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Syracuse power-play struggles in loss to Penguins

Syracuse Crunch defenseman Dylan Blujus
Photo by Scott Thomas

After a rather ugly loss on home ice Friday, Syracuse tried to bounce back at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night. Sadly, they were easily turned aside by the Baby Pens.

After a scoreless first period, the Crunch took to the power-play where an errant pass was picked off by Penguins forward Kevin Porter and deposited past Crunch net-minder Adam Wilcox at the 8:11 mark of the second period. Just three minutes later, Syracuse gave up another short-handed breakaway to Porter when he beat Wilcox in essentially the same exact spot to take the 2-0 lead.

Syracuse’s struggling power play finished the night one for five. The lone man-advantage tally came off of the stick of Cory Conacher at the 10:51 mark of the middle stanza. Conacher collected a quick pass from defenseman Ben Thomas at the point and sent a wrist-shot through a sea of bodies past Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith. That tally cut the Pens lead to 2-1. The secondary assist went to second-year pro Adam Erne.

The Penguins were able to seal the deal late in the third period, cashing in off of a rush and extending their lead to 3-1. A Dominik Simon wrister beat Wilcox high glove side and sent the Pens fans home happy.

Wilcox looked impressive between the pipes for the Crunch stopping 28 out of 31 shots in a losing effort.

The Crunch drop to 2-2-0 on the season and will return to action Friday night in Binghamton.

Author Notes:

· Two Crunchers made their season debuts on Saturday: Auburn NY native Jeremy Morin and defenseman Ben Thomas.

· Crunch enforcer Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond had his second fight of the season early in the first period against Pens’ blueliner Reid McNeill.

· Syracuse took eight minor penalties on Saturday night, killing them all but playing much of the contest a man down.