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 Oncenter War Memorial Arena. They are the primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.[1]

Syracuse Crunch
2019–20 AHL season
CitySyracuse, New York
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
ConferenceEastern
DivisionNorth
Founded1992
Home arenaOncenter War Memorial Arena
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)

History

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. Soon the team was among the most popular of the AHL, leading the league in sellouts in 1996–97 and 1997–98.[2] After the relocation from Hamilton was complete, the Crunch remained the AHL farm team of the Canucks until 2000 – with also a season hosting Pittsburgh Penguins players in 1997–98 – when it switched its NHL affiliation to the newly formed Columbus Blue Jackets, an affiliation it retained for a decade, before the Jackets switched their affiliation to the Springfield Falcons in 2010.[3] The Crunch then spent two seasons affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks before signing a multi-year affiliation deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning effective for the 2012–13 season.[4] In the first year of the new partnership, the team reached the 2013 Calder Cup Finals, losing to the Grand Rapids Griffins.[5] The team also reached the Calder Cup Finals again in 2017, facing Grand Rapids once again.[6] The result was the same, as the Griffins took the series in six games and won the series 4–2.

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.[7] Goalie Craig Hillier allowed seven goals before being pulled for Mike Valley, who also allowed seven. The 1998–99 season is the worst season in franchise history as of 2019.

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 piled up 124 penalty minutes, 80 of which were fighting related penalty minutes. The Penguins racked up 162 penalty minutes, 102 of which were fighting related penalties. There were 202 penalty minutes related to fighting and a grand total of 286 penalty minutes all together. The Crunch won the game 4-0.[8]

At the time of defeat, the Syracuse Crunch were the 12th team to blow a 3-1 series lead and the fourth of the 12 to lose on home ice. They had a 3-1 series advantage in the Division Semifinals Round of 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs over the Rochester Americans before losing game 7 in overtime. The Crunch easily could've won the game, but Crunch forward Kent McDonnell missed an empty net. Amerks goalie Ryan Miller was caught out of position on the empty net. Rochester then stormed down the ice on an odd-man rush and Norm Milley beat Crunch goalie Karl Goehring to win the game in overtime and the series.[9] They also blew a 3–1 series lead four years later in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Marlies.

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 in the 2018–19 season, 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.

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 an AHL attendance record of 21,508. Syracuse won the game 2–1.

At the end of the 2012–13 regular season, Tyler Johnson was named league MVP. He was the first MVP in Crunch history. He totaled 65 points, scoring 37 goals and assisted on 28 goals. At the end of the season he was awarded the President's Award for outstanding accomplishments on the ice.

On November 22, 2014, the Syracuse Crunch set a new United States Indoor Professional Hockey attendance record by playing in front of 30,715 fans at the Carrier Dome for the "Toyota Frozen Dome Classic". Syracuse defeated the Utica Comets 2–1.

On May 5, 2018, the Syracuse Crunch played their longest game in team history,[10] 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 round 1 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 Crunch achieved 900 franchise victories with a 6-2 win over the Utica Comets on March 30, 2019.[11]

Affiliation history

Syracuse hockey history

American Hockey League teams that played in Syracuse:

Other hockey teams that played in Syracuse:

Logos

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.[13]

Season-by-season results

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
1994–958029429067.4192883255th, South1995Did not qualify
1995–968031375774.4632573075th, Central1996W, 3–1, BNGW, 4–3, BALL, 1–4, RCH
1996–9780323810074.4632412654th, Empire State1997L, 0–3, RCH
1997–9880353211283.5192722853rd, Empire State1998L, 2–3, HAM
1998–998018509348.3002203275th, Empire State1999Did not qualify
1999–008035359180.5002902942nd, Empire State2000L, 1–3, HAM
2000–0180333012583.5192352543rd, Mid-Atlantic2001L, 2–3, WBS
2001–0280392313596.6002281931st, Central2002W, 3–0, PHIL, 3–4, CHI
2002–038027418466.4132012564th, Central2003Did not qualify
2003–0480382510793.5812392352nd, North2004L, 3–4, RCH
2004–058036334783.5192152305th, North2005Did not qualify
2005–0680472553102.6382722512nd, North2006L, 2–4, MTB
2006–078034344880.5002502485th, North2007Did not qualify
2007–0880462626100.6252472012nd, North2008W, 4–2, MTBL, 3–4, TOR
2008–098040325388.5502142265th, North2009Did not qualify
2009–108034394375.4692272726th, East2010Did not qualify
2010–118035383477.4812212506th, East2011Did not qualify
2011–127637295584.5532382294th, East2012L, 1–3, STJ
2012–137643226597.6382472011st, East2013W, 3–0, PORW, 4–0, SPRW, 4–1, WBSL, 2–4, GR
2013–147631324975.4931982325th, East2014Did not qualify
2014–1576412510092.6052182192nd, Northeast2015L, 0–3, WBS
2015–1676322911479.5202132406th, North2016Did not qualify
2016–177638247790.5922322271st, North2017W, 3–1, STJW, 4–3, TORW, 4–1, PROL, 2–4, GR
2017–1876462235100.6582361932nd, North2018W, 3–0, RCHL, 0–4, TOR
2018–1976472144102.6712641871st, North2019L, 1–3, CLE

Players and coaches

Current roster

Updated December 17, 2019.[14][15][16]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
17 Peter Abbandonato C L 21 2019 Laval, Quebec Crunch
12 Alex Barre-Boulet C L 22 2018 Montmagny, Quebec Lightning
22 Ross Colton C L 23 2018 Robbinsville, New Jersey Lightning
89 Cory Conacher (A) C/LW L 30 2016 Burlington, Ontario Lightning
1 Mike Condon G L 29 2019 Holliston, Massachusetts Lightning
25 Callan Foote D R 21 2018 Englewood, Colorado Lightning
24 Cameron Gaunce (A) D L 29 2018 Sudbury, Ontario Lightning
15 Jimmy Huntington C L 21 2019 Laval, Quebec Lightning
13 Boris Katchouk LW L 21 2018 Waterloo, Ontario Lightning
62 Danick Martel LW L 25 2018 Drummondville, Quebec Lightning
30 Spencer Martin G L 24 2019 Oakville, Ontario Lightning
27 Dominik Masin D L 23 2016 Mestec Kralove, Czech Republic Lightning
19 Chris Mueller (A) C/RW R 33 2019 West Seneca, New York Lightning
18 Taylor Raddysh RW R 21 2018 Toronto, Ontario Lightning
46 Gemel Smith C L 25 2019 Toronto, Ontario Lightning
16 Otto Somppi C L 21 2018 Helsinki, Finland Lightning
76 Oleg Sosunov D L 21 2018 Ryazan, Russia Lightning
14 Devante Stephens D L 22 2019 White Rock, British Columbia Lightning
26 Ben Thomas  D R 23 2016 Calgary, Alberta Lightning
8 Nolan Valleau D L 27 2018 Novi, Michigan Crunch
83 Alexander Volkov RW L 22 2017 Moscow, Russia Lightning
85 Daniel Walcott LW L 25 2015 Île-Perrot, Quebec Lightning
29 Scott Wedgewood  G L 27 2019 Brampton, Ontario Lightning
28 Luke Witkowski (C)  D R 29 2019 Holland, Michigan Lightning
11 Dennis Yan LW L 22 2017 Portland, Oregon Lightning

Team captains

Head coaches

Current coaching staff

Honored numbers

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 2017-18 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.[17] This number isn't officially retired, as the number was most recently worn by Matt Petgrave in the 2017-18 season.

Notable NHL alumni

Franchise records and leaders

Single season records

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 records

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), Mike McKenna (2017), 13
GAA: Cedrick Desjardins, 2.30 (2013)
SV%: Pascal Leclaire, .939 (2006)

Career records

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
Career games: Brad Moran, 334

Trophies and awards

Award winners

References

  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. Central New York. "Blue Jackets all but packed and gone; Dolgon targets new parent club for Crunch". Syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  4. Brett Carlsen (2013-06-06). "10 things to know If you're jumping on the Syracuse Crunch bandwagon | syracuse.com". Blog.syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  5. Central New York (2013-06-19). "Calder Cup Finals: The 2012-'13 Syracuse Crunch won't soon be forgotten even in defeat". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  6. Central New York (2017-05-27). "Calder Cup Finals Schedule set: Syracuse Crunch vs. Grand Rapids Griffins". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  7. 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.
  8. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2017-03-17). "BLOW BY BLOW – THE ST. PATRICK'S DAY MASSACRE". Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  9. 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.
  10. @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.
  11. @SyracuseCrunch (March 30, 2019). "That's how you celebrate 25 seasons of #SyrCrunch hockey. 👊" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  12. "Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch Announce Long-Term Affiliation Extension". OurSportsCentral.com. September 12, 2018.
  13. "Crunchman returns as the Syracuse Crunch go back to the future : Sports". CNYcentral.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  14. "Syracuse Crunch - 2017-18 Syracuse Crunch Roster". Syracuse Crunch. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  15. "Syracuse Crunch Roster". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  16. "Syracuse Crunch roster". Elite Prospects. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  17. "Syracuse Crunch to retire jersey of Hall of Famer and 12-time NBA All-Star Dolph Schayes March 26". Syracuse Crunch. February 23, 2016.
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