Syracuse Crunch

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

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]


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 6 games and won the series 4-2.

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.[7]

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.[8] They also blew a 3-1 series lead four years later in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Marlies.

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".[citation needed] Syracuse defeated the Utica Comets 2–1.

On May 5, 2018, the Syracuse Crunch played their longest game in team history,[9] 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.[10]

Affiliation history[edit]

Syracuse hockey history[edit]

American Hockey League teams that played in Syracuse:

Other hockey teams that played in Syracuse:

Logos and uniforms[edit]

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.[12]

Season-by-season results[edit]


Current roster[edit]

Updated June 14, 2019.[13][14][15]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
-- Canada Peter Abbandonato C L 21 2019 Laval, Quebec Crunch
15 Canada Andy Andreoff (A) LW L 28 2018 Pickering, Ontario Lightning
93 Canada Olivier Archambault Injured Reserve LW L 26 2018 Le Gardeur, Quebec Lightning
12 Canada Alex Barre-Boulet C L 22 2018 Montmagny, Quebec Lightning
19 Canada Brady Brassart RW R 26 2018 North Vancouver, British Columbia Crunch
22 United States Ross Colton C L 22 2018 Robbinsville, NJ Lightning
89 Canada Cory Conacher (A) RW L 29 2016 Burlington, Ontario Lightning
40 Canada Gabriel Dumont (C) C R 28 2018 Degelis, Quebec Lightning
9 Canada Gabriel Fortier C L 19 2019 Lachine, Quebec Lightning
25 Canada Cal Foote D R 20 2018 Englewood, Colorado Lightning
24 Canada Cameron Gaunce (A) D L 29 2018 Sudbury, Ontario Lightning
86 United States Mitch Hults C L 24 2018 Stoughton, Wisconsin Lightning
13 Canada Boris Katchouk LW L 21 2018 Waterloo, Ontario Lightning
6 Canada Hubert Labrie D L 27 2018 Victoriaville, Quebec Crunch
14 United States Kevin Lynch Injured Reserve C R 28 2017 Grosse Point, Michigan Lightning
33 United States Ryan Lohin C L 22 2019 Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania Lightning
27 Czech Republic Dominik Masin D L 23 2016 Mestec Kralove, Czech Republic Lightning
51 Canada Martin Ouellette Injured Reserve G L 27 2018 Saint-Jérôme, Quebec Crunch
18 Canada Taylor Raddysh RW R 21 2018 Toronto, Ontario Lightning
16 Finland Otto Somppi C L 21 2018 Helsinki, Finland Lightning
76 Russia Oleg Sosunov D L 21 2018 Ryazan, Russia Lightning
23 Canada Matthew Spencer D R 22 2017 Oakville, Ontario Lightning
67 Canada Mitchell Stephens C R 22 2017 Peterborough, Ontario Lightning
26 Canada Ben Thomas D R 23 2016 Calgary, Alberta Lightning
8 United States Nolan Valleau D L 26 2018 Novi, Michigan Crunch
21 Canada Carter Verhaeghe C L 23 2017 Waterdown, Ontario Lightning
83 Russia Alexander Volkov RW L 21 2017 Moscow, Russia Lightning
85 Canada Daniel Walcott D L 25 2015 L'Île-Perrot, Quebec Lightning
11 United States Dennis Yan LW L 22 2017 Portland, Oregon Lightning

Team captains[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Honored numbers[edit]

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

Notable NHL alumni[edit]

Vancouver Canucks Era (1994–2000):
  • Adrian Aucoin, Veteran of over 1100 NHL games.
  • Lonny Bohonos, Scored first goal in Crunch history and holds the single season record with 40.
  • Michael Peca, Veteran of over 800 NHL games.
  • Dave Scatchard, Journeyman defenseman in the NHL.
  • Brent Sopel, Journeyman defenseman in the NHL.
  • Scott Walker, Scrappy veteran of over 800 NHL games and recorded 334 penalty minutes in the inaugural Crunch season.

Columbus Blue Jackets Era (2000–2010):

Anaheim Ducks Era (2010–2012):

Tampa Bay Lightning Era (2012–present):

Franchise records and leaders[edit]

Single season records[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Award winners[edit]


  1. ^ "Lightning to affiliate with AHL's Syracuse Crunch". Tampa Bay Business Journal. 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". Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  4. ^ Brett Carlsen (2013-06-06). "10 things to know If you're jumping on the Syracuse Crunch bandwagon |". 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". Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  6. ^ Central New York (2017-05-27). "Calder Cup Finals Schedule set: Syracuse Crunch vs. Grand Rapids Griffins". Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  7. ^ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2017-03-17). "BLOW BY BLOW – THE ST. PATRICK'S DAY MASSACRE". Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  8. ^ Lindsay Kramer (2018-04-18). "Last playoff showdown with Rochester Amerks is a painful memory for the Syracuse Crunch". Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  9. ^ @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.
  10. ^ @SyracuseCrunch (March 30, 2019). "That's how you celebrate 25 seasons of #SyrCrunch hockey. 👊" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch Announce Long-Term Affiliation Extension". September 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Crunchman returns as the Syracuse Crunch go back to the future : Sports". Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  13. ^ "Syracuse Crunch - 2017-18 Syracuse Crunch Roster". Syracuse Crunch. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  14. ^ "Syracuse Crunch Roster". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  15. ^ "Syracuse Crunch roster". Elite Prospects. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "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 links[edit]