The Syracuse Crunch, AHL farm team of the Tampa Bay Lightning, announced two preseason dates today. The games will be the only preseason contests the team will have before the regular season starts. Both games are away tilts due to the construction currently going on at the Onondaga County War Memorial:
War Memorial boxes continue to take shape. pic.twitter.com/b6y6eeHDmx— Jim Sarosy (@JimSarosy) August 24, 2018
The Crunch will visit Rochester on Sunday, September 30th at 5 PM. That game will take place at Gene Polisseni Center located on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus. Their second game will be in Toronto on Tuesday, October 2nd at 4 PM. That game will be at the Toronto Marlies’ usual home, the Coca-Cola Coliseum.
Although the Crunch doesn’t have any preseason home games, Rochester is a small road trip away from Syracuse. Fans hankering for some hockey can pretty easily make the short trip on a Sunday. It’s a nice compromise while the work at the War Memorial is completed.
The Gene Polisseni Center is the home for RIT Men and Women’s hockey games, and opened in 2014. According to their website, it can seat about 4,000 fans. That’s not a bad amount of space for a preseason AHL game. It’s been speculated by our friends at Let’s Go Amerks that Rochester’s usual home, the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial, didn’t want to open for a smaller preseason event, and that the space RIT offered is “perfect” for a preseason contest.
The Crunch has played a preseason game on a college campus before. Syracuse once organized a few preseason games at the Marano Campus Center at SUNY Oswego, which is a similar environment to the Gene Polisseni Center.
Given the change in location, getting tickets to the Rochester game is a bit different than usual. Thankfully, ticket information for that game has already been released by the Rochester Americans:
All tickets for the game at RIT will be General Admission and will be available for purchase for just $5 at the Polisseni Center Box Office, or online at WWW.AMERKS.COM andWWW.RITTICKETS.COM. RIT students can purchase tickets for $3 while all Amerks and RIT Season Ticket Members will receive complimentary tickets to the game. Please contact the Amerks Main Office at 585-454-5335 to request your tickets.
The Crunch will then face the Toronto Marlies during their second and final preseason game. Toronto, of course, was the team that booted Syracuse from the Calder Cup playoffs last spring, which was apt payback for the Crunch seeing them to the door in 2017. The Marlies went on to win the Calder Cup, beating out the Texas Stars this past June. Given how close to the start of the AHL regular season this game is, it should be a fun(?) reunion for two teams that probably still don’t like each other much.
The Crunch will open their regular season at Hershey on Saturday, October 6th. Their first home game is Saturday, October 13th, when the team hosts the Charlotte Checkers at 7 PM. That game will mark the Crunch’s 25th home opener in its history.