Jimmy Huntington’s hat trick not enough as Crunch fall to Monsters in overtime, 5-4

Jimmy Huntington recorded a natural hat trick tonight to help the Syracuse Crunch climb back from a three-goal deficit, but the team succumbed to the Cleveland Monsters, 5-4, in overtime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

After going down by three, Huntington recorded three straight followed by a third-period goal from Cole Koepke to put the Crunch on top. However, a late Monsters tally forced overtime where Cleveland eventually took the game.

Goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 21-of-26 shots in net for the Crunch, while Jean-Francois Berube stopped 27-of-31 in victory for the Monsters. Syracuse went 1-for-3 on the power play and a perfect 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.

Cleveland opened scoring for the second consecutive night and quickly built a 2-0 lead. The first goal came at 7:18 when Justin Scott chipped in a backdoor feed from Carson Meyer. Just under three minutes later, Meyer tipped Jake Christiansen’s left-point shot past Alnefelt. The Monsters made it a three-goal lead 8:16 into the middle frame off Yegor Chinakhov’s wrister from the top of the right circle.

Syracuse finally responded at the 11:32 mark and rattled off four consecutive goals. Huntington got the Crunch on the board for the second night in a row when he backhanded the puck in from one knee right off the faceoff. Antoine Morand tallied the assist.

Huntington recorded his second of the night 1:56 into the third period during an odd-man rush when his quick stick sent home Morand’s centering pass. He completed the natural hat trick less than a minute later. Dumont dug the puck out from the end board to Gabe Fortier who sent it to the slot for Huntington to score.

Koepke proceeded to put the Crunch on top at 6:04 with a wrister from the right circle.

With 1:12 remaining in the game, Meyer potted his second of the game to force overtime where Liam Foudy scored the game-winner at the 1:59 mark.

The Crunch are back in action when they travel to face the Rochester Americans on Friday.

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