Eastern Conference Preview: Syracuse Crunch
For the first time since the 2012-13 season, the Cleveland Monsters will square off with the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch, led by Head Coach Benoit Groulx, are coming off a 46-22-3-5 campaign that resulted in the team make the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs for the fourteenth time in franchise history. Syracuse completed a three-game sweep of the Rochester Americans before bowing out in four games to the eventual Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies in the second round.
The Crunch will stop at The Q twice during the 2018-19 season, with the Monsters making two visits of their own to the Oncenter War Memorial Arena. The Monsters have won three games in a row in the series, dating back to the last meeting between the two teams that took place on April 9th, 2013 at The Q where the Monsters defeated Syracuse, 5-4, in overtime. Former Monster Tomas Vincour tallied two goals on the night, while Luke Walker netted the game-winner in OT to preserve the home victory.
The first-ever meeting, also a Monsters win, took place October 20th, 2007 at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena. Monsters Defenseman Cody McLeod scored twice in that contest, including the game-winner at 15:17 of third period to help seal a 3-2 road win.