The Syracuse Crunch topped the Hartford Wolf Pack, 3-2, in a back-and-forth affair tonight at the XL Center.
Dennis Yan opened scoring for the Crunch before the Wolf Pack battled back to steal the lead in the second period. Erik Condra and Mitchell Stephens added goals just 1:28 apart late in the middle frame to take back the lead for Syracuse. The team held on through the third for their fourth consecutive win to advance to 19-12-1-2 on the season.
Crunch goaltender Connor Ingram earned his third straight win with 31 saves. Marek Mazanec stopped 28-of-31 in net for the Wolf Pack. Syracuse was unable to convert on two power play opportunities, while Hartford went 1-for-3.
The Crunch were first on the board 6:04 into the game. Matthew Peca sent a centering pass from behind the net that deflected off a couple sticks in the slot. Yan was able to swat it out of midair and past Mazanec for his sixth of the season.
The Wolf Pack evened the score on the power play early in the second period. Scott Kosmachuk’s shot from the right wing was stopped, but the rebound kicked out front for Joe Whitney to clean up over Ingram. John Gilmour tallied the secondary assist. At the 4:20 mark, Hartford went on top. Ryan Gropp won a game of keep away in the right circle and turn around to net one five-hole with the help of Adam Tambellini.
Syracuse tallied back-to-back goals just 1:28 apart to regain the lead late in the middle stanza. At the 16:11 mark, Condra deflected Mat Bodie’s shot from the blue line. Kevin Lynch earned a point on the equalizer. Just over a minute later, Stephens scored during 4-on-4 play. Erik Cernak cut across the zone and passed off to Stephens. The rookie center walked the blue line and cut down the right wing to ring the puck off the far post and in.
Syracuse held on to their lead through the third period to defeat Hartford in the first of two contests this season.
The Crunch travel to face the Providence Bruins tomorrow at 3:05 p.m.
Crunchables: Carter Verhaeghe had a 12-game point streak come to an end (4g, 11a)…Mitchell Stephens has three goals in his last two games.