November 2, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch
BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO - Cory Conacher netted two goals and added an assist to help give the Syracuse Crunch the lead three times before falling to the Belleville Senators, 4-3, in a shootout tonight at Yardmen Arena.
In addition to Conacher's three-point night, Jason Akeson and Matthew Peca both contributed a pair of helpers, while Dominik Masin scored his first goal of the season. The loss drops Syracuse to 3-5-1-1 on the season and 1-0-0-1 in the eight-game season series against Belleville.
Netminder Michael Leighton stopped 17-of-20 shots on goal and 2-of-3 shootout attempts between the pipes for the Crunch. Andrew Hammond earned the win turning aside 23 shots and all three shootout attempts. Syracuse went 2-for-5 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.
The Crunch were first to score with a power-play goal five minutes into the game. Akeson sent a pass down to Peca in the bottom of the right circle. Peca quickly redirected a feed across the slot where Conacher was waiting on the backdoor with a wide-open net.
The Senators evened the score with under a minute to play in the opening frame, but Syracuse stole the lead back with just one second remaining on the clock. At the 19:13 mark, Francis Perron fired from between the circles with the help of Gabriel Gagne. In the final second, Masin capitalized on a second-chance opportunity in front of the net. Conacher and Peca recorded the assists.
Belleville tied the game for a second time at the 3:19 mark of the middle stanza on the power play. Leighton made the initial stop on Maxime Lajoie's shot, but the rebound jumped up and behind the goaltender where Filip Chlapik jammed it across the goal line.
Just 1:27 later, Syracuse regained the lead with another tally on the man-advantage. Akeson deked around a defender in the neutral zone before skating the puck across the blue line and down the right wing side. He threw a last-minute centering pass for Conacher to chip in. Mat Bodie collected the secondary helper.
Late in the second period, the Senators tied the game to eventually force overtime. Nick Paul picked off a pass at the top of the zone and sent the puck down to Jim O'Brien. His feed across the crease set Ethan Werek up for the equalizer.
A scoreless third period and overtime frame led to a shootout where Gagne scored the only goal in the third round to give Belleville the win.
The Crunch travel to face the Laval Rocket on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Crunchables: Cory Conacher leads the Crunch with five goals...Matthew Peca recorded his first multi-point game since May 19 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals...Tonight was the first time the Crunch scored multiple power-play goals this season.