Syracuse Crunch drops overtime thriller against Rochester

Local Sports


The Rochester Americans forced overtime with 13 seconds remaining in the game and went on to steal a 7-6 win over the Syracuse Crunch in the extra frame tonight at the War Memorial Arena.

Gemel Smith led the Crunch with two goals and one assist in the back-and-forth contest. The loss moves the team to 2-2-2-0 on the season and 0-0-2-0 in the 12-game season series against Rochester.

Scott Wedgewood turned aside 21-of-28 in net for the Crunch. Andrew Hammond stopped 15-of-21 for the Amerks before being relieved by Jonas Johansson in the third period. He turned aside all three shots he faced. Syracuse converted on 2-of-3 power play opportunities and killed 3-of-5 Rochester man-advantages.

Smith opened scoring with a power-play marker 6:33 into the first period. He skated the puck down the right wing and cut into the slot to fire past Hammond. Cal Foote and Wedgewood earned the assists. Rochester tied it up during 5-on-3 play with 6:21 remaining in the frame. Lawrence Pilut sent a feed for Curtis Lazar to one-time from the left circle.

The Crunch reclaimed the lead 4:51 into the middle stanza. Boris Katchouk picked up his own rebound behind the goal line and wrapped it back around into an open net. Ross Colton and Luke Schenn tallied points on the goal.

Halfway through the second period, the Amerks put up two goals in 21 seconds to take the lead. Lazar carried the puck into the zone and sent a feed across the crease for Casey Fitzgerald to score. Seconds later, Sean Malone cleaned up the rebound on Fitzgerald’s shot from the high slot.

Syracuse responded with two goals 1:05 apart to reclaim the lead. At 13:20, Ben Thomas scored on a shot through traffic from the right point. Alex Volkov and Smith recorded the assists. Just over a minute later, Cory Conacher went bar down from the left circle with the help of Cameron Gaunce and Schenn.

The Amerks struck ten seconds into the third period when Jean-Sebastien Dea sent a bouncing puck past Wedgewood.

The Crunch answered with back-to-back goals. At 6:11, Chris Mueller won the faceoff and sent it back to Gaunce while on the power play. The defenseman passed over for Alex Barre-Boulet to go top shelf. At 7:38, Smith added his second of the night with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Lazar scored his second of the night with a shot from the high slot at 13:15 before Rochester forced overtime with 13 seconds remaining in regulation. Wedgewood made the save on a long shot from Lazar, but Dea was there to send home the rebound.

Rochester completed the comeback victory with 41 seconds remaining in overtime. Dea carried the puck into the zone and fed Pilut for the game-winner.

The Crunch are back in action tomorrow when they host the Toronto Marlies at 5 p.m. at the War Memorial Arena.

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