SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE CRUNCH) –
The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Belleville Senators, 6-5, tonight in a shootout at the Upstate Medical University Arena.
The Crunch are now 32-24-5-3 on the season and split the six-game season series against the Senators, 3-2-0-1.
Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 32-of-37 shots and all three shootout attempts. Dylan Ferguson allowed two goals on two shots in net for the Senators before being relieved by Kevin Mandolese early in the first period. Mandolese went on to stop 35-of-38 shots and 2-of-3 shootout attempts.
Syracuse was able to convert on 1-of-5 power play opportunities, while Belleville went 1-for-2.
The Crunch opened scoring with two goals just 1:45 into the game. The first one came at 1:02 when Simon Ryfors sent the puck down to Gage Goncalves who was all alone in front of the crease. Just 43 seconds later, Jack Finley skated the puck down the right side during an odd man rush and sent a last-minute feed across the slot for Gabe Fortier to redirect into the net. The Senators responded with three consecutive goals to take over the lead. Egor Sokolov started the comeback at 7:16 when he batted a rebound in out of midair while on the man-advantage. Just over a minute later, Cole Cassels swept in a second-chance opportunity while Alnefelt was pulled out of position. Belleville went on top with 1:16 remaining in the first period off a shorthanded breakaway by Jake Lucchini.
Syracuse evened the score with a power-play goal halfway through the middle frame. Goncalves set up Alex Barre-Boulet for a rocket of a one-timer from the right circle.
The Crunch regained the lead just 23 seconds into the third period when Finley sped down the left side and beat Mandolese five-hole. At 2:31, Felix Robert fired in a wrister from the left circle to make it a two-goal lead. Belleville quickly potted two of their own to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime. Angus Crookshank netted a long left-point shot at 5:34. Three minutes later, Cassels followed behind the play to chip in a rebound for his second of the game.
After a scoreless overtime frame, the game went to a shootout. Goncalves scored the only shootout goal, while Alnefelt shut the door on all three attempts to give Syracuse the win.
The Crunch travel to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tomorrow.