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Crunch close out season with 5-3 win over Amerks

The Syracuse Crunch topped the Rochester Americans, 5-3, in their season finale tonight at the Blue Cross Arena.

Henry Bowlby led the team with two goals, while Tyler Johnson earned his first pro win in his first pro start. The Crunch finish the season with a 19-10-3-0 record and close out the 12-game season series against the Amerks, 7-4-1-0.

Johnson earned the win with 20 saves in net for the Crunch. Michael Houser stopped 22-of-27 shots between the pipes for the Amerks. Syracuse went 2-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.

The Crunch opened scoring 2:13 into the during a 5-on-3 advantage when Otto Somppi one-timed a feed from Chase Priskie in the right circle. Just 21 seconds later, Patrick Polino evened the score with a shorthanded goal on an odd-man rush.

The Amerks took the lead at the 13:35 mark of the first period with a power-play goal of their own. Remi Elie ripped a one-timer from the right side off a pass from Brent Gates Jr.

Syracuse tied the game at 2-2 with 4:57 remaining in the middle frame. Antoine Morand centered the puck for Bowlby to chip in top shelf from the slot.

The Crunch scored three-straight in the third period to build up three-goal lead. At 2:04, Jimmy Huntington redirected Jack Thompson’s point shot. Halfway through the frame, Bowlby potted his second of the game when he drove down the right wing and backhanded a shot past Houser. Syracuse tallied their second power-play goal of the night at 14:39 when Gabe Fortier was in the slot to tip Alex Green’s shot from the blue line.

Rochester stole one back with 2:48 remaining in the game when Gates capitalized on a mishandled puck and shoveled in a shot, but Syracuse halted a comeback and held on for the win.