blog.syracuse.com. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  10. ^ Central New York (June 19, 2013). "Calder Cup Finals: The 2012-'13 Syracuse Crunch won't soon be forgotten even in defeat". syracuse.com. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  11. ^ Lindsay Kramer (November 23, 2014). "Final attendance number for Frozen Dome Classic crushes previous U.S. indoor pro hockey record". syracuse.com. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  12. ^ @LukasFavale (May 6, 2018). "Last night was the longest Syracuse Crunch game in franchise history, lasting 95 minutes and 10 seconds. It was the third multiple-overtime game in team history. All three have come in the last two postseasons. #GoGetIt" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ @SyracuseCrunch (March 30, 2019). "That's how you celebrate 25 seasons of #SyrCrunch hockey. 👊" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "AHL suspends play". American Hockey League. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  15. ^ Ben Birnell (February 19, 2020). "Utica Comets to host 2021 AHL outdoor game". uticaod.com. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  16. ^ "Crunchman returns as the Syracuse Crunch go back to the future : Sports". CNYcentral.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  17. ^ "Syracuse Crunch - 2017-18 Syracuse Crunch Roster". Syracuse Crunch. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  18. ^ "Syracuse Crunch Roster". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  19. ^ "Syracuse Crunch roster". Elite Prospects. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  20. ^ "Syracuse Crunch to retire jersey of Hall of Famer and 12-time NBA All-Star Dolph Schayes March 26". Syracuse Crunch. February 23, 2016.

External linksEdit