Syracuse Crunch

Crunch Win Special Teams Battle, Game 3 Against Griffins


By Jeremy Houghtaling

The Syracuse Crunch won the special teams battle in a crucial Game 3.

The Crunch netted a pair of power play markers and held the Griffins off the board with the man-advantage, as Syracuse topped Grand Rapids, 5-3, in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals Friday.

The Crunch cuts the Griffins’ series lead to 2-1, with Game 4 set for Friday in Syracuse.

“I believe our specialty teams were good tonight,” Syracuse head coach Benoit Groulx said. “Our PK was solid. We had good sticks, blocked shots, our goalie was good. Our power play go had two goals. That was them the other night with three goals on the power play and a solid PK. Tonight it’s us.”

AHL Playoff Game Night: 6-7-17 Griffins at Crunch

Crunchning Death Star greets Griffins to Syracuse home ice.

GR-3
SYR-5

Grand Rapids Leads the Series 2-1

Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 35 shots for the victory.

First Period
7:00 SYR Froese (5), (Koekkoek, Bournival)
9:17 GR Bertuzzi (8), (Frk, Nosek)
15:31 SYR Vermin (8), (Taormina, Erne)
16:28 SYR Vermin (9), (Peca, Thomas)(PP)

Second Period
6:58 GR Turgeon (1), (Campbell, Russo)
13:22 SYR McGinn (5), (Taormina, Conacher)(PP)
15:18 SYR Conacher (11), (McGinn, Gourde)
16:38 GR Criscuolo (5), (Bertuzzi)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Joel Vermin, Tye McGinn, and Cory Conacher were the game's three stars.

There's still a lot of work to be done in Game Four and Game Five on home ice, but you get the sense the Crunch started to take the momentum of the series a little bit with their first match on home ice. After dropping a pair of painful 1-goal losses in Grand Rapids, Syracuse drew blood with the first convincing win by either team of the series. It means nothing without the follow-up effort to get the series all square, though, Like I said, still a lot of work to do.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 6-3-17 Crunch at Griffins

Pressure on Syracuse after a pair of tough 1 goal losses.

SYR-5
GR-6 (2OT)

Grand Rapids Leads the Series 2-0

Mike McKenna allowed 6 goals on 51 shots for the OT loss.

First Period
5:27 GR Frk (4), (Ford, Nosek)(PP)
10:37 SYR Gourde (6), (unassisted)
12:29 GR Street (5), (Tangradi)

Second Period
4:30 SYR Vermin (7), (unassisted)
5:41 SYR Condra (5) ASST: Matthew Peca (9), Michael Bournival (4)
12:53 GR Svechnikov (5), (Callahan, Frk)(PP)

Third Period
0:24 GR Nosek (10), (Street, Frk)(PP)
7:47 SYR Conacher (10), (Gourde, Erne)(PP)
13:36 GR Bertuzzi (7), (Paetsch, Hicketts)
15:15 SYR Bournival (7), (Dotchin, Condra)

Overtime
NO SCORING

Double Overtime
7:02 GR Street (6), (Tangradi)

Cory Conacher was the game's third star.

If the Crunch are looking for silver linings after a pair of painful one goal losses, consider the old adage that it isn't a series until a home team loses a game. Syracuse failed to do the trick and get one of the first two in Michigan, so now they've got the pressure to hold serve in three straight coming up at home. That's difficult, but not impossible, and if there's any other good news it's that Grand Rapids looks a lot more leaky in this Final that the last time when Mrazek was in net and had a forcefield over it.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 6-2-17 Crunch at Griffins

Penalty problems cost Crunch a Game One heartbreaker.

SYR-2
GR-3

Grand Rapids Leads the Series 1-0

First Period
4:56 GR Nosek (8), (Callahan, Bertuzzi)
9:25 SYR Lynch (2), (Conacher)(SH)

Second Period
0:54 SYR Vermin (6), (Gourde, Dotchin)
17:12 GR Paetsch (2), (Campbell, Bertuzzi)

Third Period
19:46 GR Nosek (9), (Ford, Lorito)(PP)

Syracuse nearly executed the Game One theft despite never getting into much of an offensive flow due to unforced penalties, but a late too-many-men call finally did them in. It's a shame. They got a lot of timely saves by McKenna and a couple of great individual efforts to generate goals by Conacher and Gourde, but they couldn't quite manufacture the third goal to get out of the rink with the win. They did start to grow into their game a bit in the Third Period and hopefully they'll build on that and put forth a truer effort in Game Two.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Syndicate content