Verhaeghe Uses his Ravenclaw Wisdom to Defeat Rochester

It took the fourth match up of the season for the Syracuse Crunch to defeat the Rochester Americans this season and they accomplished that on Saturday night with a 4-3 overtime win. Carter Verhaeghe scored the overtime winner to complete his hat trick. The Amerks had a 2-1 lead going into the third period before giving up an early goal and a late goal that forced the game into overtime.

The title is a stick tap to our friends at Raw Charge for a fun article getting to know Crunch players as if they went to Hogwarts [ Read it Here ]

All four goals by Syracuse were scored as time was ticking down or just starting. This was the fourth loss of the season for Rochester when leading after two periods.

The good news the team will takeaway for now as they go about their ways and travels for the All-Star break is that they finished the week with five out of a possible six points. The details behind those points can be concerning and that’s something that’ll be addressed after the break.

Syracuse appeared to follow the same game plan that Rochester had on Friday night, keep shooting the puck.

Scott Wilson scored the first goal of the game, his second of the season, at 8:22 of the first period on the power play. Assists to Wayne Simpson and Matt Tennyson. A shot that appeared simple was thrown at the net from the face off circle and went in the net past Connor Ingram.

Carter Verhaeghe tied the game with 32 seconds left in the first period with a quick wrist shot as he entered the zone. Alexander Volkov of the Crunch appeared to partially screen Wilcox.

If the American League had off-sides challenges this one would’ve gone to a review and likely overturned.

Halfway through the second period Kyle Criscuolo scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead. CJ Smith had the puck on the left side and delivered a perfect pass at the direction of Criscuolo’s stick for the redirect. The assist extended CJ’s point streak to nine games (5G+8A) which also ties the longest active streak in the American League.

Syracuse only had four shots in the second period and it took them over 13 minutes to get their first. Adam Wilcox only had to make four saves but they were quality shots and important saves.

When the Amerks won on Friday night against Utica they entered the third period with the mindset of just continuing to shoot the puck and eventually they’d score. That’s what Syracuse appeared to do with 20 shots in the third period on Saturday.

It only took 36 seconds for the Crunch to score and tie the game 2-2 when Jan Rutta scored. Andrew MacWilliam and Matt Tennyson were pulled behind the goal line trying to win a puck battle and it left a lot of open room in front of the net. A quick pass from Alex Barre-Boulet to Rutta and the game was tied. This goal was reviewed to determine if the net had come off of it’s moorings before the goal was scored. Officials said nope, it didn’t, good goal.

Rochester took back the lead at 9:19 when Brendan Guhle sent a quick low wrist shot to the net. Danny O’Regan appeared to redirect the shot but as of typing this it reads Guhle from Olofsson and O’Regan. The assist is the 23rd of the season for Olofsson.

Less than two minutes later the officials decided to hand a penalty shot to the Crunch when they believed that an Amerks player closed their hand on the puck in the crease. Amidst the big scramble in front of the net (gif below at the end of the recap) it’s hard to imagine how they could make that determination. Cory Conacher took the penalty shot and the Amerks caught a brake when the puck slipped away from his stick, something that rarely happens to Conacher in a situation like that.

With less than five minutes remaining in the third there was a holding the stick call on Danny O’Regan. On the delayed call O’Regan was tackled by Conacher in front of Adam Wilcox but there was no call on that. Syracuse pulled goalie Connor Ingram to gain a six on four advantage. That’s the game of hockey.

Rochester was able to kill the penalty but that didn’t slow down the momentum Syracuse had built up.

Carter Verhaeghe tied the game with 87 seconds left in regulation skating down low with the puck and beating Wilcox. Rochester had the triangle setup down low but another move by Alexander Volkov tied up Borgen and MacWilliam to give Verhaeghe the space he needed.

Syracuse finished with a 20-4 advantage in shots in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Overtime was over just as it started. Rasmus Asplund won the face off back to Matt Tennyson but he fumbled the puck and it ended up behind him. Verhaeghe didn’t hesitate to use his quick wisdom to get behind Tennyson and score blocker side on Wilcox.

Teams now take four days off for the All-Star break and will return to work on Thursday. That’ll give us plenty of time to research how many leads the Amerks have given up this season along with how many goals they’ve had scored on them at the start or end of a period. For now, they’re in first place where they have been all season and finished the week with five of six possible points.

Here’s the game in tweets/gifs as they happened: