After going down by three, the Syracuse Crunch rallied back and scored six unanswered goals on their way to a 7-6 win over the Rochester Americans tonight at the Blue Cross Arena.
The line of Boris Katchouk, Otto Somppi and Taylor Raddysh combined for nine points (4g, 5a), while Sean Day, Peter Abbandonato and Antoine Morand rounded out the Crunch scoring. The victory advances the team to 13-8-1-0 on the season and 5-3-1-0 in the 12-game season series with the Amerks.
Crunch goaltender Spencer Martin stopped 2-of-5 shots before being relieved by Sam Montembeault early in the first period. Montembeault went on to turn aside 12-of-15 to earn the win. Stefanos Lekkas stopped 26-of-33 between the pipes for the Amerks. Syracuse went 1-for-4 on the power play and a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The Amerks opened scoring and jumped out to an early three-goal lead. Just 1:12 into the game, Brent Gates Jr. centered the puck from along the end boards for C.J. Smith to one-time from the slot. Rochester doubled their lead at 5:32 when Brendan Warren scored with sharp angle shot from along the goal line. Only 19 seconds later, the Rochester capitalized on a turnover and Patrick Polino jammed the puck in during a scramble in front of the net.
The Crunch caught fire in the second period and scored three straight to tie the game up through 40 minutes of play. Katchouk kicked it off when he chipped in a rebound on the power play at the 8:25 mark. At 19:04, Day netted a long left-point shot through traffic. Morand evened the score 24 seconds later with a quick wrister off the draw.
Syracuse’s offensive onslaught continued with three more goals early in the third period. Just 28 seconds in, Abbandonato ripped a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle. Only 27 seconds later, Somppi tucked a backhander in as he cut in front of the crease. Raddysh added to the total at 6:05 when the puck snuck past Lekkas and he was able to push it over the goal line.
Rochester didn’t let up and scored two more to come back within one. At 14:38, Remi Elie stick handled down the right side and backhanded a shot past Montembeault. Then Gates netted a right point shot at 17:13.
Somppi scored his second of the night for the third consecutive game 41 seconds later with a one-handed backhander to regain a two-goal Crunch lead. With 1:07 remaining in the game, Brandon Hawkins added a one-timer from the left circle to bring the Amerks right back within one, but the Crunch fended them off.
The Crunch and Amerks will rematch this Saturday in Syracuse.