Syracuse Crunch Weekly
News and Notes
Matthew Peca has a six-game scoring streak-the longest of his career-with a goal and eight assists in that span. He has three multi-point performances in the last six games (11 for the season), including his first career 3-pt. game Sunday in Utica. . . . Peca became the seventh Crunch player to reach 40 points thanks to his three assists Sunday, joining Tanner Richard (51), Jeff Tambellini (45), Tye McGinn (44), Yanni Gourde (42), Matt Taormina (41) and Tony DeAngelo (41). . . . Kristers Gudlevskis has 15 wins on the season and 58 in his Crunch career. Combining regular season and postseason, Gudlevskis ranks third in Crunch history behind Mike Fountain (54+8=62) and Karl Goehring (78+9=87). He's earned victories in six of his last seven starts. . . . Syracuse has six players on ATOs: Ben Thomas,Anthony Cirelli, Mitchell Stephens, Dominik Masin, Matthew Spencer and Jonne Tammela.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Game 69: Marlies withstand Crunch comebacks
The War Memorial scoreboard showed an even score most of Friday night, but the Marlies untied the contest in the final minutes of regulation and downed the Crunch, 4-3. Kristers Gudlevskis took the loss with 24 saves on 28 shots, snapping his (and the team's) five-game win streak.
Jonathan Drouin's 10th goal in 16 games put Syracuse ahead at 18:04 of the first. Denseman Ben Thomas collected the lone assist, his first point in his second professional game. Toronto took a 2-1 lead, courtesy two markers for Ben Smith in his Marlies debut, and never trailed again. Matt Taormina and Tye McGinn both had goals to even the score at 2-2 and 3-3, but Matt Frattin scored on a breakaway at 15:28 to decide the game for the visitors.
McGinn's goal was his 20th and first since March 6 at Springfield. Twenty goals equals his career high, established with Adirondack in 2014. He added an assist for his ninth multi-point game. Matthew Peca had two assists.
Game 70: Amerks squelch Crunch offense
Jonathan Drouin scored a power-play goal early in the second period to force a 1-1 tie, but the Amerks scored twice in the second and twice in the third for a 5-1 victory. Andrey Makarov stopped 42 of 43 shots for Rochester while Adam Wilcox, in his first game since March 18, stopped 27 of 31.
Drouin's score was his 11th in 17 games with Syracuse and ninth since returning to the team March 11 (10 games). The winger extended his goal scoring streak to five games with six scores since March 20.
Matthew Peca assisted on Drouin's goal, extending his scoring streak to five games. Matt Taormina notched his 14th power-play assist.
Game 71: Offense sizzles in Utica
The Crunch downed the Comets Sunday in Utica, 7-3, posting a season high in goals. Joel Vermin (7, 8) and Jeff Tambellini (25, 26) each scored twice, while Cameron Darcy (4),Adam Erne (13) and Henri Ikonen (3) potted one each. Other multi-point performers wereMatthew Peca (3a), Matt Taormina (2a) and Ben Thomas (2a).
Syracuse last scored seven goals in a game March 12, 2015, in a 7-4 victory vs. Adirondack. The Crunch have scored five goals or more eight times this year. The team's goals per game has grown to 2.83, 14th in the league.
The Comets led 2-0 before the Crunch offensive burst. Luke Witkowski's scrap with Jon Landry marked the turning point. In the next three minutes, goals from Vermin shorthanded, Darcy at even strength and Vermin on the power play garnered the lead. The Comets got one back, but Erne pushed the Crunch ahead, 4-3, with his second game-winner. Other assists went to Jake Dotchin, Daniel Walcott, Dylan Blujus, Tanner Richard and Tye McGinn.
Kristers Gudlevskis made 25 saves on 28 shots, improving to 15-11-6 in 37 appearances.
Game 72: Fri., April 8 vs. Albany, 7 p.m.
The Devils clinched a playoff spot March 29 and hold the Eastern Conference's second best record at 42-18-8-2 (.671). Four of their wins have come in five meetings with Syracuse, but the Crunch beat them last time out, 3-1.
Albany has won three of its last four with two shutouts. Albany has held opponents scoreless 10 times and it's 2.20 goals-against average ranks second in the AHL. Yann Danis (27-11-5, 2.27) ranks second in shutouts (7) and fifth in GAA in 45 games. Scott Wedgewood (11-2-3, 1.56) has two wins in two starts since his last stint with New Jersey.
Mike Sislo and rookie Matt Lorito have produced 52 points each for Albany, but Sislo has been in the NHL for a month. The next highest scoring total belongs to goals leader Jim O'Brien at 36 points (18g, 18a). Marc-Andre Gragnani, second on the team with 30 assists. Ben Johnson had a hat trick Saturday for seven points in 14 games.
Game 73: Sat., April 9 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Toronto became the first AHL team to clinch a postseason berth on March 19 and remains the league's top club at 50-15-5 (.750). The Marlies have won their last five games, including a 4-3 decision in Syracuse April 1. Each of the last five meetings between Syracuse and Toronto have been one-goal Marlies victories. Syracuse's only win in seven games against Toronto this season was Oct. 28, 3-1, at Ricoh Coliseum.
T.J. Brennan, the Marlies' top scorer at 67 points, has almost double the goals of any other AHL defenseman, 24, but has been with the Maple Leafs since March 31. Marc Arcobello is second on the team at 55 points (23g, 32a), tied for 11th in the AHL. Five of the top six plus-minus ratings in the AHL belong to Marlies, including rookies Rinat Valiev (+33), Justin Holl (+32) and Zach Hyman (+31).
Eight goalies have won games for Toronto this year, including Kasimir Kaskisuo who won his Marlies debut against Syracuse April 1. Antoine Bibeau has appeared most often, posting 25 wins in 35 appearances.
Syracuse Crunch single game and season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased either in person at the Crunch Box Office located in the War Memorial at 800 South State Street in Syracuse or by calling the office at 315-473-4444. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.comor follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@officialsyracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch and #BelieveInBlue.
Fri., April 1 - Crunch vs. Toronto - L, 4-3
Sat., April 2 - Crunch vs. Rochester - L, 5-1
Sun., April 3 - Crunch at Utica - W, 7-3
Fri., April 8 - Crunch vs. Albany - 7 p.m. (TV)
Sat., April 9 - Crunch vs. Toronto - 7 p.m.
NEED TO KNOW
- With five games to play, Syracuse holds a 31-27-10-3 record (.528), eight points behind Utica for a playoff spot.
- Jonathan Drouin, who has nine goals in nine games, was recalled Thursday with Matt Taormina by Tampa Bay.
- Rookie Matthew Peca takes a career-best, six-game scoring streak (1g, 9a) into a pair of weekend home games.
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