Crunch Clinched the North with a 4-3 Win over the Amerks

The Rochester Americans played to the final buzzer in Syracuse on Saturday night in an attempt to still have a shot at the North Division title but it wasn’t enough. Syracuse clinched the division with a 4-3 win on home ice. It was a better game than Friday night but a turnover late in the third titled the game in favor of the Crunch.

Victor Olofsson scored two goals and became the first Rochester Americans played since the 2004/2005 season to score 30 goals in a season. Dalton Smith scored with 16.3 seconds remaining in regulation to silence loud “Eddie” chants (for Eddie Pasquale) for a brief moment.

Through 12 games during the regular season the Amerks and Crunch each finished with a 6-4-1-1 record. The road team won eight of the 12 games. The Amerks only home wins came early in the season on October 10th and November 9th.

Victor Olofsson unleashed his ridiculous shot at 9:39 of the first period to give the Amerks a 1-0 lead on the power play. Danny O’Regan tallied his 28th assist of the season with the cross ice pass to setup the shot.

It only took 47 seconds for Syracuse to tie the game when Taylor Raddysh picked up a loose puck at the goal line to score. Mitchell Stephens deflected a shot that caused the puck to bounce off the ice and to the left of Scott Wedgewood.

The second period was scoreless but it didn’t have to be. CJ Smith, Kevin Porter, and Lawrence Pilut had a short handed odd man rush but one too many passes instead of a shot resulted in Pasquale facing a shot from Pilut head on.

Late in the second period Kurt Gosselin put the puck into the net but it was immediately waived off. Rasmus Asplund made his way to the front of the net but was pushed into Eddie Pasquale by Cory Conacher. Pasquale had fallen back into the net.

Mitchell Stephens scored at 2:30 of the second period when the puck went past Wedgewood off the ankle of Redmond.

Victor Olofsson responded 17 seconds later to score his 30th of the season and tie the game up at two. Kurt Gosselin sent the puck deep into the zone from the blue line, Olofsson bumped a Crunch player off the puck, and that allowed Asplund to gain possession and pass it back to Olofsson for a shot from the goal line.

One thing you never want to do against a top team is turn the puck over trying to clear your zone. Lawrence Pilut made a clearing attempt but it was intercepted by Alex Barre-Boulet. A quick pass to Carter Verhaeghe and it was in the back of the net to give Syracuse a 3-2 lead with 3:21 left in regulation.

Scott Wedgewood went to the bench with about 2:10 remaining in the third period for the extra skater. Kurt Gosselin and Danny O’Regan ran into each other down low which resulted in Syracuse taking over the puck. Cameron Gaunce flipped the puck high down ice to Gabriel Dumont who beat Rasmus Asplund in a race to the puck and he sent a slow wobbling puck into the empty net.

As the Syracuse crowd loudly cheered Eddie for goalie Eddie Pasquale the Amerks continued to work the puck. Yannick Veilleux battled for the puck at his feet, Dalton Smith took possession on his stick, and sent a quick shot through the legs of Pasquale for his second goal of the season.

Zach Redmond was able to get one last shot on net with seven seconds left but it went off the right pad of Pasquale. Danny O’Regan had won the face off to Lawrence Pilut to start the zone entry and setup one last chance.

A turnover, a bad bounce, and a few too many passes instead of shots are phrases that can be used to describe the loss. It was an entertaining game that could have been won by either team through 56 minutes.

Syracuse clinched the North Division title with the win.

Rochester travels to Belleville for a Sunday afternoon 2pm game. The game doesn’t have any meaning for Rochester but it has implications for Belleville still trying to clinch a playoff spot. If Belleville wins they’re in. Rochester will be sitting out at least nine players that played on Saturday. Scroll down for more information on the moves.


Game in gifs as they were Tweeted: