The Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch met for the first of two straight meetings Saturday night in Syracuse, and round one of the home-and-home series went to the Crunch, who skated to a 5-2 victory at the War Memorial at Oncenter.
CLICK HERE FOR THE BOXSCORE
The Syracuse power play was the difference in the game as the Crunch scored four of its five goals with the man advantage. Overall, the Crunch went 4-for-7 on the power play. The same two teams will meet again Sunday in Rochester at The Blue Cross Arena at 6:05 p.m.
Drew MacIntyre got the start in goal for Rochester as he and David Leggio continue to alternate in the crease. MacIntyre made a season-high 37 saves while facing 42 shots on goal from Syracuse. Jacob Lagace and Marcus Foligno scored for Rochester as both players found the back of the net for the second night in a row and now share the team goal-scoring lead with five apiece on the season.
Each team struck in the opening period of play, with Syracuse getting on the board first on a power play goal. Kyle Cumiskey was set up by Mark Bell and beat MacIntyre with a slap shot from the slot at 5:51 of the period. Dan Sexton was also given an assist on the play on his way to a five-point night (1+4).
Just under three minutes later, Lagace struck for the second night in a row to even the game at 1-1 when he found a loose puck in the corner and brought it to the net where he knocked it home. That would be all the scoring in the first period, which saw the teams each fire 11 shots on goal.
In the second period, the Crunch power play continued to produce, scoring twice in a four-minute span to take a 3-1 lead. First, Bryan Rodney found Dan Sexton streaking to the net and fed him with a pass that allowed Sexton to tuck the puck just inside the post for his second point of the game. Minutes later, Rodney and Sexton were at it again, combining to give Syracuse a 3-1 lead. With Drew Schiestel off for tripping, Rodney tipped in a shot just nine seconds into the man-advantage opportunity. Sexton and Bell were credited with the assists on the goal.
Syracuse scored again on the power play in the third period as Bell made it a 4-1 game at 12:28 with the Crunch on a two-man advantage. MacIntyre stopped the initial two shots, but Bell was able to get his second attempt at the rebound just past the outstretched arm of the Amerks’ netminder. Mat Clark tacked on Syracuse’s fifth goal of the game later in the third period before Foligno notched his fifth goal of the season and second in as many nights off an assist from Paul Szczechura with 15 seconds to go in the game to make it 5-2, which is how the game would end.
Notes: Sunday’s game between the Amerks and Crunch will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and broadcast on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM, Rochester’s Sports Talk… The game will mark the completion of Rochester’s second set of three-games-in-three-nights on the season… Szczechura and Maxime Legault were both in the lineup for the second straight game after each player made his season debut Friday night in Binghamton… Szczechura now has an assist in each of his first two games with the Amerks.