ST. JOHN'S, NL - After rallying back from a two-goal deficit with minutes remaining in the third period, Tye McGinn netted the game-winner in double overtime to lift the Syracuse Crunch over the St. John's IceCaps, 4-3, and even the five-game series, 1-1, tonight at the Mile One Centre.
For the second night, St. John's was first on the board, but Slater Koekkoek quickly responded. The IceCaps then built a two-goal lead and held it through the final six minutes of regulation before the Crunch went on a rally. Matt Taormina and Cory Conacher both found the back of the net to extend the contest into overtime. Following a scoreless overtime frame, McGinn lit the lamp with 9:23 remaining in the stanza to give the Crunch their first double overtime victory in franchise history.
Mike McKenna earned the win with a 41-save performance between the pipes for the Crunch. Charlie Lindgren turned aside 46-of-50 shots on goal for the IceCaps. Syracuse was unable to convert on three power-play opportunities, but went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The IceCaps broke the stalemate at the 8:33 mark of the middle frame. Max Friberg set Stefan Matteau and Jacob de la Rose up for a 2-on-1 as they sped through the neutral zone. After crossing the blueline, Matteau fired a pass ahead for de la Rose to redirect into the net.
Less than two minutes later, the Crunch evened the score. Peca faked a shot and came charging down the right side. He pulled Lindgren out of position and backhanded a feed across the zone for Koekkoek to one-time from his knee through an open backdoor. Eric Condra tallied a point on the equalizer.
The IceCaps regained the lead 4:46 into the third period. Charles Hudon forced a turnover on a misplayed puck in the slot. Once he gained control, he turned and fired top shelf. Chris Terry and Nikita Scherbak recorded the helpers. At the 8:30 mark, St. John's made it a two-goal game. Friberg threw a centering feed from the corner for Matteau to send home as he crossed the slot. Zach Redmond collected the secondary assist.
With 4:17 remaining in the game, the Crunch kicked off a comeback. Taormina received a pass from Condra at the boards. Lindgren caught a piece of his shot from the point, but the puck trickled behind him and across the goal line. Conacher tallied the secondary helper. Just over a minute later, Conacher blew a rocket from the right circle into the far corner off assists from Taormina and Ben Thomas.
McGinn snuck behind Lindgren halfway through second 20-minute overtime period to pick up a pass from Peca and easily pot the game-winner from the left goal post. Taormina earned his third point of the game with an assist on goal.
The teams travel to Syracuse to finish the best-of-five North Division Semifinals series. Game 3 is at the War Memorial Arena this Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Crunchables: Slater Koekkoek recorded his first career post-season goal tonight…Tye McGinn has scored in both playoff games this post-season…This is the first double overtime win in franchise history…Matt Taormina assisted on the team's last post-season overtime goal on May 2, 2013 when Ondrej Palat scored in Portland to clinch the series with a 4-3 victory.