SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE CRUNCH) –
The Syracuse Crunch topped the Bridgeport Islanders, 4-2, in the team’s 30th Home Opener tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.
The victory gives the Crunch a 2-0-0-0 start to the 2023-24 season and a sweep of the opening weekend.
Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt earned the win stopping 21-of-23 shots. Ken Appleby turned aside 33-of-37 between the pipes for the Islanders. Syracuse specials teams continued their success going 1-for-4 on the power play and a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The Crunch were quick to open scoring just nine minutes into the game. Devante Stephens grabbed a loose puck in the slot, sped down the left side and fired in a wrister from the face off dot. Five minutes later, Lucas Edmonds doubled the lead when he battled along the goal line to shove a rebound chance into the back of the net.
The Islanders stole one back with just 34 seconds remaining in the first frame. Brian Pinho was down low to tip Grant Hutton’s shot past the netminder.
Bridgeport evened the score late in the second period. Alnefelt made the initial save, but the rebound came out for Jackson Cates to chip in.
Daniel Walcott put Syracuse back on top halfway through the final frame when he got a lead pass from Emil Lilleberg and scored on a short breakaway. Felix Robert then added an insurance marker on the man-advantage with a quick redirection in the slot.
The Crunch are back in action next weekend when they travel to Cleveland for a weekend pair against the Monsters.