Crunch Top Toronto to Win Fourth Straight, 4-3
Toronto, ON (March 30, 2011) - Kyle Palmieri scored twice to take over the AHL rookie lead in goals (26) and Rick Schofield added the game-winner with under three minutes left in regulation, as the Syracuse Crunch hung on for a wild 4-3 win over the Toronto Marlies this afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.
The win was the Crunch's fourth in a row and seventh in their last eight games. Syracuse returns home to face Binghamton on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at The Oncenter War Memorial Arena.
Although neither team scored in the game's first 20 minutes, the Crunch controlled most of the action and outshot Toronto by a 12-5 margin. Things also got a bit chippy after Brian McGrattan checked Josh Engel into the corner boards, prompting Jeff Cowan to challenge the Crunch winger.
Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens kept his club in the game, but patience finally paid off for the Crunch when they capitalized on their first power play of the game after Jake Gardiner was whistled off for holding.
Nick Bonino had his original shot denied from in close, but Josh Green sniffed out the rebound and whacked it past Scrivens to give the Crunch a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the second stanza.
The physical play escalated again late in the second, resulting in five minute fighting majors for Maxime Macenauer and Danny Richmond and game misconducts for McGrattan and Toronto's Aaron Voros. McGrattan was also given a five-minute major for spearing, sending the Marlies on an extended power play that lasted the rest of the second and into the third.
The Crunch PK was again strong and shut the door on the five-minute man-advantage for Toronto. Syracuse's PK was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day and has not allowed a power play goal over the last four games, killing off all 18 penalties against during that span.
Although the Crunch killed off the extended Marlies power play, Toronto seemed to build momentum and struck twice within a span of 1:16 on goals from Ryan Hamilton and Joe Colborne to grab a 2-1 lead at the 5:09 mark of the third period.
After Toronto's second goal, Crunch head coach Mark Holick smartly called a timeout, which seemed to settle his team down.
Just under six minutes later, Nick Bonino found Palmieri all alone in front of the net and the red-hot rookie snapped a shot past Scrivens to tie the game up at 2-2.
Palmieri struck again just under three minutes after he tied the game when his sharp-angle wrister from the left side eluded Scrivens to give the Crunch a 3-2 lead at the 13:57 mark.
Schofield added his second in as many games and fourth point in five contests since joining the Crunch, giving the Syracuse a 4-2 lead at the 17:16 mark.
Fabian Brunnstrom ripped a slapper past Timo Pielmeier just 21 seconds later to make it a 4-3 game, but the Crunch hung on in the final two and a half minutes for the win. Pielmeier picked up his 14th win of the season and fourth victory in his last four starts.
CRUNCHABLES: Kyle Palmieri (8 games...12g, 3a) and Patrick Maroon (7 games...4g, 10a) both extended their respective point streaks...The Crunch have now scored the first goal in eight straight games, going 7-1-0-0 over that span...The Crunch improved to 11-4-0-0 in the month of March this season and are 67-30-5-6 in March since the 2003-04 campaign...The Crunch have scored 34 goals over their last seven games...The Crunch are now 21-4-2-0 when leading after two periods this season...Maxime Macenauer had his four-game point and goal streak snapped this afternoon.
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