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Lightning Round: Syracuse Crunch opened a season with a 6-4 win over Cleveland

Dylan Larkin suspended for one game for punching Mathieu Joseph

AHL: OCT 15 Syracuse Crunch at Cleveland Monsters Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just three days after the new regular season started in the NHL, the AHL welcomed their fans back to the stands. A total of six games played on opening night and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s affiliate the Syracuse Crunch were one of the teams that played yesterday. In their first game, the Crunch defeated the Cleveland Monsters 6-4.

Syracuse started the game by allowing two quick goals from Cleveland, but managed to tie the game before the end of the first period thanks to goals by Jimmy Huntington and Charles Hudon. The Crunch took the lead after a Max Cajkovic goal early in the second period, but Cleveland scored an equalizer just four minutes after. Sean Day’s shorthanded goal in the final minutes of the second period regained the lead for the Crunch and from that moment the team stayed ahead until the end of the game. Gage Goncalves and Gabriel Dumont each added a goal in the third period, earning a win for Syracuse.

Several Crunch rookie players recorded their first points last night. Max Cajkovic and Gage Goncalves scored their first goals on a professional level, while Shawn Elements recorded his first professional points. Hugo Alnefelt earned his first AHL win. Sean Day also scored his first career shorthanded goal.

Unfortunately, the Crunch lost two players yesterday due to injuries: both forward Otto Somppi and goaltender Max Lagace left the game in the second period and didn't return.

The season continues for the Syracuse Crunch with another game against the Cleveland Monsters tonight. If you’re still wondering what to expect from the Crunch this season, check out our season preview [Raw Charge]

This season is different. Gone is the roster chaos and division-only schedule (kind of). Back are the fans, specialty one-off jerseys, and hopes for a long season. The Crunch will be playing 76 games (38 at home) against teams in the North and Atlantic Division. As usual it is an unbalanced schedule with the Crunch meeting up against Utica 14 times and Rochester 12 times. They will be heading back to Canada for games against Belleville, Laval, and Toronto as well.

Hockey News

The Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin suspended for one game for punching Mathieu Joseph in the face.

The Boston Bruins Charlie McAvoy signed to an eight-year, $76 million contract extension. He’s considered one of the best two-way defenseman in the game.

Dougie Hamilton scored his first goal in a New Jersey Devils jersey just 17 seconds into his first game, helping his team to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Former Lightning player Tyler Johnson recorded his first two points as a Blackhawks player.