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Syracuse Crunch

Witkowski scores winner as Syracuse Crunch rally against Monsters



By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
November 16, 2019

The Syracuse Crunch rallied past the Cleveland Monsters, 4-2 Saturday at the War Memorial Arena.

The Monsters took two different one-goal leads through the first half of the game before the Crunch went on a run tallying three unanswered goals. The win snaps a two-game skid and moves the Crunch to 8-6-2-0 on the season and 3-0-0-0 in the four-game season series against the Monsters.

Goaltender Scott Wedgewood earned the win with 22 saves between the pipes for the Crunch. Veini Vehvilainen turned aside 22-of-25 in net for the Monsters. Syracuse was unable to convert on four power play opportunities, but went a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Full recap and goal videos below.

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Cleveland was first on the board 8:07 into the opening frame when Andrew Peeke fired a wrister through traffic from the right point. Calvin Thurkauf and Paul Bittner tallied the assists.

Four minutes later, Syracuse evened the score. After Danick Martel’s first shot from the left circle went wide, Ben Thomas grabbed the loose puck as it came up the right-wing boards and sent it back on net. Luke Witkowski shoveled that rebound back to Martel for a second chance that snuck past Vehvilainen.

The Monsters went back on top with 5:49 remaining in the first period. Marko Dano centered the puck for Adam Clendening as he cut down the slot during a 2-on-1 and beat Wedgewood top shelf. Nathan Gerbe recorded a point on the go-ahead goal.

The Crunch scored twice in the middle stanza to take control of the game. At the 13:43 mark, Cory Conacher battled along the end boards and skated behind the cage before chipping it out front for Dennis Yan to send home. Chris Mueller assisted on the equalizer.

Two minutes later, the Crunch went on top. Alex Volkov fed Luke Witkowski in the neutral zone. He sped down the right wing and threw a shot from the bottom of the circle that went five-hole. Cameron Gaunce recorded the secondary assist.

Conacher netted an empty-netter with five seconds remaining in the game to secure a 4-2 victory.

The Crunch are back in action when they travel to face the Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Crunchables: Luke Witkowski scored his first goal with the Crunch since March 11, 2016 when he potted two against Bridgeport…Cameron Gaunce is on a four-game scoring streak (1g, 3a). He leads all defensemen with 13 assists.

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