For the first time in their series against the Rochester Americans, the Syracuse Crunch had to battle back from a deficit. A three-goal outburst in the second period propelled them to a 6-3 win and a series sweep. Connor Ingram turned aside 33 of 36 shots to pick up the win in his playoff debut.
The Rochester Americans scored first when Zach Redmond put a puck past Connor Ingram 3:25 into the game on the power play. The goal was the Amerks third power play goal in eleven opportunities and gave them not only the lead in the game, but their first lead in the series.
It would take the Crunch all period (and a successful five on three penalty kill) to tie the game. With just 43 seconds left to go in the period Dominik Masin threw an innocent shot in the direction of the Rochester goal. Matt Peca redirected it and Linus Ullmark was not able to control the puck and it trickled in behind him. Mathieu Joseph picked up the other assist.
A furious burst of scoring in the second period ended with the Crunch gaining the lead. The Amerks scored first as Justin Bailey powered a shot past Ingram off a face-off win by Colin Blackwell. Their lead lasted all of 29 seconds as Cal Foote connected with a slapshot for his first AHL playoff goal. Carter Verhaeghe and Mitchell Stephens with the assists.
Nineteen seconds after the Foote goal, the Crunch struck again. Stephens and Peca set up Oliver Archambault at the side of the net and the first year Crunch player tapped it home for his second goal of the series. Just over two minutes later Stephens recorded his first goal (and third point of the game) when he teed up a shot in between the circles and blasted it past Ullmark. Three goals in just over two minutes sent the Crunch into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead.
They extended their lead in the third period as Mathieu Joseph scored on the power play following a huge save by Connor Ingram. Alex Volkov and Gabriel Dumont assisted Joseph on his second goal of the series.
Rochester closed the gap when Danny O’Regan scored with just over six minutes left in the game. Kevin Porter and Seth Griffith added assists. The Crunch killed off a six-on-four power play shortly after to maintain the 5-3 lead. Despite a lot of pressure from the Amerks, Volkov was able to put the puck into an empty net to finish off any hope of a comeback for Rochester.
The Crunch await the outcome of the Toronto Marlies/Utica Comets (Toronto currently leads 2 games to 1) to see who their second round opponent will be.
A full recap of the game will be published on Thursday.