After nearly four hours, four and a half periods, and 50 shots on goal, the Syracuse Crunch buried the game winner to stun the crowd at the Mile One Center and knot the series at one game apiece.
The Crunch learned from their mistakes the night before and peppered rookie goaltender Charlie Lindgren with shots, but it was to no avail. The first period came to an end scoreless despite a 12-to-9 shot advantage for Syracuse.
In the second period, just as they had done on Friday night, the IceCaps struck first courtesy of Jacob De La Rose. He and Stefan Matteau came in on a 2-on-1 where Matteau threaded the needle perfectly to De La Rose who was crashing the net. McKenna couldn't get a piece of the bid and was beat glove-side high.
Jacob de la Rose continues to own the Syracuse Crunch, this is de la Rose's first goal of the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/rhumUsCF6M— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 22, 2017
It wouldn't take long for the Crunch to respond when Matthew Peca sent a silky backdoor feed to Slater Koekkoek who was waiting to launch a one-timer past Lindgren to knot the game at one. It was Peca's second point in as many nights while the secondary helper went to Crunch captain Erik Condra.
Slater Koekkoek is left unchecked, and ties the game for the Crunch. pic.twitter.com/VEQIV1boNe— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 22, 2017
Charles Hudon and Stefan Matteau both scored early in the third period to give themselves a comfortable two goal lead heading down the stretch of the contest.
Hudon steals, snipes, and the IceCaps lead 2-1! pic.twitter.com/SVDnaPgfM5— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
As has been the defining trait of the Crunch all year, they battled back and once again made it a competitive hockey game. The league’s top defenseman during the regular season, Matt Taormina let a wrist-shot go from the point that made its way through a sea of bodies in front and through the legs of Lindgren. Assisting on the marker was Condra and Cory Conacher.
Matt Taormina shoots, and the puck bounces off Zach Redmond, Crunch still trailing 3-2 pic.twitter.com/VphkUAipFG— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
Less than two minutes later, 2017 All-Star Cory Conacher found the net on a one-time blast from the right circle to tie the game once again and force overtime. Taormina registered his second point of the night on the play while Ben Thomas picked up his first pro playoff point.
The IceCaps and Crunch are now tied, Cory Conacher with a rocket of a goal pic.twitter.com/gteLhUojIQ— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
It took almost two full overtime periods but finally at the 10:37 mark of the second overtime, Tye McGinn, playing in his first ever professional playoff hockey game, was the hero. Matt Peca found McGinn uncovered and creeping on the back-door of the IceCaps cage. After a stellar tape to tape pass, McGinn tapped the puck into a wide open cage to ensure at least two more games at the War Memorial this season.
No one covers Tye McGinn and the IceCaps head to Syracuse tied 1-1 in the best of five series pic.twitter.com/UAtb7xZuHa— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 23, 2017
The two teams are back in action on Wednesday in Syracuse for game three in the best of five series.
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