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Crunch begin difficult road stretch with a win over Rochester

Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate will play six of their next seven games away from home

by Megan Cahill / SyracuseCrunch.com

LAST WEEK
Fri., Oct. 27 - Crunch vs. Toronto - L, 4-2
Sat., Oct. 28 - Crunch at Rochester - W, 3-2

THIS WEEK
Wed., Nov. 1 - Crunch at Belleville - 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 3 - Crunch at Laval - 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 4 - Crunch at Laval - 3 p.m.

Crunch Split a pair to close out October 
Syracuse went 1-1-0-0 in Week 4, moving its record to 3-5-1-0 (0.389), seventh in the North Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. 
 
In the first of five straight matches against North Division opponents, the Crunch lost to Toronto, 4-2, at the War Memorial Arena Friday. It was the first time the teams met since Syracuse won the 2017 North Division Finals.
 
The Crunch began a stretch that will see them play seven out of eight on the road with a come-from-behind, 3-2 win over the Rochester Americans Saturday. Syracuse scored two unanswered goals in the third period to overtake the Amerks, giving the Crunch their first win this season when surrendering the first goal (1-4-1-0). It was also the first time in seven tries the Crunch rallied for a win in the third period (1-5-1-0) as Syracuse is just the 13th team this season to win when trailing to begin the third period.

Top Performers
Adam Erne extended his scoring streak to three games (4a) with assists in both games in Week 4. The third-year-pro leads the Crunch with five assists in nine games. He is the third player on the Crunch with at least a three-game scoring streak; Mitchell Stephens and Cory Conacher both have four-game scoring streaks this season.
 
Erne has put up 29 points in each of his first two full seasons with the Crunch, playing in 59 games in 2015-16 and 42 games last season. He also added three goals in 26 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016-17.

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Michael Bournival logged his second multi-point game of the year Saturday in Rochester. In his second season with the Crunch, Bournival scored Syracuse's first goal then assisted on Kevin Lynch's game-winning goal. 
 
Despite missing most of training camp and the first week of the season with an injury, Bournival paces the Crunch in goals (4) and is tied for the team lead in points (6) in seven games. 

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Kevin Lynch produced his second multi-point game of the season Saturday. After assisting on Bournival's opening goal, Lynch scored the game-winning goal with 1:03 to go in the third period. It was the second game-winning goal of his AHL career; he had the winner in a 5-1 Crunch win Nov. 14, 2014 vs. Hershey.
 
Lynch is off to the best start of his AHL career with five points (2g, 3a) in seven games. He set his AHL career-high with seven points (5g, 2a) in 37 games last season. 

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Matthew Peca, skating in his 150th career AHL game, all with the Crunch, notched his third assist of the season in Rochester. Alexander Volkov, in his first year in North America, scored his first pro goal Friday vs. Toronto.

Saving the best for last
In nine games, the third period is the only period in which the Crunch have a positive goal differential (+3), limiting opponents to just six third-period goals. The Crunch have allowed 56 shots in the third period, an average of 6.22 shots against per third period played. The final frame was also the best period for the Crunch last year; Syracuse was +16 in the third, which ranked seventh in the AHL.

Late leads
Saturday's win over Rochester was capped by Kevin Lynch's game-winning goal with 1:03 left in regulation. It's the third time since the start of the 2016-17 season the Crunch have defeated Rochester with a late go-ahead goal. 
 
On Nov. 4, 2016, Erik Condra tied the game at 18:49 and Yanni Gourde immediately followed with the game-winner at 19:54 in a 5-4 Crunch win. Then, on Feb. 24, 2017, Condra tied the game at 15:50 and Gourde won it at 18:44.  
 
The Crunch's other late in regulation game-winning goal in 2016-17 was Condra's winner at 19:58 Nov. 19 vs. Albany.

Upcoming: Belleville, Laval
Syracuse heads north of the border for the first time this season, playing three games in four nights against the two newest Canadian teams-Belleville and Laval-in Week 5.
 
The Crunch visit Yardmen Arena Wednesday, where the Senators (4-4-0-1) will play their first home game of the season; Belleville opened the year with nine road games as arena renovations were completed. Syracuse won the first match between the teams, 4-2, Oct. 13 in a game that featured a combined 116 penalty minutes.
 
Syracuse visits Place Bell, home of the Laval Rocket, for the first time Friday and Saturday. The Rocket have scored and allowed a league-high 38 goals in 10 games this season. Laval is 5-3-2-0 and its .600 points percentage is third in the North Division. The Rocket's roster features two players-Byron Froese and Matt Taormina-from the Crunch's Eastern Conference Championship team last year.

Week 4 Results
Friday, October 27 | Game 8 vs. Toronto | L, 4-2

Toronto 2 1 1 - 4 Shots: 10-7-8-25 PP: 0/7
Syracuse 1 1 0 - 2 Shots: 9-13-9-31 PP: 0/8
1st Period-Stephens 2 (Yan, Cernak), 0:48. 2nd Period-Volkov 1 (Erne), 8:57. . . . Ingram ND (5 shots-3 saves), Leighton 1-3-0 (19 shots-18 saves). A-4,431 
 
Saturday, October 28 | Game 9 at Rochester | W, 3-2
Syracuse 1 0 2 - 3 Shots: 2-9-8-19 PP: 1/5
Rochester 1 1 0 - 2 Shots: 11-9-7-27 PP: 1/4
1st Period-Bournival 4 (Lynch), 16:53. 3rd Period-Cirelli 2 (Erne, Thomas), 9:12 (PP). Lynch 2 (Peca, Bournival), 18:57. . . . Leighton 2-3-0 (27 shots-25 saves). A-3,400
 
Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 5.4% (3-for-56) 30th (27th)
Penalty Kill 84.8% (39-for-46) 10th (T-17th)
Goals For 2.33 GFA (21) T-26th (25th)
Goals Against 3.00 GAA (27) T-14th (T-12th)
Shots For 28.11 SF/G (253) 24th (16th)
Shots Against 23.44 SA/G (211) 1st (1st)
Penalty Minutes 14.43 PIM/G (129) 18th (10th)
 
Category Leader
Points 6 Bournival, Cirelli
Goals 4 Bournival
Assists 5 Erne
PIM 24 Conacher
Plus/Minus +4 Stephens, Bodie
Wins 2 Leighton
GAA 2.73 Leighton
Save % 0.885 Leighton

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