(Syracuse, NY) – A three-goal night from Tanner Richard and 29 saves from goaltender Adam Wilcox propelled the Syracuse Crunch to a 7-2 win over the Rochester Americans Saturday at the War Memorial Arena.
Richard scored once in the first period and tacked on a pair late in the third to complete the hat trick for the Crunch, who improve to 4-0-0-0 in the season series against Rochester. Yanni Gourde (1+2), Cory Conacher (0+3), Matthew Peca (1+1), Jeremy Morin (0+2) and Erik Condra (0+2) each recorded multiple points while Adam Erne and Joel Vermin each scored for Syracuse in the win.
Rochester netminder Jason Kasdorf made 22 saves in his third start of the season while tonight’s game was also a night of firsts for a few Amerks rookies. Paul Geiger scored his first goal of the season – and first as an Amerk – and Daniel Muzito-Bagenda notched the first multi-point game of his pro career a night after scoring his pro goal in Friday’s win over Hartford.
Syracuse needed just 2:46 into the opening period to take an early 1-0 lead as Peca tracked down a loose puck and flung a centering pass toward the net from the behind the goal-line that squeaked through the legs of Kasdorf.
Geiger responded at 12:07 after taking a drop-pass from Alexander Nylander at the top of the left circle and snapping a shot that saw its way through Wilcox and in. The Crunch, however, would reclaim the lead for good with 2:56 remaining in the first when Richard converted a rebound from the left edge of the crease for his first of three on the night.
Gourde made it a 3-1 game just over 5:00 minutes into the middle frame. After taking a cross-ice feed from Morin, the Crunch forward made a dash toward the net while drawing Kasdorf out of his crease. Gourde quickly shifted to his backhand and slipped a shot just inside the near post for his fourth of the year.
Vermin provided a three-goal cushion for the hosts with a power-play goal in the final minute of the second, but a redirect from a falling Muzito-Bagenda would bring the Amerks back to within a pair midway through the third.
Syracuse would add three more in the final 7:32 of regulation as Erne picked the upper corner off a set-up from Morin before Richard completed the hat trick with back-to-back strikes to put the finishing touches on a 7-2 win for the Crunch.
The Amerks conclude their three-game weekend on Sunday afternoon with the first-ever meeting against the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutal. The 3:05 p.m. matinee will be the first of four meetings between the two teams this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Geiger (1), Muzito-Bagenda (2)
SYR: Peca (4), Richard (1, 2, 3), Gourde (4), Vermin (3), Erne (3)
RCH: Kasdorf – 22/29 (L)
SYR: Wilcox – 29/31 (W)
RCH: PP (0/3) / PK (1/2)
SYR: PP (1/2) / PK (3/3)