SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) They still have three more regular season games this weekend but the Syracuse Crunch already know they’re locked into home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs that start next week.
While the team is focusing on the ice on those last few regular season games, the staff has shifted into playoff mode for ticket sales.
Crunch Chief Operating Officer Jim Sarosy says, “The craziness is starting. You’re calling the phone company saying ‘hey, extend the hours that the phone rings in from 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight’ because you know you’re going to be here around the clock now.”
The Crunch have a couple thousand regular season ticket holders but come playoff time they have to sell those seats all over again, plus try to fill the remaining few thousand to sellout the War Memorial.
“We’ve talked so many times throughout the years that this building is truly a home ice advantage. They don’t have a lot of buildings like this in the American Hockey League or in all of pro hockey right now with the fans being so close and being as loud as they are and how tough it is to play,” he says.
This is the 15th time in 25 seasons the Syracuse Crunch are in the AHL playoffs and six out of seven years as part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
Two of those playoff runs with the Lightning organization have take the Crunch to the Calder Cup finals.
“From the day everyone arrives in town to next week is what you’re working for. You want to put yourself in the best position, both on and off the ice, for the ultimate goal, which is the Calder Cup. And it’s here now,” Sarosy tells NewsChannel 9.
The regular season ends with two home games at the War Memorial Friday and Saturday, both at 7 p.m.
The regular season finale is at Utica.
The first two games of the playoffs are at the War Memorial next Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m.