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Crunch begin 25th Anniversary Season with win over Hershey

Taylor Raddysh and Alex Barre-Boulet both scored their first professional goals in the victory

by Lukas Favale / TampaBayLightning.com

Last Week
Sat., Oct. 6 - Crunch at Hershey - W, 3-2

This Week
Wed., Oct. 10 - Crunch at Rochester - 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 13 - Crunch vs. Charlotte - 7 p.m.

Crunch open season with win in Hershey 
The Crunch began their 25th season in franchise history with a 3-2 win in Hershey Saturday night in their only game in Week 1. 

One week into the season, the Crunch (1-0-0-0) are one of three North Division teams without a loss; Cleveland is 3-0-0-0 to pace the entire AHL with six points and Binghamton won its only contest last week.

The Crunch play twice in Week 2, beginning with a rematch of last season's North Division Semifinals Wednesday in Rochester. Syracuse then holds its home opener Saturday night against Charlotte. 

Top Performers 
Rookie forward Alex Barré-Boulet made his pro debut and struck for his first career multi-point game. He began with his first point-a power-play assist-in the first period before connecting on his first career goal-a power-play goal-which proved to be the game-winning goal in the third period.

Barré-Boulet, 21, signed as a free agent with the Lightning March 1, 2018. He is the reigning CHL Player of the Year after logging 116 points (53g, 63a) in 65 games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. He finished his junior career with 337 points (140g, 197a) in 263 games.

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Goaltender Eddie Pasquale got the nod in the Crunch's 25th season opener and he delivered a 30-save performance in the Crunch's 3-2 win in Hershey. After allowing two goals in the first period, Pasquale stopped 24 shots over the final two periods to clinch the Crunch win.

After joining the Crunch at the end of January last season, Pasquale went 10-1-3 in the regular season with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. He is expected to start Wednesday night in Rochester. 

Make it 50
Forward Mathieu Joseph made a little Crunch history Saturday when he made his NHL debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning. His first game with the Lightning marked the 50th player to appear in a game for both the Crunch and Lightning since the affiliation between the teams began ahead of the 2012-13 season.

As a rookie last season, Joseph paced the Crunch with 53 points (15g, 38a) in 70 games. He is one of 14 Crunch alumni to open the season with the Lightning.

Welcome to the AHL
The Crunch dressed six rookies in their lineup to begin the season. Five of those six players were appearing in their first professional game; only defenseman Cal Foote had previous pro experience prior to Saturday's game in Hershey. Foote finished last season with the Crunch.

The five players making their AHL and pro debuts were forwards Alex Barré-Boulet, Ross Colton, Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, along with defenseman Oleg Sosunov. Four rookies recorded a point in the season opener.

Last season's opening weekend saw four Crunch players play in their first pro game. The Crunch maxed out with 11 rookies in their lineup in last season's regular-season finale against Rochester.

Upcoming: Rochester, Charlotte
The Crunch play twice in Week 2, starting on the road before coming home for their first home game.

Wednesday features a North Division Semifinals rematch with the Rochester Americans. Syracuse swept Rochester in three games, scoring six goals in all three games. Their 18 goals scored in the series were the second-most ever in a three-game series in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Rochester opened the season with a pair of home losses to Charlotte; the Amerks were outscored 10-4 in the two losses.

The Crunch play their first game inside the renovated War Memorial Arena Saturday against Charlotte. The Checkers (2-0-0-0) defeated Rochester twice to open the season. Saturday marks the end of their season-opening four-game road trip. The Checkers play in Utica Friday night. Last season, the Crunch and Checkers split their four game-series; both teams lost in the second round of the playoffs. 

25th season home opener
The Crunch take on the Charlotte Checkers Saturday night for their 25th home opener presented by Upstate University Hospital. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive LED foam batons, courtesy of Upstate University Hospital.

Prior to the game, there will be a special opening ceremony featuring one former Crunch player from each of their affiliations-Vancouver, Columbus, Anaheim and Tampa Bay-along with the mascot from that corresponding affiliation. There will be additional special guests throughout the night.

The Crunch will wear special silver jerseys to commemorate their silver anniversary season.

Week 1 Results
Saturday, October 6 | Game 1 at Hershey | W, 3-2

Syracuse         1 1 1 - 3     Shots: 9-14-8-31          PP: 2/3
Hershey         2 0 0 - 2     Shots: 8-10-14-32        PP: 0/4

1st Period-Verhaeghe 1 (Barré-Boulet, Volkov), 7:49 (PP). 2nd Period-Raddysh 1 (Andreoff, Colton), 14:02. 3rd Period-Barré-Boulet 1 (Foote, Dumont), 5:26. . . . Pasquale 1-0-0 (32 shots-30 saves). A-10,066

 

Category

 

Leader

Points

2

Barré-Boulet

Goals

1

Verhaeghe, Barré-Boulet, Raddysh

Assists

1

6 players

PIM

4

Verhaeghe

Plus/Minus

+1

Andreoff, Raddysh

Wins

1

Pasquale

GAA

2.00

Pasquale

Save %

0.938

Pasquale

 

Category

Average/Total

AHL Rank (Prev)

Power Play

66.7% (2-for-3)

1st (24th)

Penalty Kill

100.0% (4-for-4)

T-1st (3rd)

Goals For

3.00 GFA (3)

T-16th (T-11th)

Goals Against

2.00 GAA (2)

T-6th (3rd)

Shots For

31.00 SF/G (31)

12th (12th)

Shots Against

32.00 SA/G (32)

T-19th (4th)

Penalty Minutes

10.00 PIM/G (10)

T-17th (2nd)

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