After Adam Erne forced overtime with 48 seconds remaining in regulation, the Syracuse Crunch went on to slide past the Belleville Senators, 5-4, in a seven-round shootout to extend a six-game winning streak tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Dominik Masin opened scoring and sent a plethora of teddy bears raining from the stands for the team’s annual Stanley Steemer Tired Teddy Toss before an intense back-and-forth battle between the two opponents. The victory pushes the Crunch to 10-9-1-2 on the season and gives the team a 2-0-0-1 lead in the eight-game season series.
Syracuse goaltender Connor Ingram tuned aside 20-of-24 shots, while his opponent Andrew Hammond stopped 28-of-32 between the pipes for the Senators. Syracuse went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The Crunch were first on the board 2:29 into the first period. Matthew Spencer’s shot from the point ricocheted off the end boards and over to Masin, who netted a slap shot from the left circle. The assist was Spencer’s first professional point. Carter Verhaeghe earned the secondary assist.
Belleville tied it up at the 17:37 mark. Max McCormick skated in on a 2-on-1 with Filip Chlapik. After a quick give-and-go, Chlapik evened the score.
With under a minute remaining in the first frame, Syracuse went back on top, 2-1. Matthew Peca found Mitchell Stephens with a cross-ice pass during a line change. Stephens crossed the blue line and netted a wrister from the top of the right circle. Erik Cernak recorded a helper.
The Senators knotted the game for a second time on the power play 1:59 into the second stanza when Francis Perron set up Colin White for a one-timer from the left circle.
The Crunch climbed back on top again halfway through the middle frame. Kevin Lynch won the faceoff in the left circle and kicked the puck out for Michael Bournival. His shot was turned aside, but Mat Bodie cut in from the right wing to clean up the rebound.
Belleville stole the lead for the first time with two goals to start the third period. Just 57 seconds in, Chris DiDomenico ripped a shot from the point during a 5-on-3 advantage. Three minutes later, the Senators capitalized on a turnover when DiDomenico stole the puck in the right circle and saucered a pass to the slot for Nick Paul to send home.
With only 47 seconds remaining in regulation, the Crunch found the equalizer to force overtime. Mathieu Joseph fired through traffic for Erne to tip in during the power play. Bodie made it a multi-point night with an assist.
After a scoreless overtime period, the game went to a shootout. Joseph solved Hammond in the first round before White scored in the third round to keep Bellville alive. In the seventh round, Ty Loney went five-hole to seal a Crunch victory.
The Crunch travel to Utica on Wednesday to face the Comets at 7 p.m.