Last night the Syracuse Crunch finished their third game of the series with a win against the Portland Pirates and advance to the second round of the AHL playoffs. Ondrej Palat scored the game winning goal in overtime to complete the series sweep.
Nineteen seconds into the third period, the Pirates struck again. This time it was Bolduc earning the goal, with Miele and Lucas Lessio getting the assists. Nick Johnson, assisted by Michael Stone and Chris Conner, scored a power-play goal 10:47 in the third period bringing their lead 3-1. The Crunch battled back, with captain, Mike Angelidis, scoring 13:59 into the third period, assists given to J.T. Wyman and Mark Barberio. While Cedrick Desjardins was pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Palat equaled the score at 3 with 1:12 remaining in regulation, which brought the game into overtime.
The clock kept ticking down in overtime, and for some it may have felt like another overtime would be imminent. Some key saves were made by each goalie, which kept the game tied at 3. With 57 seconds remaining in overtime, Palat notched the game-winning goal, sending the Pirates packing and the Crunch into round two.
While their next opponent remains unknown at this time, they can only play Springfield Falcons, Hershey Bears, or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. If the Crunch play the Bears or the Penguins, the series would start Friday-Saturday at War Memorial in Syracuse with the format being 2-2-1-1-1. If it’s neither of those two, then the Falcons would have home ice on the Crunch and the series format would be 2-3-2.