Marchessault Nets OT Winner, Blunden Draws
BINGHAMTON, NY - Jonathan Marchessault scored the game-winning goal in overtime as Syracuse (22-9-4-0) defeated Binghamton (15-15-2-1), 5-4, at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Syracuse remains tied with Springfield atop the Northeast Division at 48 points.
Alongside Vladislav Namestnikov during three-on-three play, Marchessault charged end-to-end and unleashed the decisive bid from the right-wing circle with 12 seconds left in extra time for his ninth goal of the year and first game winner.
Syracuse controlled the pace early and opened up a three-goal lead in the second period, but Binghamton rallied back with four consecutive goals. With Kristers Gudlevskis on the bench for an extra attacker, Mike Blunden forced overtime with a goal at the 18:50 mark, his third of the game. Namestnikov earned his eighth assist on the play. The hat-trick is Blunden's first in his AHL career.
Cody Kunyk started the scoring for the Crunch at the 2:40 mark of the first when he netted his fifth of the season with helpers going to Eric Neilson and Joey Mormina. The point for Neilson is his first of the year.
Blunden followed up with two power-play goals and had the Crunch up 3-0 early in the second. The Toronto native scored an unassisted marker 15:40 into the first when he gathered a puck in the trapezoid and popped in front of the net to beat Peter Mannino five-hole.
Blunden's second goal came 1:49 into the second on a right-corner feed from Marchessault, who extended his team lead in assists to 22. Mormina added his second point of the game with a secondary contribution on the Blunden goal.
After scoring two with the man advantage, Syracuse opened the door for Binghamton when Max McCormick scored shorthanded at 5:49 of the second period. Cole Schneider pulled the Senators within one early in the third, and Matt Puempel tied it on the power play at the midway point of the third.
Carter Camper banked in the go-ahead goal from the right goal line at the 16:45 mark to give Binghamton a temporary 4-3 lead. Blunden negated the Senators surge with his ninth of year and third of the contest, while solidifying first-star honors.
Kristers Gudlevskis' 24 saves, including two in overtime, were enough for his 12th win. Peter Mannino stopped 41 shots in his Binghamton debut. Syracuse's 46 shots are a season high, having eclipsed 40 once previously: Oct. 18 vs. Binghamton, with 44.
The Crunch play their fifth consecutive road game Friday in Hartford before playing their first home game of 2015 Saturday against W-B/Scranton.
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American Hockey League Stories from January 3, 2015
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