The Syracuse Crunch opened their North Division semifinal series on Friday night with a 5-3 win over the Laval Rocket at the Upstate Medical University Arena.
Anthony Richard led the Crunch offense with two goals and an assist. Cole Koepke added a goal and an assist, and Remi Elie and Gemel Smith also scored.
Max Lagace turned aside 28-of-31 shots to earn the win for Syracuse.
Alex Belzile scored twice, Joel Teasdale added a goal and Sami Niku notched three assists for the Rocket.
Kevin Poulin stopped 26-of-30 shots for Laval.
Syracuse finished 2-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty.
Game 2 of the best-of-five is set for Saturday in Syracuse. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.