Crunch Building momentum
Syracuse won the final game of Week 3, improving to 2-4-1-0 (0.357), sixth in the North Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference.
After nearly completing a comeback from 3-0 down Friday against the Devils, the Crunch played a complete 60 minutes in Saturday's win over Springfield. Friday's loss left the Crunch at 1-3-1-0 against North Division opponents with five straight games on the docket coming against divisional foes. Last year's division championship was fueled by a division-best 31-14-6-5 record against the North.
The Crunch conclude a stretch of six out of eight games inside the War Memorial Arena. Following Friday's match with Toronto, the Crunch will be on the road for seven of the next eight. The lone home game over the next three weekends, after Friday, is Nov. 11 vs. Charlotte.
Connor Ingram earned his first professional win Saturday against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Making his third start, and fourth appearance, Ingram stopped 22 of 23 shots in a 4-1 Crunch win. Over the weekend, the 20-year-old goaltender made 41 saves on 43 shots, a .953 save percentage. He entered Friday's game against Binghamton in relief of Michael Leighton, stopping 19 of 20 shots; he was saddled with the loss.
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Michael Bournival found his scoring touch in Week 3, potting three goals in two games. He scored the Crunch's first goal, a shorthanded goal, Friday against the Devils, then added two insurance goals Saturday for his first multi-goal game of the year. At four points (3g, 1a), Bournival is third on the team in scoring despite missing the first week of the season with an injury.
Bournival's two-goal game Saturday was his first multi-goal game since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against Providence.
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Adam Erne logged his first multi-point game of the season with two assists Saturday. He earned a marker on Jason Akeson's game-winning goal and later set up Michael Bournival's first goal with a cross-ice pass, giving Erne three points in seven games this season.
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After missing two games with an illness in Week 2, Kevin Lynch returned and produced his first multi-point performance (2a) Saturday. In 2016-17, Lynch had one multi-point game, a three-point game (1g, 2a) Mar. 15 vs. Lehigh Valley. He's off to a hot start offensively-three points (1g, 2a) in five games-after putting up seven points (5g, 2a) in 37 games last season.
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Cory Conacher and Anthony Cirelli remain tied for the team lead with five points after both players notched assists in Week 3. Conacher's three goals are tied for the team lead and Cirelli's four assists pace the Crunch.
Entering Week 4, the Crunch have scored as many shorthanded goals (2) as power-play goals (2), buoyed by two shorthanded goals Friday against Binghamton.
The two goals came as Alexander Volkov was serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice during the second period. It was the first time in the AHL this season that a team scored twice shorthanded on the same penalty kill; Providence and Charlotte are the only other teams to score
two shorthanded goals in one game.
In 2016-17 the Crunch scored multiple shorthanded goals in a game twice, once in the regular season and once in the Calder Cup Playoffs. They scored two in Game 2 of the North Division Final against Toronto. Syracuse also scored twice on the same penalty kill Dec. 28 versus Hershey.
Upcoming: Toronto, Rochester
Syracuse plays two games in Week 4, playing its sixth home game of the season Friday against Toronto and then beginning an extended road stretch Saturday at Rochester.
The Marlies visit the War Memorial in a rematch of last season's North Division Final, won by the Crunch in Game 7. Both teams have nine players on their respective rosters that appeared in at least a game during the series.
Toronto, first in the North Division with a 5-2-0-0 record, dropped a 6-4 decision to Charlotte Sunday after blanking the Checkers, 4-0, the previous night.
After opening with two wins in Week 1 against the Crunch, Rochester has lost three straight games, dropping to fifth in the North at 2-3-0-0. C.J. Smith, who scored his first pro goal against the Crunch, leads the Amerks with four points (2g, 2a).
Week 3 Results
Friday, October 20 | Game 6 vs. Binghamton | L, 3-2
Binghamton 3 0 0 - 3 Shots: 7-13-2-22 PP: 0/3
Syracuse 0 2 0 - 2 Shots: 5-13-10-28 PP: 0/6
2nd Period-Bournival 1 (Unassisted), 11:54 (SH). Cernak 2 (Bodie), 13:26 (SH). . . . Leighton ND (2 shots-0 saves), Connor Ingram 0-2-1 (20 shots-19 saves). A-4,532
Saturday, October 21 | Game 7 vs. Springfield | W, 4-1
Springfield 0 0 1 - 1 Shots: 6-8-9-23 PP: 1/2
Syracuse 1 1 2 - 4 Shots: 7-13-6-26 PP: 0/3
1st Period-McGinn 2 (C. Conacher, Lynch), 17:45. 2nd Period-Akeson 1 (Erne), 14:44. 3rd Period-Bournival 2 (Erne, Masin), 3:19. Bournival 3 (Lynch, Cirelli). . . . Ingram 1-2-1 (23 shots-22 saves). A-4,711
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 4.7% (2-for-43) 27th (T-25th)
Penalty Kill 82.9% (29-for-35) T-17th (T-14th)
Goals For 2.29 GFA (16) 25th (25th)
Goals Against 3.00 GAA (21) T-12th (18th)
Shots For 29.00 SF/G (203) 16th (13th)
Shots Against 22.71 SA/G (159) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 15.29 PIM/G (107) 10th (4th)
Points 5 C. Conacher, Cirelli
Goals 3 C. Conacher, Bournival
Assists 4 Cirelli
PIM 23 McGinn
Plus/Minus +3 Stephens, Bodie
Wins 1 Leighton, Ingram
GAA 2.82 Ingram
Save % .880 Ingram