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Condra's return lifts Crunch to win over Charlotte

In his first appearance of the season, the Crunch's Captain scored twice in Syracuse's 5-3 victory

by Megan Cahill /

Sat., Nov. 11 - Crunch vs. Charlotte - W, 5-3

Wed., Nov. 15 - Crunch at Hershey - 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 18 - Crunch at Toronto - 4 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 19 - Crunch at Toronto - 4 p.m.

Crunch win only match in Week 6 
Syracuse won its only game of Week 6 to snap a three-game winless streak (0-1-0-2). The Crunch's win over the Charlotte Checkers, in their first head-to-head match since the 2010-11 season, moves the Crunch to 4-6-1-2 (0.423), but still leaves them seventh in the North Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference. 

On Military Appreciation Night, presented by Falso Service Experts, the Crunch raced out to a 3-0 lead in front of a sold out War Memorial Arena. Charlotte, the top scoring team in the AHL, battled back but the Crunch, boosted by the return of captain Eric Condra, held them off for a 5-3 win.

The Crunch hit the road for three games in Week 7, starting with a Wednesday trip to Hershey against the Bears. It's the only trip to Giant Center this season. Syracuse then travels to Toronto for a Saturday-Sunday series with the Marlies, a team the Crunch face three times in a 12-day span; all three matches are at Ricoh Coliseum.

Top Performers
Defenseman Jamie McBain set a new career high with four points (1g, 3a) Saturday against the Checkers. The 10th-year-pro opened the scoring in the first period with his first goal as a member of the Crunch. He added two power-play assists later in the opening frame then picked up his third assist on Erik Condra's third period goal.

With four points, McBain more than doubled his season output, jumping to seven points (1g, 6a). Last year, the Edina, Minnesota native was 11th in the AHL in scoring among defensemen, producing 43 points (8g, 35a) in 64 games with the Tucson Roadrunners. His first career four-point game came in his 511th professional game in North America.


Crunch captain Erik Condra made his season debut Saturday against the Checkers and potted two goals. He scored a power-play goals in the first period to give the Crunch a 2-0 lead then helped ice the game with an insurance goal late in the third to set the final at 5-3. The ninth-year-pro missed the start of the season while recovering from offseason back surgery. 

It was Condra's first multi-goal game since he scored the Crunch's second hat trick last season, Feb. 25 vs. Rochester. It was his sixth career AHL multi-goal game in 191 AHL games; he has four in 366 career NHL games. 


With an assist against the Checkers, Cory Conacher pushed his scoring streak to four games, matching a season high. With six points (3g, 3a) over the four-game point streak, Conacher leads the Crunch with 11 points (6g, 5a) in 13 games. He has logged at least one point in nine of the 13 games for the Crunch this season.


Rookie Mathieu Joseph followed up his big week in Laval by striking for a power-play goal against the Checkers. The goal, which was scored during a 4-on-3 Crunch power play, extended his scoring streak to a career-high three games and gives him five points (3g, 2a) in that span. 

Joseph's first career power-play goal moves him to fifth on the Crunch with six points (3g, 3a) in 12 games.

Team Notes
The Crunch power play remained red-hot, scoring twice in seven chances Saturday. The Crunch have scored power-play goals in five straight games and they have two power-play goals in three of those games. They are 8-for-30 (26.7%) in the five games, raising their season percentage from 3.9% to 12.3%.


Lightning-Coyotes Make Trade
The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired goaltender Louis Domingue from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for goaltender Michael Leighton and forward Tye McGinn. The 25-year-old Domingue has appeared in 84 games with the Coyotes since the start of the 2014-15 season, holding a 27-41-7 record with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Domingue last played in the AHL in the 2015-16 season with Springfield; he has a 27-30-3 record in 71 career AHL games.

Leighton was in his first season with the Crunch and was 3-3-2 with a 3.03 goals-against average and an .868 save percentage. McGinn, in his third season with the Crunch, had five points (2g, 3a) in 11 games. He skated in 104 games in his Crunch career, totaling 63 points (30g, 33a). He added 16 points (5g, 11a) in 21 games during last season's Calder Cup Playoffs.


The Crunch have scored three or more goals in four of the last five games after doing so just twice in their first eight games. After eight games, the Crunch were averaging 2.25 goals per game, but that has increased to 2.77 goals per game with their recent success.

Upcoming: Hershey, Toronto
The Crunch hit the road for another three-game road trip in Week 7, with stops in Hershey and Toronto. It begins with the Crunch's only visit to Hershey Wednesday night and then the Crunch play back-to-back games against the Marlies starting Saturday.

The Bears started 1-5-0-1, but have climbed to 6-7-0-2 with five wins in their last eight games. Their 0.467 points percentage places them in a tie for fifth place in the Atlantic Division. The Crunch and Bears will square off just twice in 2017-18, with the rematch in Syracuse Mar. 9.

The Marlies (11-4-0-0) enter the week leading the North Division with a 0.733 points percentage-third overall in the AHL-and an AHL-high 22 points. Toronto finished its season-long six-game "Royal Road Trip" with a 5-1-0-0 record, with the lone setback coming against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Marlies have a full week off from their win last Saturday in Binghamton to this Saturday's match with the Crunch.

Week 6 Results
Saturday, November 11 | Game 13 vs. Charlotte | W, 5-3

Charlotte 1 2 0 - 3 Shots: 7-8-9-24 PP: 2/5
Syracuse 3 1 1 - 5 Shots: 12-15-8-35 PP: 2/7
1st Period-McBain 1 (Verhaeghe, Yan), 9:14. Condra 1 (McBain, Conacher), 11:39 (PP). Joseph 3 (McBain, McGinn), 14:25 (PP). 2nd Period-Bournival 5 (Volkov, Lynch), 11:51. 3rd Period-Condra 2 (Cirelli, McBain), 18:19. . . . Leighton 3-3-2 (24 shots-21 saves). A-6,079

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 12.3% (10-for-81) 26th (27th)
Penalty Kill 80.6% (58-for-72) 22nd (T-19th)
Goals For 2.77 GFA (36) 21st (T-26th)
Goals Against 3.46 GAA (45) 22nd (T-22nd)
Shots For 29.31 SF/G (381) 17th (20th)
Shots Against 23.62 SA/G (307) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 17.08 PIM/G (222) 6th (6th)

Category Leader
Points 11 Conacher
Goals 6 Conacher
Assists 7 Cirelli
PIM 32 Conacher
Plus/Minus +5 Stephens
Wins 3 Leighton
GAA 3.03 Leighton
Save % 0.868 Leighton

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