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AHL Hockey: Syracuse Crunch fall at Bridgeport

By David F. Pendrys (Eyewitness account checked against official box score.) (Editorial commentary: Both Webster Bank Arena and the XL Center benefit from an exemption in the state’s admissions tax.)

The Syracuse Crunch wrapped up a weekend of facing Connecticut’s AHL teams with another loss after losing to the Wolf Pack in dramatic fashion the night before. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers the Crunch 3-2 Saturday evening. The Crunch deployed Allen York in goal, and opposing him in his first AHL start was Stephon Williams.

The scoring came late in the first when Mike Halmo blasted a shot at York. It bounced off but Kael Mouillierat was waiting and sent it into the gap in the net York had left for a 1-0 Bridgeport lead at 17:49. Sebastian Collberg also helped set it up and earned the second assist. The first period came to an end with Williams having faced only 7 shots, and York having faced 11, saving 10.

Early into the second period Syracuse found themselves killing a penalty, and it did not go well as Ryan Pulock slapped the puck past York from the point at 3:47 assisted by Alan Quine and Aaron Ness. Bridgeport now had a 2-0 advantage. Much of the period past uneventfully however Lukas Sutter smashed Syracuse’s Joel Vermin into the boards and got himself a five minute major and game misconduct at 16:01 The Sound Tigers, who had recently given up two goals to Hershey while fighting off a major penalty, faced a daunting task to end the period.

Syracuse went on the attack, but the Bridgeport defense and Williams fended off the four minutes to close out the period. When period 3 resumed, the final minute passed without incident. However,

Jonathan Marchessault moved to the middle of the zone in front of the net and slapped the puck past Williams assisted by Cody Kunyk and Jake Dotchin at 3:10. Not long afterward, the recent Quinnipiac Bobcat, Matthew Peca swept in on goal but was thwarted by the defense, he spun and passed the puck to Kevin Lynch, who was at the other side of the net and got it past the Bridgeport keeper at 7:34. Charlie Dodero also picked up an assist on the goal.

With the game tied at 2 and the period winding down Syracuse committed a penalty at 13:57 and just as it did the night before the penalty would cost them dearly. At 14:50 Pulock sent the puck flying at the net from the point at high speed, but Johan Sundstrom was able to deflect it right past York. Quine also had an assist on the power play goal. Syracuse would pull York for the extra attacker soon afterward but nothing would come of it. The Sound Tigers would win the game and Williams would earn his first AHL win. The rookie had 30 saves on 32 shots and York had 23 saves on 26 Bridgeport shots.

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