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Crunch Fall to Rockford in a Shootout

April 3, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch News Release

Syracuse, NY (April 3, 2009) - The Syracuse Crunch were defeated by the Rockford Ice Hogs in a shootout tonight, 3-2, in front of 4,916 fans at the War Memorial at Oncenter.

With four days since their last contest that finished a stretch of eight games in 10 days and saw the club move into a tie for the North Division's playoff spot, a well-rested Crunch came out ready to play, but was on the wrong end of a bad bounce that led to a 1-0 Rockford lead.

Four minutes and forty seconds into the opening frame, Pete MacArthur's dump-in caromed off the left side boards. As he was going out to play the puck, Crunch starter Kevin Lalande couldn't get back to the net in time as the disk crossed over the goal line to make it 1-0.

As they have done all season, the Crunch kept plugging away despite the fluke goal. Their hard work paid off at the 10:28 mark on the power play.

Dan Spang made a head-man pass to Mike Blunden on the left side. With an Ice Hog quickly bearing down on him, Blunden turned and made a no-look behind the back pass to a streaking Maksim Mayorov, sending him in all alone on a breakaway.

Mayorov came in and snapped a shot to the top right corner over the glove of Corey Crawford to tie the game at 1-1.

Shots favored the Crunch by a 14-12 margin through the first 20 minutes.

Rockford re-took the lead just under a minute into the second stanza when MacArthur notched his second marker of the game. MacArthur took a pass down the left side and his sharp-angle shot squeaked through Lalande to make it a 2-1 game.

Crawford was stellar for Rockford in the second period, denying all 17 Crunch bids. His best stop came on Alexandre Picard with four and a half minutes to go when Picard raced in and deked to his forehand, but Crawford dove across the crease and denied Picard with the paddle of his goal stick.

The Crunch answered again at the 4:24 mark of the third on a great individual effort from Picard.

The Les Saules, Quebec native took a long pass from Derek MacKenzie and bulldozed his way to the cage. As Picard split the defense, he fell down but did not give up on the play. From his stomach, he one-handed a shot on goal that squeezed through Crawford's legs to make it 2-2.

Both teams traded scoring chances the rest of the way, but Crawford shut the door and ended up with 31 regulation saves and stopped three of four shootout attempts against him.

CRUNCHABLES: Matt Kennedy appeared in his first professional game tonight...The Crunch have now scored a power play goal in five consecutive games and are 8-for-28 (28.57%) over that span...Alexandre Picard has 17 goals in his last 18 games.

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