Crunch, Senators, Rocket clinch playoff spots

The Syracuse Crunch, Belleville Senators and Laval Rocket all clinched berths in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs on Sunday evening when the Rochester Americans lost to Cleveland, 2-0.

The Crunch, who improved to 17-4-1-1 in their last 23 games with a win over Hershey later in the evening, will participate in their fourth consecutive Calder Cup Playoffs. Since becoming the top affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012, Syracuse has reached two Calder Cup Finals (2013, 2017).

The Senators and Rocket are both heading to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time; both entered the AHL in 2017. Belleville, top affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, was in first place in the North Division when the 2019-20 season was suspended and ultimately canceled. Laval, top affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, won the Canadian Division title during the abbreviated 2020-21 season

Syracuse, Belleville and Laval join Utica in the North Division postseason field, with one spot remaining. The top three teams will get a bye into the division semifinals, while the fourth- and fifth-place clubs square off in a best-of-three first-round series.

The AHL’s 2021-22 regular season ends April 30; for more information and daily updates on the Calder Cup Playoff races, check out the official AHL Playoff Primer.