Wed., Nov. 15 - Crunch at Hershey - L, 4-2
Sat., Nov. 18 - Crunch at Toronto - L, 2-1
Sun., Nov. 19 - Crunch at Toronto - L, 3-1
Wed., Nov. 22 - Crunch vs. Rochester - 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 - Crunch vs. W-B/Scranton Penguins - 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 - Crunch at W-B/Scranton Penguins - 7:05 p.m.
Crunch plagued by tight losses in Week 7
Syracuse concluded a stretch of seven out of eight road games with three close defeats in Week 7, running their road winless streak to six games (0-4-0-2). The Crunch's second three-game losing streak of the season leaves Syracuse (4-9-1-2) in seventh in the North Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference.
Week 7 opened in Hershey as the Crunch dropped a 4-2 decision to the Bears in Syracuse's only trip to Giant Center this season. The Bears scored four goals in the third period, including an empty-net goal to overcome a Crunch lead in the final frame. The trip continued in Toronto Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's game featured a combined three first period power-play goals, one for the Crunch and two for the Marlies, in a 2-1 Marlies win. Sunday saw the teams trade shorthanded goals in the first period before the Marlies got two goals in the third, including an empty-net goal, for a 3-1 decision to sweep the weekend set.
Syracuse returns to the friendly confines of the War Memorial Arena in Week 8 with home games Wednesday and Friday. They open the week against the Rochester Americans then face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday.
Despite not earning a win in his first week as a member of the Crunch, goaltender Louis Domingue helped solidify the Crunch's goaltending in Week 7. The 25-year-old netminder, acquired in a trade by the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Arizona Coyotes, stopped 51 of 55 shots in two games against the Toronto Marlies.
Domingue's 2.03 goals-against average and .927 save percentage are tops among Crunch goaltenders.
Adam Erne had a hand in two of the Crunch's four goals in Week 7. He collected an assist Wednesday in Hershey then scored the Crunch's only goal, a power-play goal, Saturday in Toronto in his 150th professional game.
Saturday's goal was his first of the season and gives the third-year Crunch forward seven points (1g, 6a) in 16 games. In his first two seasons with the Crunch, Erne has netted 14 goals and 15 assists, hitting that mark in 59 games as a rookie and 42 games last season.
With points in the first two games of Week 7, rookie Dennis Yan set a career-high with a three-game point streak (3a). The streak began with an assist Nov. 11 vs. Charlotte then continued with assists Wednesday at Hershey and Saturday at Toronto.
Yan is tied with Mathieu Joseph for second among Crunch rookies with six points (2g, 4a) in 15 games. He is one of four Crunch skaters with a positive rating (+2).
Power-play run ends
The Crunch scored power-play goals Wednesday and Friday, extending their streak to seven straight games with a power-play goal. It was the longest string of consecutive games with a power-play goal since a 10-game streak Oct. 12-Nov. 6, 2013 and the second longest streak during the Lightning affiliation. The Crunch's power play was 10-for-39 (25.6%) during the streak, which ended Sunday.
Upcoming: Rochester, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
The Crunch play just their second and third home games in November with two games sandwiched around Thanksgiving. They host Rochester Wednesday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday before completing a home-and-home with the Penguins Saturday.
The Amerks enter the week with points in nine of their last 11 games (7-2-1-1) to surge to second in the North Division with a 0.625 points percentage (9-5-1-1). Rookie C.J. Smith-one of just four first-year players on the Amerks-is the leading scorer with 15 points (4g, 11a) in 16 games. The backbone of the Amerks is goaltender Linus Ullmark, last season's team MVP, who is 8-3-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.
After Thanksgiving, the Crunch open a home-and-home series with the AHL-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Riding an 11-game point streak (10-0-0-1), the Penguins (11-2-0-1) pace the AHL with an 0.821 points percentage. Their run began with a 6-1 win against the Crunch Oct. 15. The Penguins have the league's most prolific offense-averaging 4.07 goals per game-led by rookie Daniel Sprong's 14 points (9g, 5a) in 14 games. Goalie Casey DeSmith is unbeaten in regulation (8-0-1) and boasts a 2.06 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
Week 7 Results
Wednesday, November 15 | Game 14 at Hershey | L, 4-2
Syracuse 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 4-10-8-22 PP: 1/4
Hershey 0 0 4 - 4 Shots: 11-10-5-26 PP: 0/7
2nd Period-Cirelli 3 (Thomas), 0:43 (PP). 3rd Period-Volkov 2 (Yan, Erne), 6:57. . . . Ingram 1-4-1 (25 shots-22 saves). A-9,069
Saturday, November 18 | Game 15 at Toronto | L, 2-1
Syracuse 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 7-12-13-32 PP: 1/5
Toronto 2 0 0 - 2 Shots: 7-7-13-27 PP: 2/6
1st Period-Erne 1 (Thomas, Yan), 3:05 (PP). . . . Domingue 0-1-0 (27 shots-25 saves). A-6,547
Sunday, November 19 | Game 16 at Toronto | L, 3-1
Syracuse 1 0 0 - 1 Shots: 8-6-10-24 PP: 0/4
Toronto 1 0 2 - 3 Shots: 8-11-10-29 PP: 0/8
1st Period-Lynch 3 (Conacher), 10:02 (SH) . . . Domingue 0-2-0 (28 shots-26 saves). A-5,251
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 12.8% (12-for-94) 30th (26th)
Penalty Kill 82.8% (77-for-93) 17th (22nd)
Goals For 2.50 GFA (40) 28th (21st)
Goals Against 3.38 GAA (54) 23rd (22nd)
Shots For 28.69 SF/G (459) 21st (17th)
Shots Against 24.31 SA/G (389) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 16.94 PIM/G (271) 5th (6th)
Points 12 Conacher
Goals 6 Conacher
Assists 7 Cirelli
PIM 34 Conacher
Plus/Minus +5 Stephens
Wins 3 Leighton
GAA 2.03 Domingue
Save % 0.927 Domingue