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Crunch Beat Marlies 6-3 And Advance To Final Four

After being down two goals and staring elimination right in the eyes, the Syracuse Crunch shocked the Toronto Marlies and scored five straight goals to earn a trip to Providence, R.I. and the AHL’s Final Four for only the third time in franchise history.

The Crunch beat the Marlies 6-3 in Game 7 of the North Division finals last night at the War Memorial.

Syracuse tied the game at two in the second period and then ran off three goals in the third by Matthew Peca, Cory Conacher and Yanni Gourde.

The Crunch will open the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series Friday in Providence. The Bruins will have home ice in the 2-3-2 format series.

Goalie Mike McKenna faced only 17 shots and stopped 14. At one point, the stingy Syracuse defense held Toronto without a shot for 20 minutes.

Gabriel Dumont, Matt Taormina and Adam Erne also scored for the Crunch.

After Syracuse went down two goals on consecutive shots late in the opening stanza, coach Benoit Groulx sent the message, “Keep playing. The game lasts 60 minutes.”

“I think you’ve got to be calm, you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing. And, this is what we did,” said Groulx.

“When we scored the tying goal, we thought the roof would explode. It was amazing,” Groulx said.

“I don’t think we ever counted ourselves out,” Adam Erne said. “We flipped it around quick on them, but they could have easily flipped it around quick on us. I think we stuck to our system, and showed a lot of character.”

“You can’t go on a roller-coaster of emotions,” Cory Conacher said of the rally. “You’ve got to have an even keel. Actually, I had a pretty good feeling throughout the whole game. Obviously, maybe a couple bounces here and there didn’t go our way, and that’s why they got up there 3-1. But all the guys, especially the leadership group, brought these guys together and made sure we were on our game for the full 60 minutes. And that’s what it took tonight.”

Syracuse played Providence twice during the regular season with the home team winning a game apiece.

San Jose and Grand Rapids meet in the Western Conference finals with the winners playing for the coveted Calder Cup.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
N1-Syracuse Crunch vs. N2-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Fri., May 5 – SYRACUSE 3, Toronto 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 6 – SYRACUSE 8, Toronto 5
Game 3 – Tue., May 9 – TORONTO 5, Syracuse 3
Game 4 – Wed., May 10 – TORONTO 3, Syracuse 2
Game 5 – Sat., May 13 – SYRACUSE 5, Toronto 1
Game 6 – Mon., May 15 – TORONTO 2, Syracuse 1
Game 7 – Wed., May 17 – SYRACUSE 6, Toronto 3

Boxscore

Syracuse 6 – Toronto 3

Game #: 7
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Scoring 1 2 3 Total PP
Toronto Marlies 2 1 0 3 0 / 3
Syracuse Crunch 1 2 3 6 1 / 4

 

Shots 1 2 3 Total
Toronto Marlies 10 2 5 17
Syracuse Crunch 11 9 10 30

 

# Skater Pos G A PIM Shots +/-
2 C Campbell, Andrew D 0 0 0 0 1
3 Valiev, Rinat D 0 0 0 1 -1
4 Holl, Justin D 0 0 0 1 0
5 Oleksy, Steve D 0 1 2 0 0
6 Nielsen, Andrew D 0 0 2 1 -1
8 Dermott, Travis D 0 0 0 0 -1
10 O’Reilly, Cal C 0 1 0 1 0
11 Johnsson, Andreas LW 1 0 0 1 0
15 Kalinin, Sergey C 0 0 0 0 0
16 Findlay, Brett C 0 0 0 0 -1
17 A Clune, Richard LW 0 0 2 2 -1
19 Leipsic, Brendan LW 1 0 0 3 -2
27 Grundstrom, Carl LW 0 0 0 1 -2
28 Kapanen, Kasperi RW 0 1 2 2 -1
36 Rychel, Kerby LW 0 0 0 2 -1
38 A Greening, Colin C 0 0 0 0 -1
39 Griffith, Seth RW 1 0 2 1 0
46 Moore, Trevor LW 0 1 0 1 0
# Goalie GA Mins SA SVS G A PIM
1 Kaskisuo, Kasimir 5 58:35 29 24 0 0 0
30 Bibeau, Antoine 0 0 0 0 0 0
Head CoachSheldon Keefe
Assistant CoachA.J. MacLean
# Skater Pos G A PIM Shots +/-
3 Racine, Jonathan D 0 0 0 1 -1
4 Dotchin, Jake D 0 1 2 1 3
5 Masin, Dominik D 0 0 0 0 1
11 C Condra, Erik RW 0 1 0 2 3
16 McGinn, Tye LW 0 1 0 2 1
20 A Taormina, Matt D 1 1 0 1 -1
21 Froese, Byron C 0 0 0 3 0
22 Peca, Matthew C 1 1 0 4 1
25 Brodeur, Mathieu D 0 1 0 1 0
26 Thomas, Ben D 0 1 0 2 0
37 Gourde, Yanni LW 1 1 2 2 0
40 A Dumont, Gabriel C 1 0 0 2 2
65 Koekkoek, Slater D 0 1 0 1 3
73 Erne, Adam LW 1 0 2 3 1
78 Bournival, Michael LW 0 0 0 1 -2
85 Walcott, Daniel D 0 0 0 1 0
89 Conacher, Cory RW 1 1 2 3 -1
92 Vermin, Joel RW 0 0 0 0 0
# Goalie GA Mins SA SVS G A PIM
50 Gudlevskis, Kristers 0 0 0 0 0 0
56 McKenna, Mike 3 59:59 17 14 0 0 0
Head CoachBenoit Groulx
Assistant CoachJeff Halpern
Assistant CoachTrent Cull

Scoring

1st
6:26 SYR Gabriel Dumont (3) ASST: Ben Thomas (3), Mathieu Brodeur(1)
17:37 TOR Seth Griffith (2) ASST: Trevor Moore (2), Cal O’Reilly (6)
18:57 TOR Brendan Leipsic (4) ASST: Steve Oleksy (2)
2nd
11:03 TOR Andreas Johnsson (6) ASST: Kasperi Kapanen (6)
13:30 SYR Matt Taormina (2) ASST: Matthew Peca (6), Tye McGinn (5)
15:14 SYR Adam Erne (3) ASST: Cory Conacher (5), Matt Taormina (8)(PP)
3rd
0:08 SYR Matthew Peca (4) ASST: Jake Dotchin (1), Slater Koekkoek (4)
18:19 SYR Cory Conacher (4) ASST: Yanni Gourde (6), Erik Condra (7)
19:29 SYR Yanni Gourde (2) ASST: None (EN)
Penalties
1st
01:00 TOR Kasperi Kapanen, Hooking, 2 min PP
10:34 SYR Cory Conacher, Goaltender interference, 2 min PP
2nd
09:01 TOR Andrew Nielsen, High-sticking, 2 min PP
15:03 TOR Steve Oleksy, Interference, 2 min PP
17:18 SYR Yanni Gourde, Hooking, 2 min PP
3rd
02:53 TOR Seth Griffith, Tripping, 2 min PP
03:48 TOR Richard Clune, Cross-checking, 2 min
03:48 SYR Adam Erne, Cross-checking, 2 min
07:02 SYR Jake Dotchin, Hooking, 2 min PP
Three Stars

 

PP PIM PTS
Toronto Marlies 0 / 3 10 min / 5 inf 3 G + 4 A = 7 PTS
Syracuse Crunch 1 / 4 8 min / 4 inf 6 G + 10 A = 16 PTS

 

Arena OFFICIALS
Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
Attendance: 5782
Start: 7:04 pm
End: 9:41 pm
Length: 2:37
Referee: Terry Koharski (10)
Referee: Chris Schlenker (48)
Linesman: Ryan Daisy (81)
Linesman: Kory Nagy (97)

Video

Postgame Interviews

Highlights

(Feature Photo/TheAHL.com)

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