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Crunch Weekly

November 19, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch News Release

LAST WEEK

Wed., Nov. 13 - Crunch at Rochester - L, 4-3

Fri., Nov. 15 - Crunch vs. Utica - L, 5-2

Sat., Nov. 16 - Crunch vs. Cleveland - W, 4-2

THIS WEEK

Wed., Nov. 20 - Crunch at Hartford - 11 a.m.

Sat., Nov. 23 - Crunch vs. Hartford - 7 p.m.

Crunch keep pace in North Division

The Crunch completed a grueling stretch of six games in nine days, ending the run with a 3-3-0-0 record after posting a 1-2-0-0 mark in Week 7. They still managed to climb up a spot to fifth in the North Division with 18 points (8-6-2-0) in 16 games.

Syracuse started the week with a 4-3 loss in Rochester to the Amerks. The Crunch tied the score 3-3 in the second period after falling behind 3-1, but a third-period power-play goal pushed the Amerks ahead for good. Back home Friday night, the Crunch dropped a 5-2 decision to the Utica Comets, with Utica scoring the final three goals after the Crunch evened the game at two. The Crunch salvaged a win Saturday night with a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the Cleveland Monsters.

The Crunch go out of the North Division in Week 8 with two matches against the AHL's top team, the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Top Performers

Veteran defenseman Cameron Gaunce extended his scoring streak to four games with one goal and two assists in Week 7. He scored the game-tying goal against the Rochester Americans Wednesday night before collecting an assist Friday and Saturday. Last season, he had one point streak last at least four games-a six-game run Dec. 21-Jan. 2.

Gaunce has points in seven of the last eight games, logging 10 points (1g, 9a) in that span. He leads the Crunch in scoring with 14 points (1g, 13a) and a +6 rating. His 13 assists lead all AHL defensemen and rank four overall in the AHL, while his 14 points are tied for the most among league blueliners (Chris Wideman, San Diego).

***

Luke Witkowski collected his first two Crunch points this season in Saturday's win over the Cleveland Monsters. He added a helper on Danick Martel's goal, which tied the game 1-1, then gave the Crunch their first lead of the week with a shot from the right circle. The goal stood up as the game-winner for the Crunch.

It was Witkowski's first AHL goal since March 11, 2016 vs. Bridgeport, which also was the last time he recorded a multi-point game; Saturday was his sixth career two-point game with the Crunch.

Working from behind

The Crunch have allowed the first goal in 10 of their 16 games played this season, including in seven of the last eight games. Only the Belleville Senators have scored the first goal fewer times (5) than the Crunch have netted (6) this season.

The Crunch have been able to rally back to earn at least a point in five of the 10 instances of allowing the first goal of the game. Syracuse holds a 4-5-1-0 mark in those game, including a win against the Monsters Saturday night.

Last season, the Crunch allowed the opening goal in 34 games (44.7% of their games) and they managed to win 12 times, posting a 12-19-2-1 record for a 0.397 points percentage.

Upcoming: Hartford

The Crunch start and finish their two-game season series with the Hartford Wolf Pack in Week 8.

The set begins Wednesday morning at XL Center in Hartford with an 11 a.m. puck drop during the Wolf Pack's school day game. It's one of two morning games on the Crunch's schedule this season with the latter slated for Feb. 5 at Bridgeport. Syracuse last played a morning game Feb. 28, 2018 in Toronto; the Crunch won, 4-3, in overtime. In that game, then-Marlie Chris Mueller tied the game late in the third period, but Mathieu Joseph netted the overtime game-winner for the Crunch.

Hartford leads the American Hockey League at 11-1-0-5 under first-year head coach Kris Knoblauch. They are off to the best 17-game start in Wolf Pack history and that has allowed them to open a five-point lead in the Atlantic Division. Hartford's lone regulation loss came Oct. 30 at Laval, in the Pack's 10th game.

WEEK 7 RESULTS

Wednesday, Nov. 13 | Game 14 at Rochester | L, 4-3

Syracuse 1 2 0 - 3 Shots: 6-12-13-31 PP: 0/3

Rochester 3 0 1 - 4 Shots: 15-8-10-33 PP: 1/2

1st Period-Raddysh 2 (Colton, Volkov), 12:44. 2nd Period-Martel 5 (Colton, Barré-Boulet), 3:18. Gaunce 1 (Spencer, Barré-Boulet), 11:27. . . . Wedgewood 3-2-1 (33 shots-29 saves). A-3,161

Friday, Nov. 15 | Game 15 vs. Utica | L, 5-2

Utica 1 3 1 - 5 Shots: 10-11-8-29 PP: 2/8

Syracuse 1 1 0 - 2 Shots: 6-8-9-23 PP: 2/9

1st Period-Barré-Boulet 8 (Gaunce, Mueller), 17:33 (PP). 2nd Period-Katchouk 4 (Colton, Raddysh), 15:22 (PP). . . . Martin 2-3-0 (21 shots-17 saves), Wedgewood ND (7 shots-7 saves). A-5,714

Saturday, Nov. 16 | Game 16 vs. Cleveland | W, 4-2

Cleveland 2 0 0 - 2 Shots: 9-4-11-24 PP: 0/3

Syracuse 1 2 1 - 4 Shots: 8-7-11-26 PP: 0/4

1st Period-Martel 6 (Witkowski, Thomas), 12:31. 2nd Period-Yan 3 (Conacher, Mueller), 13:43. Witkowski 1 (Volkov, Gaunce). 3rd Period-Conacher 5 (Unassisted), 19:55 (EN). . . . Wedgewood 4-2-1 (24 shots-22 saves). A-5,782

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)

Power Play 20.5% (16-for-78) 6th (5th)

Penalty Kill 88.7% (63-for-71) 4th (4th)

Goals For 3.19 GFA (51) 9th (T-9th)

Goals Against 3.38 GAA (54) 26th (26th)

Shots For 28.31 SF/G (453) 26th (22nd)

Shots Against 27.44 SA/G (439) 4th (4th)

Penalty Minutes 13.25 PIM/G (212) 16th (16th)

Category Leader

Points 14 Gaunce

Goals 8 Barré-Boulet

Assists 13 Gaunce

PIM 39 Masin

Plus/Minus +6 Gaunce

Wins 4 Wedgewood

GAA 2.84 Martin

Save % 0.890 Martin

Ticket packages and single game tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.


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