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Syracuse earns berth in Calder Cup Final

Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 10:00 PM / News

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Syracuse earns berth in Calder Cup Final
The Syracuse Crunch qualified for the Calder Cup Final by beating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 7-0 Saturday night.

The name on the front of the jersey will be different, but many of the ones on the back will be the same when the Syracuse Crunch begin the American Hockey League championship series.

The Crunch qualified for the Calder Cup Final for the first time in franchise history by demolishing the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 7-0 Saturday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final to win the series 4-1.

Syracuse is in its first season as the AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and nearly half of this year's Crunch team was a member of the 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals, who won the Calder Cup last spring. The Lightning and Anaheim Ducks switched affiliations for 2012-13, with Anaheim moving its farm team to Norfolk and Tampa Bay sending its prospects to Syracuse.

Philippe Paradis, a second-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes five years ago, had a hat trick for the Crunch. Andrej Sustr and Mark Barberio each had three assists and Cedrick Desjardins stopped all 23 shots he faced for his third shutout of the playoffs.

The game drew 5,615, the largest for a Crunch home playoff game since 2004.

The Crunch will face the Western Conference champion, either the Oklahoma City Barons or Grand Rapids Griffins, in the Calder Cup Final. The Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, evened the series at two wins apiece with a 4-0 victory at Oklahoma City on Saturday night. The Barons, the top farm team of the Edmonton Oilers, host Game 5 on Sunday.

Quote of the Day

It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Stars forward Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators