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Peca's big week has Crunch on longest winning streak of season

The forward recorded six points in an OT win over Rochester and a weekend sweep against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

by Megan Cahill / SyracuseCrunch.com

Last Week
Wed., Nov. 22 - Crunch vs. Rochester - W, 6-5 (OT)
Fri., Nov. 24 - Crunch vs. W-B/Scranton Penguins - W, 5-2
Sat., Nov. 25 - Crunch at W-B/Scranton Penguins - W, 4-3

This Week
Wed., Nov. 29 - Crunch at Toronto - 7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 1 - Crunch vs. Laval - 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 2 - Crunch vs. Belleville - 7 p.m.

Crunch feast on opposition in Week 8 
Syracuse chowed down on its competition with three wins in four days sandwiched around Thanksgiving in Week 8. The Crunch's first three-game winning streak of the season pushes Syracuse (7-9-1-2) to sixth in the North Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. 

The Crunch opened the week with a 6-5 overtime win at the War Memorial Arena over the Rochester Americans. Dennis Yan's first career overtime goal ended what was a back-and-forth game that was either tied or a one-goal game the entire way. The Crunch then swept a home-and-home series with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who entered the set without a regulation loss since Oct. 14. Syracuse won, 5-2, on home ice Friday then dealt the Pens consecutive losses with a 4-3 win at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Syracuse ends November with a road game Wednesday in Toronto to kick off Week 9. The Crunch then return home for matches against Laval and Belleville starting Friday.

Top Performers
Matthew Peca exploded for six points (2g, 4a) in three games during Week 8. The 24-year-old opened the week with his third career three-point game (1g, 2a) Wednesday vs. Rochester. He scored his first career shorthanded goal in the game and followed that with a two-assist game Friday against the Penguins. He capped his week with the game-winning goal in Wilkes-Barre Saturday.

The Petawawa, Ontario native more than doubled his scoring for the season; he entered Week 8 with five points, but is now tied for second on the team with 11 points. Peca, whose 160 games played with the Crunch are most among active players, leads the Crunch with nine assists.

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Michael Bournival took over the team lead in goals (7) after scoring twice in Week 8. Both of Bournival's tallies-one Friday and one Saturday-were shorthanded goals. The 25-year-old is tied for the AHL lead with three shorthanded goals, matching his career high.  

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Defenseman Jamie McBain was one of three Crunch players with a point in all three games in Week 8. The veteran of over 500 professional games scored a goal Wednesday, potted his first power-play goal and added an assist Friday then assisted on a goal Saturday. The four-point week leaves McBain with 11 points (3g, 8a), tied for second on the Crunch.

Shorthanded streak
The Crunch have scored shorthanded goals in four consecutive games, the longest stretch for the Crunch since at least the 2005-06 season. 

Kevin Lynch began the streak with his first career shorthanded goal Nov. 19 vs. Toronto. The Crunch scored two shorthanded goals-one by Matthew Peca and one by Dominik Masin-Wednesday vs. Rochester, the second time this season the Crunch have scored two shorthanded goals in the same game (Oct. 20 vs. Binghamton). Michael Bournival scored the final two shorthanded goals Friday and Saturday against the Penguins.

The Crunch lead the AHL with seven shorthanded goals. Syracuse was third in the AHL with 12 shorthanded goals last season then added five in 22 Calder Cup Playoffs games.

Upcoming: Toronto, Laval, Belleville
The Crunch play three games against their three North Division Canadian foes-Toronto, Laval and Belleville-in Week 9.

With the aid of the Crunch's sweep of the Penguins, the Marlies (16-4-0-0) are now the top team in the AHL with an 0.800 points percentage. The Marlies have won seven straight games-the longest streak in the AHL this season-and are 10-1-0-0 in November. The Marlies have allowed just 14 goals in 11 November games, surrendering more than one goal just twice.

Syracuse swings back home to host Laval for the first time. It's the third meeting of the season between the new North Division opponents; Laval won a pair, including one in a shootout, Nov. 3-4. Despite going winless in their last five games (0-3-0-2), the Rocket (9-8-2-2) are in third place with a 0.524 points percentage.

The Crunch and Senators play the third game of their season series Saturday. Syracuse has points in the first two matches (1-0-0-1). The Sens were swept in a weekend set in Toronto, but enter in fourth place in the North Division with a 0.476 points percentage (9-10-0-2).

Week 8 Results
Wednesday, November 22 | Game 17 vs. Rochester | W, 6-5 (OT)

Rochester 2 2 1 0 - 5 Shots: 8-14-10-3-35 PP: 2/6
Syracuse 1 3 1 1 - 6 Shots: 18-14-13-4-49 PP: 0/2
1st Period-Volkov 3 (Peca, McNeill), 1:18. 2nd Period-Peca 1 (Unassisted), 7:39 (SH). McBain 2 (Conacher, Walcott), 14:43. Masin 3 (Peca, Bournival), 18:16 (SH). 3rd Period-Bodie 1 (Lynch), 10:14. Overtime-Yan 3 (Masin, Cirelli), 1:48. . . . Domingue 1-2-0 (35 shots-30 saves). A-4,722 

Friday, November 24 | Game 18 vs. W-B/Scranton | W, 5-2
WBS 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 7-12-6-25 PP: 1/7
SYR 3 0 2 - 5 Shots: 14-8-8-30 PP: 1/2
1st Period-Volkov 4 (Peca, Erne), 1:51. McBain 3 (Peca), 8:39 (PP). Lynch 4 (McBain, Bournival), 9:36. 3rd Period-Verhaeghe 2 (Joseph, McNeill), 18:54 (EN). Bournival 6 (Unassisted), 19:31 (EN/SH). . . . Domingue 2-2-0 (25 shots-23 saves). A-5,792

Saturday, November 25 | Game 19 at W-B/Scranton | W, 4-3
SYR 2 2 0 - 4 Shots: 9-7-9-25 PP: 1/3
WBS 2 0 1 - 3 Shots: 12-7-13-33 PP: 0/5
1st Period-Walcott 1 (Verhaeghe, Cernak), 1:39. Verhaeghe 3 (Bodie, McBain), 17:28 (PP). 3rd Period-Bournival (Unassissted), 10:56 (SH). Peca 2 (Erne), 16:50. . . . Ingram 2-4-1 (33 shots-30 saves). A-5,548

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 13.9% (14-for-101) 26th (30th)
Penalty Kill 82.9% (92-for-111) 14th (17th)
Goals For 2.89 GFA (55) T-16th (28th)
Goals Against 3.37 GAA (64) 24th (23rd)
Shots For 29.63 SF/G (563) 17th (21st)
Shots Against 25.37 SA/G (482) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 18.11 PIM/G (344) 3rd (5th)

Category Leader
Points 13 Conacher
Goals 7 Bournival
Assists 9 Peca
PIM 45 Gallant
Plus/Minus +6 Stephens
Wins 3 Leighton
GAA 2.75 Domingue
Save % 0.904 Domingue

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