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Syracuse Crunch sweep the weekend against Rochester

The Syracuse Crunch offense got off to a fast start in the opening weekend of the season taking four points from a divisional foe.

Syracuse Crunch forward Matthew Peca readying to take a faceoff.
Syracuse Crunch forward Matthew Peca readying to take a faceoff.
Photo by Scott Thomas

After a 4-1 drumming of the Amerks on Saturday night, the Crunch traveled down I-90 Sunday afternoon to try and replicate Saturday's results against those same Rochester Americans. An impressive amount of Crunch fans made the trip to Blue Cross Arena and they did not leave disappointed.

Rochester opened up the scoring just a little over five minutes into the opening frame when Crunch rookie blue-liner Dominik Masin coughed up the puck behind the Syracuse net to Rochester forward Evan Rodrigues. The 23-year-old Sabres prospect circled in front of goaltender Adam Wilcox and beat the screened netminder high over the left shoulder to give the home team the early 1-0 lead.

The Crunch offense peppered Amerks goalie Jason Kasdorf in response and finally solved him at the 16:11 mark of the opening frame. Mike Halmo and Tanner Richard came in on a 3-on-1 and connected with Yanni Gourde for a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal to tie the contest at one. The Crunch offense wasn't done in the first period as Cory Conacher pick-pocketed a Rochester D-man behind the cage and fed a ready Matthew Peca on the doorstep to take the 2-1 lead with under a minute to play in the period.

Syracuse continued to pour on the offense in the middle stanza with a quick tally just 39 seconds in from the red-hot Michael Bournival to extend the Crunch lead to three. It was Bournival's second goal in as many games.

The second period onslaught continued. Around the halfway mark, Conacher once again found the puck on his stick behind the Rochester net and yet again fed Peca for a one-timer that beat Kasdorf low glove side. The marker came on a Syracuse man advantage and was Peca's second goal of the evening.

The Amerks got one back three minutes later on a Tyson Strachan wrist shot from the point that found its way through traffic and behind Wilcox to cut the Crunch lead to 4-2.

That Rochester momentum was quickly halted by Conacher. Conacher gathered a great centering pass from Joel Vermin and buried it into the back of the Amerks net. Conacher, a former AHL MVP, would finish the weekend with a goal and three assists.

The Americans scored once more at the 9:34 mark of the third regulation period to make it 5-3. 19-year-old rookie Alexander Nylander sniped a beauty of a shot past Adam Wilcox off an errant pass from Crunch defenseman Masin.

Syracuse put the final nail in the proverbial coffin with their second power-play goal of the game at the 16:06 mark of the third period. Vermin took a pass from Erik Condra and scored his second goal of the season. This sent the Crunch and its fans back down I-90 with a 6-3 road victory.

Adam Wilcox stopped 18 out of 21 Rochester shots to earn his first victory of the 2016-2017 season.

The Syracuse Crunch return to action at the War Memorial Friday, October 21st against the Utica Comets.