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Crunch goaltenders lead the way in Week 20

Eddie Pasquale and Connor Ingram gave up a combined four goals in the Crunch's three games last week

by Megan Cahill / SyracuseCrunch.com

Last Week
Wed., Feb. 14 - Crunch at Utica - W, 3-2 (SO)
Sat., Feb. 17 - Crunch at Charlotte - L, 2-0
Sun., Feb. 18 - Crunch at Charlotte - W, 3-1

This Week
Wed., Feb. 21 - Crunch at Rochester - 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 23 - Crunch vs. Lehigh Valley - 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 24 - Crunch vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 7 p.m.

Crunch scoop up two road wins in Week 20 
Syracuse won two of three road games in Week 20. The Crunch improved to 30-18-2-3 to keep pace in the North Division playoff race. They are in fourth place with 65 points, but trail Rochester by one point and Utica by three. 

Syracuse opened the week with its third straight win, a 3-2 shootout victory in Utica over the Comets. The Crunch won the shootout 1-0 in seven rounds, tied for the second longest by the Crunch this season. Syracuse then traveled to Charlotte for its first series against the Checkers since 2010. The Crunch were shut out, 2-0, Saturday before rallying for a 3-1 win Sunday afternoon to earn the two-game split.

Syracuse faces three opponents in Week 21, matching up with Rochester Wednesday, Lehigh Valley Friday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday.

Top Performers 
Crunch goaltenders Eddie Pasquale and Connor Ingram allowed four combined goals over the three games in Week 20. They turned aside 77 of the 81 shots against, good for a combined .951 save percentage.

Pasquale stopped 33 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime against the Comets; he did not allow a goal in seven shootout attempts in the Crunch win. He allowed just one goal on 25 shots in the Crunch's 2-0 loss Saturday in Charlotte. Since joining the Crunch, Pasquale is 3-1-1 with a 1.49 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. 

Ingram backstopped the Crunch to a 3-1 win Sunday afternoon with 20 saves on 21 shots. One of his stops was #4 on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays that day. Ingram is 13-9-2 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .903 save percentage.  

Tweet from @SyracuseCrunch: With this beauty, @CBIngram1 earned the No. 4 spot on the @espn @SportsCenter #SCtop10. �� pic.twitter.com/L84Dj8BOJA

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Carter Verhaeghe potted a goal in two of the three games this week. He opened the scoring 1:57 into Wednesday's game against the Comets. He also scored the game-winning goal-his third of the season-Sunday at Charlotte. 

In his first year with the Crunch, Verhaeghe has 29 points (10g, 19a) in 36 games. His .81 points per game is most among active Crunch players.

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Olivier Archambault logged the first multi-point game of his AHL career Sunday in Charlotte. He scored the Crunch's first goal of the game, which snapped the team's 167:49 shutout streak going back to their final non-shootout goal Wednesday in Utica. Archambault later added an assist on the Crunch's third goal for his first multi-point performance in 63 AHL games.  

Since joining the Crunch on a Professional Try-Out (PTO), the 25-year-old has seven points (4g, 3a) in 11 games while playing to a +6 rating.

Crunch return to NHL Venue 
For the first time since Feb. 13, 2016, the Crunch will play a game in an NHL arena when they take on Rochester at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. It's the fifth time since affiliating with the Tampa Bay Lightning prior to the 2012-13 season that the Crunch will play in an NHL venue; Syracuse holds a 2-2 record in its previous four games.

Since 2012, the Crunch have played two games at Montreal's Bell Centre and one each at Washington's Verizon Center and Ottawa's Candian Tire Centre.

Upcoming: Rochester, Lehigh Valley, W-B/Scranton
The Crunch play three games in Week 21, playing the final of five straight road games Wednesday against Rochester before returning home for Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Friday and Saturday.

Syracuse takes on the Amerks at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo for their sixth head-to-head match of the season. The Crunch have won three of the five games against the Amerks, winning three straight by a combined score of 13-7. The Amerks (26-13-8-6) have just one win in their last eight games (1-3-3-1) to drop to third in the North Division, one point ahead of the Crunch.

The Crunch come home for two matches against Atlantic Division foes, hosting the Phantoms and Penguins. It's the second of two games against the division-leading Phantoms (33-14-3-4); Lehigh Valley ended the Crunch's 10-game winning streak Dec. 16. The Crunch and Penguins (30-15-4-1) square off for the fourth and final time this year. The Crunch lead the series 2-1 after back-to-back wins Nov. 24-25.

Week 20 Results
Wednesday, February 14 | Game 51 at Utica | W, 3-2 (SO)

Syracuse 2 0 0 0 1 - 3 Shots: 8-9-8-7-1-33 PP: 0/4
Utica 0 1 1 0 0 - 2 Shots: 13-10-12-0-0-35 PP: 0/2
1st Period-Verhaeghe 9 (Bodie, Cirelli), 1:57. Masin 8 (Stephens, Joseph), 6:15. Shootout-Syracuse 1 (Verhaeghe NG, Joseph NG, Volkov NG, Stephens NG, Yan NG, Cirelli NG, McBain G) Utica 0 (Cassels NG, Carcone NG, Chaput NG, MacEwen NG, Hamilton NG, LaBate NG, Wiercioch NG). . . . Pasquale 9-5-5 (35 shots-33 saves). A-3,917

Saturday, February 17 | Game 52 at Charlotte | L, 2-0
Syracuse 0 0 0 - 0 Shots: 5-6-12-23 PP: 0/2
Charlotte 0 1 1 - 2 Shots: 9-7-10-26 PP: 0/2
Goalies-Syracuse, Pasquale 9-6-5 (25 shots-24 saves). Charlotte, Nedeljkovic 23-9-2 (23 shots-23 saves). A-8,323

Sunday, February 18 | Game 53 at Charlotte | W, 3-1
Syracuse 0 0 3 - 3 Shots: 6-11-11-28 PP: 0/1
Charlotte 0 1 0 - 1 Shots: 4-7-10-21 PP: 0/2
3rd Period-Archambault 6 (Masin, Bournival), 9:04. Verhaeghe 10 (Bodie, Cernak), 16:06. Condra 6 (Archambault, Walcott), 16:30. . . . Ingram 13-9-2 (21 shots-20 saves). A-7,077

Category Average/Total AHL Rank (Prev)
Power Play 14.6% (35-for-239) 26th (25th)
Penalty Kill 84.4% (222-for-263) 7th (8th)
Goals For 3.13 GFA (166) T-10th (T-9th)
Goals Against 2.66 GAA (141) 4th (7th)
Shots For 29.98 SF/G (1584) 19th (18th)
Shots Against 26.13 SA/G (1385) 2nd (2nd)
Penalty Minutes 16.43 PIM/G (871) 3rd (3rd)

Category Leader
Points 34 Cirelli, Joseph
Goals 17 Stephens
Assists 25 Joseph
PIM 154 Gallant
Plus/Minus +25 Cernak
Wins 13 Ingram
GAA 2.20 Domingue
Save % 0.917 Domingue

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