Crunch Score Three Times in Third to Down Senators, 4-3


By Jeremy Houghtaling

With the score tied late in the third period, Vlad Namestnikov shook his defender and posted up in the slot.

When the pass arrived on his tape, the Syracuse Crunch forward wasted no time shooting it past Binghamton Senators netminder Andrew Hammond. The goal with 2:42 remaining capped a three-goal third period, as the Crunch topped the Senators, 4-3, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Sunday afternoon.

"We had a good cycle and (Brett Connolly) passed it to (Jonathan Marchessault) behind the net," Namestnikov said. "He spun off his defenseman and found me in front of the net."

Binghamton jumped out to a two-goal lead on a pair of power play tallies in the first period. Shane Prince netted a goal a little more than three minutes in, and Matt Puempel scored 10 minutes later.

The Crunch cut the Senators' lead to one midway through the second, with Cedric Paquette finishing off a feed from Namestnikov, but Stephane Da Costa put home a rebound to put Binghamton back up by two before the second intermission.

Then came the Crunch rally.

Philippe Paradis scored his third goal of the season on the power play with 12:18 remaining, and Connolly tied the game a little more than five minutes later.

"(PC Labrie) made a good play, he was determined in the corner and I tried outwaiting the goalie," Connolly said. "It seems like it's been too long since I've scored, so it was nice to see that one go in and it's good to see the guys win."

Namestnikov capped the surge with a goal in the final three minutes, and the Crunch held on to snap a three-game slide.

Mike Angelidis recorded a pair of assists, while Labrie and Artem Sergeev each had one. The line of Paradis, Labrie and Angelidis earned praise from Crunch coach Rob Zettler after the game.

"They earned it (the goal) because they were doing all the right things leading up to it -- being physical, getting it in deep and controlling the play down low," he said.

Kristers Gudlevskis finished with 33 saves and an assist in the win, and Hammond made 24 saves for the loss.

"I thought he got stronger as the game went on," Zettler said of Gudlevskis.

Syracuse's blueline, already without top defensemen Andrej Sustr, Jean-Philippe Cote and Joey Mormina, took more hits when Dmitry Korobov was too sore to play and Luke Witkowski was injured in the first period.

"We were, to say the least, a depleted defense corps back there," Zettler said. "But they just worked hard. They kept it simple and kept moving pucks. I thought they did OK back there."

Center Tanner Richard was also injured in the first period and didn't return.

Syracuse (23-26-4-5) has a week to rest and recoup before it hosts Hershey Friday.

"It's all about momentum," Connolly said. "We found our legs and we didn't give up. It's good to see."

Pictured: Crunch players celebrate a goal by Cedric Paquette against the Senators at the Onondaga County War Memorial Sunday.

</embed>