(Syracuse, NY) – The Syracuse Crunch scored three times in the second period and came away victorious with a 4-2 win over the Rochester Americans in the first half of their weekend home-and-home series Saturday at the War Memorial Arena.
Kevin Porter and Taylor Fedun each finished with a goal and an assist while Eric Cornel and Stuart Percy each tallied assists for the Amerks, who saw their five-game point streak halted. Adam Wilcox made his 23rd appearance of the season between the pipes, stopping 27 shots against his former team.
Leading point-getter Mathieu Joseph began and ended the scoring on the night with a pair of goals while multi-point nights were also had by Erik Condra and Gabriel Dumont. Netminder Eddie Pasquale stopped 21 shots for Syracuse, which won its fifth straight over the Amerks and now has a four-point lead over Rochester in the AHL’s North Division standings heading into Sunday’s rematch.
After a relatively quiet first period, the scoring opened five minutes into the middle frame when a shot from Alexander Volkov took a fortuitous bounce off Wilcox before ricocheting off a net-front Joseph and into the net for a 1-0 Crunch lead.
Minutes later, the Crunch were whistled for too many men on the ice and the Amerks would capitalize on the ensuing power-play. A perfect feed from Cornel though the slot left Fedun all alone in front of the net and the veteran blueliner picked the upper-left corner for his third goal of the year to make it a 1-1 game.
Syracuse regained its lead just over four minutes later after a blast from the right point by Ben Thomas made its way through traffic and past Wilcox at 12:06. The Crunch went up by a pair at 15:55 after a failed clearing attempt was intercepted by Dumont, who then set-up Walcott for the defenseman’s third goal of the season.
Rochester trimmed the deficit in half three minutes into the third period with another power-play goal. Percy’s bid from the right face-off circle was denied, but Porter was right there to pick up the rebound, making it a one-goal game with his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
The Amerks pulled Wilcox for the extra attacker in the waning minutes of regulation in an attempt to find the equalizer, but Joseph added an empty-netter with 52 seconds remaining to seal the 4-2 win for Syracuse.
The same two teams are back in action again tomorrow afternoon as the home-and-home series shifts back to Rochester for a rematch at The Blue Cross Arena. The 3:05 p.m. matinee will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester and will be televised on MSG.
RCH: Fedun (3), Porter 16)
SYR: Joseph (12, 13), Thomas (4), Walcott (3)
RCH: Wilcox – 27/30 (L)
SYR: Pasquale – 21/23 (W)
RCH: PP (2/4) | PK (2/2)
SYR: PP (0/2) | PK (2/4)