SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch rallied back to force overtime, but eventually fell to the Charlotte Checkers, 5-4, tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.
Despite the loss, the Crunch earned a point as they move to 21-14-4-3 on the season. Syracuse is now 1-1-1-0 in the four-game season series against Charlotte.
Crunch goaltender Max Lagace stopped 37-of-42 shots, while Mack Guzda earned the win blocking 34-of-38 in net for the Checkers.
Syracuse converted on 1-of-5 power play opportunities and went a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Charlotte was first on the board 6:11 into the game. Riley Nash won the face off in the right circle and sent the puck back for Calle Sjalin to score with a long point shot. Syracuse evened the score at the 12:26 mark when Phil Myers fired in a wrister from the high slot, but just 19 second later, the Checkers regained their lead after Dominic Franco wrapped around the back of the cage and shoved the puck past Lagace. Franco capitalized on a turnover and potted his second of the night with 50 seconds remaining in the period to put the Checkers up, 3-1.
Syracuse came back within on 3:07 into the third period. Guzda made the stop on Gabriel Dumont’s close-range shot, but the rebound came out for Alex Barre-Boulet to chip in. Charlotte took back their two-goal lead at 16:26 off a wrister from Lucas Carlsson between the circles.
The Crunch turned on a late comeback effort and scored two goals in the final 2:58 to tie the game and force overtime. It started with a power-play goal by Simon Ryfors who chipped in a second chance opportunity from in front of the crease. Then with 39 seconds remaining in the game, Gage Goncalves snuck the puck past Guzda during a scramble out front.
Logan Hutsko scored the game-winner for Charlotte 1:52 into the overtime frame.
The Crunch and Checkers face each other for the final time tomorrow night in Syracuse.
Single game tickets and ticket packages for the 2022-23 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).
Crunchables: Sean Day played in his 200th AHL game tonight…The Crunch are 0-4 in the overtime period this season.
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