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AHL’s Syracuse Crunch Take Ice As ‘Canal Mules’ In Homage to Local Hockey History – SportsLogos.Net News

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The American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch turned back the clock over the weekend to pay tribute to their home city’s hockey history.

The Crunch took to the ice on Saturday, March 30, to take on the Providence Bruins as the Syracuse Canal Mules, the first known beer league hockey team to skate on the Erie Canal in the early 1920s.

The Canal Mules jerseys had a cream-colored base with broad blue stripes across the shoulders and along the bottom. The front of the jersey featured a braying mule logo with “SYRACUSE CANAL MULES” written around it.

Courtesy @SyracuseCrunch / Twitter

A hybrid cross between horses and donkeys, mules are intelligent and tough working animals that became the key to spreading goods, people and ideas across New York State.

The sleeves were blue with cream stripes and white numbers with blue outlines. The collars were cream with white laces, and the Crunch’s usual logo sat on the right shoulder while the logo of their NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, appeared on the left shoulder.

Courtesy @SyracuseCrunch / Twitter

The back of the jerseys had white names in the blue stripe across the shoulder and blue numbers in the cream portion.

Courtesy @SyracuseCrunch / Twitter

The original Canal Mules team was made up of workers from the Greenway Brewery in Syracuse who would bring home-brewed beverages with them when they played pick-up games on the Erie Canal, an artificial waterway that ran through Syracuse on its way from Albany to Buffalo. The team was named after the mules that would pull barges from city to city along the canal’s towpaths.

The original Canal Mules disbanded in 1923 when the portion of the Erie Canal that ran through downtown Syracuse was filled in.

Fourteen of the Canal Mules jerseys worn by the Crunch on Saturday were auctioned off on the ice after the game. Another jersey, along with custom Canal Mules nameplates, were auctioned off online to benefit the Erie Canal Museum.

The jerseys worked well for the Crunch, as they defeated Providence 4-0.

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