CRUNCH OUTLAST MARLIES
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Dennis Yan scored twice in his return to the Syracuse Crunch to help defeat the Toronto Marlies, 5-4, in a back-and-forth battle tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Yan also added an assist in his first game back since Dec. 1 for his first professional three-point performance. Mathieu Joseph put up two points with a goal and a helper, while Matthew Peca tallied two assists. The win advances the Crunch to 16-12-1-2 on the season and decreases the eight-game season series deficit against the Marlies to 2-3-0-0.
Louis Domingue earned the win with 22 saves in net for the Crunch. His counterpart, Garrett Sparks, turned aside 28-of-33 for the Marlies. Syracuse converted on 2-of-3 power play opportunities and went a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Toronto opened scoring 3:10 into the first period. Kasperi Kapanen skated the puck into the zone on an odd-man rush with Andreas Johnsson. He threw a last-minute centering feed for Johnsson to send home with a wrister from between the circles.
The Crunch stole the lead with back-to-back goals from Yan. At the 4:22 mark, the winger beat Sparks on the breakaway. He came down the right wing, waited as he cut across the slot and chipped it over the outstretched Sparks. Alexander Volkov recorded the helper. Halfway through the frame, Yan came in on a rush with Peca and Matthew Spencer to redirect a feed from the bottom of the right circle.
The Marlies knotted the game, 2-2, 15:04 into the first stanza. Dmytro Timashov forced a turnover in the left circle and passed it over for Chris Mueller to net top shelf.
With 30 seconds remaining in the first, Syracuse went back on top. Peca stole the puck at the far blue line and took off down the left boards. Joseph jumped in for a 2-on-1 and powered a one-timer from the right faceoff dot.
Toronto evened the score 1:45 into the second period when Frederik Gauthier potted his third of the season with the help of Colin Greening.
Kevin Lynch gave the Crunch their third lead of the game with a power-play goal late in the frame. He battled for the rebound in front of Sparks to force in the go-ahead goal. Yan and Mitchell Stephens recorded points on the play.
Just 26 seconds later, the game was tied again. Miro Aaltonen capitalized on a failed clearing attempt and chipped the puck over Domingue's shoulder.
The Crunch made it 5-4 three minutes into the final frame. Joseph threw a no-look pass down to Adam Erne at the goal line. He turned and fired on an open net for the eventual game-winner. Carter Verhaeghe extended his point streak with the secondary helper.
Syracuse hosts the Utica Comets on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. at the War Memorial Arena.
Single game tickets and packages are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444.
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