SYRACUSE, N.Y. – After rallying back to force overtime, the Syracuse Crunch were edged by the Rochester Americans, 5-4, in Game 5 of the North Division Semifinals tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena. Rochester wins the series, 3-2.
The Crunch rallied back from a 4-1 deficit with goals from Simon Ryfors, Gabriel Dumont and Trevor Carrick to tie the game and force overtime, but the Amerks scored the game-winner halfway through the extra frame to take the series.
Crunch goaltender Max Lagace turned aside 11-of-15 shots before being relieved by Hugo Alnefelt in the second period. Alnefelt went on to turn aside 9-of-10 shots. Malcolm Subban stopped 44-of-48 in net for the Amerks.
Syracuse converted on 1-of-4 power play opportunities, while the penalty kill went 1-for-2.
The Amerks were first on the board 11:08 into the game. Isak Rosen skated the puck beyond the goal line and centered a feed for Tyson Kozak to chip in.
Rochester doubled their lead halfway through the middle frame when Lawrence Pilut fired a shot from the left circle. At 13:59, Jiri Kulich chipped in the puck as he cut across the crease to add another for Rochester. Just 15 seconds later, Declan Carlile stole one back for the Crunch with a long shot from the point. The Amerks quickly regained their three-goal lead when Michael Mersch sent in a shot from along the goal line at the 14:59 mark. Syracuse converted during a 5-on-3 advantage late in the period to pull back within two. Dumont threw a feed through the crease for Simon Ryfors to chip in on the backdoor.
Syracuse scored twice in the final frame to force overtime. Dumont found the back of the net at the 9:36 mark with a wrister from the high slot. With just 30 seconds remaining in the game, Carrick got his stick on the puck during a battle in front of the net and sent in the equalizer.
Pilut won the game for Rochester at the 11:35 mark of the overtime period while on the power play.
Ticket packages for the 2023-24 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).
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