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Crunch open playoffs with win over Rocket

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.