AHL North Division Finals Series Preview | Cleveland Monsters vs. Syracuse Crunch

Photo by Jeff Svoboda/JacketsInsider

Get ready for an exciting matchup as the AHL North Division Finals kick off on Thursday night at Rocket Mortage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The Syracuse Crunch, fresh off a 5-game series win against the Rochester Americans, will face off against the Cleveland Monsters, who recently won their series against the Belleville Senators in four games. The Monsters finished the regular season as the AHL North Division winners, earning them the home-ice advantage in this best-of-five games series. The sold-out crowd in Cleveland is sure to be an enthusiastic and supportive presence for the Monsters throughout the series, making it a tough challenge for Syracuse to overcome in the first two games. Regardless, both teams are sure to bring their best performance to the ice for an intense and thrilling series filled with future NHLers.

Series Schedule:

AHL North Division Finals Series Schedule

Players to Watch (Cleveland):

Owen Sillinger – 2 Goals, 1 Assist (2024 Calder Cup Playoffs)
David Jiricek – 1 Goal, 2 Assists (2024 Calder Cup Playoffs):
Jiricek spent the first half of the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets but was later sent down to the Monsters. Despite this, he managed to score a goal and provide nine assists, tallying up to 10 points. His performance has proven him to be a promising option for the young Columbus team next season. In 29 games with Cleveland, Jiricek has an impressive 7-12-19 line and shares the ice with his longtime friend and Czech defensive partner, Jakub Zboril. Together, they make a formidable duo that is sure to make some noise during the rest of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Jet Greaves – 3-1 record, 8 GA, 1.80 GA per game, 0.942 Save %

Players to Watch (Syracuse):

Gage Concalves – 1 Goal, 5 Assists (2024 Calder Cup Playoffs):
Gage Concalves is an up-and-coming hockey player with a dangerous one-timer that can easily beat goaltenders. He is signed on an 820K contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which speaks volumes about his potential in the NHL. While he has only played in two NHL games so far, he has managed to make an impact and has proven himself as a great player with 64 points this season with the Crunch. His talent and potential have not gone unnoticed, as he was drafted 62nd in the 2020 NHL Draft. With his skillset and dedication to the sport, Concalves is a probable future NHLer within the next few years.
Alex Barre-Boulet – 2 Goals, 3 Assists (2024 Calder Cup Playoffs)
Brand Halverson – 3-2 record, 13 GA, 2.23 GA per game, 0.914 Save %

Where to Watch/Listen:

AHL TV (Watch)
Syracuse Audio: ESPN Syracuse (securenetsystems.net)
Cleveland Audio: Fox Sports 1350 The Gambler – All Bets Are On (iheart.com)

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Matthew Buhrmann

Writer l Inside the Rink l Studying Operations Management at the University of Cincinnati

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