Syracuse Crunch Make Hockey History

by W.B. Philp | Posted on Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

It was the 1996 NHL playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers were visiting the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Thunderdome and a United States indoor hockey record 28,183 people showed up to watch. On Saturday night, the Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, obliterated that record.

A throng of 30,715 people came out to the Carrier Dome to take in The Frozen Dome Classic, between the Crunch and the Utica Comets. This is the second attendance record the Crunch have set in the AHL. In 2010, they were the first AHL team to play outdoors, setting what was then an AHL attendance record with 21,508 fans coming out to the New York Fairgrounds.

The Carrier Dome now owns two major attendance marks. On Feb. 1, 2014, the 35,446 fans who watched Syracuse University defeat Duke set an NCAA men’s basketball on-campus record.

The Crunch defeated the Comets 2-1 behind the stellar goaltending of russian phenom Andrei Vasilevskiy. Prospects Joel Vermin and Yanni Gourde scored for the Crunch.

Via Crunch players reacted to playing in front of the huge crowd:

“I think in the beginning when we were standing on the goal line, you look around, it was really impressive to see all those people in the building,” said Crunch forward Joel Vermin.

“It was awesome seeing so many people at the game,” said Syracuse forward Jonathan Marchessault. “I think it was a good feeling. When you first step on the ice, even the warmup, it was like, a lot of people. It was just fun to see that.”

“Its right up there, as far as coaching, it was probably one or two,” he said. “I don’t think we really felt it until we walked out to the game and saw what was going on outside the energy, how big it was. It was a special feeling,’ said Crunch coach Rob Zettler.’

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W.B. Philp
About the Author

W.B. Philp is the founder and Editor in Chief of the NHLShout Network. He is a longtime sportswriter, grandfather, father, husband, Melrose hater, instigator, agitator and vindicator.

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