BRIDGEPORT, C.T. (SYRACUSE CRUNCH) –
Max Groshev recorded a hat trick in a 5-4 Syracuse Crunch win over the Bridgeport Islanders today at Total Mortgage Arena.
The win advances Syracuse to 7-3-0-2 on the season. The Crunch have swept the two-game season series against the Islanders for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
Crunch goaltender Brandon Halverson stopped 29-of-33 shots in victory. Jakub Skarek turned aside 20-of-24 in net for the Islanders. The Syracuse power play converted on 1-of-3 opportunities, while Bridgeport went 1-for-6.
The Crunch jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a strong first period. It started with a shorthanded goal 11:20 into the game. Gabriel Fortier came in down the right side on a two-on-one rush with Groshev. At the last second, he threw a cross-slot feed for Groshev to chip in over Skarek. Five minutes later, Groshev scored his second of the game on a similar play. This time, he came in on a rush with Mitchell Chaffee. Gabriel Dumont rounded out first period scoring with five seconds remaining in the frame when he sent in a rebound opportunity while on the man-advantage.
Syracuse continued to build on their lead with another goal halfway through the second period. Declan Carlile circled the puck around the zone and fired a shot from the left circle. Skarek made the stop, but the rebound came out into the high slot for Joe Carroll to send home. Bridgeport finally responded to steal one back at the 15:19 mark when Cole Bardreau centered a feed for Jeff Kubiak.
The Islanders added two more goals in the final frame to rally back within one. Matthew Maggio’s one-timer from the right circle was blocked, but Samuel Asselin found the rebound and threw it in while on the power play early in the period. Brian Pinho then made it a one-goal game with just 4:33 remaining when he scored during a scramble in front of the net. Groshev halted the comeback effort with his hat trick goal into the empty net in the final two minutes of play. With 1:10 remaining in the game, Bardreau scored with a long shot from the right point, but Syracuse held on for the victory.
The Crunch return home to host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday.