The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 7-0 tonight at the War Memorial Arena to advance to the Calder Cup Final for the first time.
Philippe Paradis scored a hat trick and Cedrick Desjardins earned his second shutout of the Eastern Conference Finals to lead the Crunch over the Penguins.
After just over 16 minutes of scoreless play to open the game, the Crunch scored twice within a 52-second span to take a 2-0 lead over the Penguins. Vladislav Namestnikov grabbed the puck and put it in the net after Andrej Sustr's initial shot deflected off Jeff Zatkoff and into the air. Tyler Johnson also assisted on the Crunch's first goal of the game.
Radko Gudas then doubled the Crunch lead at 16:56 of the first. J.T. Brown dropped the puck back to Gudas along the right boards. Gudas then fired a shot from the right point that went past Zatkoff on the blocker side. J.T. Wyman also earned an assist on the goal.
The Crunch scored a string of three goals in less than five minutes to close out the second period. Philippe Paradis wrapped around the net and stuffed the puck in on the glove side of Zatkoff with 6:23 left in the middle frame. Mark Barberio and Sustr were credited with the assists on the play.
Vladislav Namestnikov celebrates Saturday night at War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, NY
Dan Sexton extended Syracuse's lead to 4-0 with a goal that was assisted by Philip-Michael Devos less than two minutes later. Ondrej Palat ended the period by tipping in a Sexton shot from the right circle with 17:58 gone by. Barberio picked up his second assist of the night on the Crunch's fifth goal.
The Crunch wasted no time tacking onto the lead, scoring just over a minute into the third period. Paradis ripped a shot from the glove side circle that beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender. Sustr earned his third assist of the game on the play.
Paradis finished off his hat trick with a goal at the 5:43 mark of the period. Sexton and Barberio each picked up their third points of the game on the goal. The Crunch's seventh goal chased Zatkoff from the game. Zatkoff ended the night with 22 saves on 29 shots. Brad Thiessen replaced Zatkoff and saved the lone shot he faced.
Desjardins stopped all 23 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shots to secure the shutout.
Syracuse now awaits the winner of the Grand Rapid Griffins-Oklahoma City Barons Western Conference Final series. Tickets for the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals will go on sale Monday, June 3 at 10 a.m.
Tickets can be ordered through the Crunch office at 315-473-4444 or on Ticketmaster.com
Crunchables…The Crunch's seven goals tie a season-high (Feb. 15 at Binghamton)…A seven-goal victory margin is the largest in Crunch playoff history…With goals by Philippe Paradis, the Crunch now have 15 players with a goal during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs…Paradis' hat trick was the Crunch's second of these playoffs (Tyler Johnson had the first in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals)…Four Crunch players had multiple points tonight