After a 6-2 thrashing of the St. John’s IceCaps Tuesday night at the Mile One Center that included multi-goal games from defensman Matt Taormina and Auburn, New York native Jeremy Morin, the Crunch finished out their mini road trip Wednesday against those same IceCaps.
Syracuse came in to Wednesday night’s match-up with a different looking roster than the one they had iced just 24 hours prior. It was announced early Wednesday afternoon that Michael Bournival and Joel Vermin had been recalled by the Lightning, leaving Syracuse to once again put the organizations depth to the test.
The Crunch got off to a quick start against the Baby Habs, just as they did the night before. Syracuse heavyweight Pierre-Luc-Letourneau-Leblond cashed in on a rebound and registered his first goal in a Crunch uniform just 3:34 in to the contest. The helpers on PL3’s goal went to Henri Ikonen and Brian Hart.
The Crunch would not surrender that lead until the dwindling minutes of the middle stanza. With a little under four minutes to play in the period, Nikita Scherbak, a 2014 first round draft pick by the Montreal Canadiens, stepped up into the slot and rifled a wrist shot over the catching glove of Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis. Then, with the final seconds on the clock ticking down on the second period, Scherbak gathered the puck deep in the left circle and wristed a harmless looking shot in the direction of Gudlevskis. A streaking Markus Eisenschmidt hustled to the front of the net and tipped the puck out of mid-air past Gudlevskis to send the home team in to the intermission with the 2-1 lead.
Syracuse was out-shot in the second period 15-3.
The boys in blue came out for the third period looking revitalized and ready to go. Five minutes and some change in to the final regulation period, ECHL depth defenseman Adam Comrie launched a cannon of a slapshot from the blue-line. It sailed past screened IceCaps goaltender Yann Danis to knot the game at two.
That score would hold throughout the rest of the third period and beyond three-on-three overtime. The Crunch was unable to score in the shootout. The IceCaps would end up taking this one in the shootout off of goals by Daniel Audette and Sven Andrighetto.
Crunch goaltender Gudlevskis stopped 27 out of 31 shots in the losing effort.