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Crunch's winning streak grows to six games

The Lightning's AHL affiliate is above the .500 mark for the first time this season

by Megan Cahill / SyracuseCrunch.com

Last Week
Wed., Nov. 29 - Crunch at Toronto - W, 3-1
Fri., Dec. 1 - Crunch vs. Laval - W, 2-1
Sat., Dec. 2 - Crunch vs. Belleville - W, 5-4 (SO)

Next Week
Wed., Dec. 6 - Crunch at Utica - 7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 8 - Crunch at Binghamton - 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 9 - Crunch at Belleville - 7 p.m.

Crunch continue upward climb with Week 9 sweep 
Syracuse extended its winning streak to six games with three wins in four nights in Week 9. The Crunch (10-9-1-2) have moved above .500 for the first time this season, surging to fourth in the North Division with a 0.523 points percentage. 

The Crunch began the week with a 3-1 win at Ricoh Coliseum over the Toronto Marlies, snapping what was a seven-game winning streak for the top team in the AHL. They backed that up with consecutive home wins over Laval and Belleville to wrap up a sweep of their North Division foes. Syracuse edged the Rocket on Friday, 2-1, behind 24 saves by Louis Domingue. The Crunch held three one-goal leads in regulation Saturday against Belleville, but needed a late goal in regulation to force overtime before eventually prevailing in a seven-round shootout. It was the longest shootout for the Crunch since it took 10 rounds to decide a match in Albany Jan. 2, 2015. The Crunch won that shootout, 1-0, in 10 rounds to win the game, 2-1.

Syracuse plays three straight road games in Week 10, making stops in Utica and Binghamton for the first time this season before ending the week with their second trip to Belleville.

Top Performers
Adam Erne delivered two goals in Week 9 to up his season total to three through 22 games. He scored the opening goal Friday against Laval then scored the game-tying power-play goal with 47.2 seconds remaining Saturday vs. Belleville.

In his third full season with the Crunch, the 33rd overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft has 11 points (3g, 8a). He has contributed 29 points in each of his first two seasons, in 59 games as a rookie and in 42 games last season. 

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Louis Domingue extended his winning streak to four with two wins in two starts in Week 9. The 25-year-old netminder turned aside 51 of 53 shots for a .962 save percentage in the two wins, defeating Toronto Wednesday and Laval Friday.

Domingue, acquired by the Lightning organization in a trade Nov. 14, leads Crunch goalies with a 4-2-0 record, a 2.17 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.  

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Defenseman Mat Bodie was the team's top scorer in three games last week. He posted three points (1g, 2a), including his first multi-point performance of the season Dec. 2 vs. Belleville. With five points (2g, 3a) in the last six games, Bodie has eight points (2g, 6a) in 22 games in his first year with the Crunch.

Last season, Bodie had nine multi-point performances with Hartford and Rochester, finishing 13th among AHL defensemen with 39 points (10g, 29a).

Team notes
The Crunch enter Week 10 on a six-game winning streak, their longest streak since winning 10 straight games Nov. 29-Dec. 26 in 2014. It's the fourth-longest winning streak since their affiliation with the Lightning began in the 2012-13 season. They had an eight-game streak Feb. 13-26 in 2013 and then began the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs with seven wins in a row. 

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Syracuse has won five straight home games since Nov. 11, improving their mark inside the War Memorial Arena to 7-3-1-0 (0.682). Dating back to the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Crunch are 18-4-1-0 in their last 23 home games. 

The Crunch went 23-9-2-4 (0.684) at home last season.

Week 9 Results
Wednesday, November 29 | Game 20 at Toronto | W, 3-1

Syracuse 1 1 1 - 3 Shots: 11-10-12-33 PP: 0/4
Toronto 0 0 1 - 1 Shots: 9-8-11-28 PP: 1/4
1st Period-DiDomenico 4 (Conacher, Bodie), 10:35. 2nd Period-Lynch 5 (McNeill, Volkov), 9:00. 3rd Period-Conacher 7 (McNeill), 19:07 (EN). . . . Domingue 3-2-0 (28 shots-27 saves). A-3,601 

Friday, December 1 | Game 21 vs. Laval | W, 2-1
Laval 0 0 1 - 1 Shots: 7-5-13-25 PP: 1/6
Syracuse 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 10-11-12-33 PP: 0/6
2nd Period-Erne 2 (Cirelli, McBain), 5:58. 3rd Period-Peca 3 (Stephens, Thomas), 1:56. . . . Domingue 4-2-0 (25 shots-24 saves). A-5,170

Saturday, December 2 | Game 22 vs. Belleville | W, 5-4 (SO)
Belleville 1 1 2 0 0 - 4 Shots: 3-4-12-5-0-24 PP: 2/5
Syracuse 2 1 1 0 1 - 5 Shots: 14-11-5-2-1-33 PP: 1/5
1st Period-Masin 4 (Spencer, Verhaeghe), 2:29. Stephens 3 (Peca, Cernak), 19:12. 2nd Period-Bodie (Bournival, Lynch), 12:29. 3rd Period-Erne (Joseph, Bodie), 19:12 (PP). Shootout-Belleville 1 (DiDomenico NG, Chlapik NG, White G, Perron NG, Paul NG, Rodewald NG, Werek NG), Syracuse 2 (Joseph G, Erne NG, Lynch NG, Volkov NG, Peca NG, Verhaeghe NG, Loney G). . . . Ingram 3-4-1 (24 shots-20 saves). A-5,261

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 12.9% (15-for-116) 27th (26th)
Penalty Kill 81.7% (103-for-126) 20th (14th)
Goals For 2.95 GFA (65) T-17th (T-16th)
Goals Against 3.18 GAA (70) T-18th (24th)
Shots For 30.09 SF/G (662) 14th (17th)
Shots Against 25.41 SA/G (559) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 17.09 PIM/G (376) 4th (3rd)

Category Leader
Points 15 Conacher
Goals 7 Bournival, Conacher
Assists 10 Peca
PIM 45 Gallant
Plus/Minus +8 Stephens
Wins 4 Domingue
GAA 2.17 Domingue
Save % 0.923 Domingue

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