Ondrej Palat scored with 16.2 seconds remaining in overtime to defeat the Portland Pirates 4-3 and advance the Crunch to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
For the second time this series the Crunch came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Portland Pirates in overtime. Tonight’s win completed a 3-0 series sweep of the Pirates. The Crunch’s opponent in the second round has yet to be determined.
Palat’s overtime goal was his second of the game, he also scored with 1:12 remaining in regulation to force the extra period. The Crunch outshot the Pirates 45-18 overall, including 15-4 in overtime. Crunch netminder Cedrick Desjardins made 15 saves while his Portland counterpart Chad Johnson stopped 41 of 45 shots.
Pirates center Andy Miele opened the scoring with a power-play goal 15:57 into the first period. Miele one-timed a feed from Aleandre Bolduc past Desjardins to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Crunch defenseman Radko Gudas evened the score with a power-play tally 6:57 into the middle stanza. Dan Sexton won an offensive zone faceoff back to Matt Taormina, who fed Gudas for a one-timer from the point. Despite outshooting the Pirates 12-3 in the second the Crunch were unable to beat Portland goaltender Chad Johnston for a second time and ended the period locked at 1-1.
Portland took a 2-1 lead just 19 seconds into the third period with a wrap-around goal from Bolduc, assisted by Miele and Lucas Lessio. The Pirates extended their lead to 3-1 halfway through the period with a power-play goal from Nick Johnson.
Crunch captain Mike Angelidis scored his first goal of the playoffs with 6:01 remaining in the third period to cut the Pirates lead to one. With Desjardins off in favor of an extra attacker Palat scored his second goal of the postseason to force overtime with 1:12 to play in the third.
Crunchables: Dan Sexton, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson all have at least one point in each game of the post season…The Crunch advance to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season…The Crunch have now won five playoff series in their 19 year history…Today is Brett Connolly’s 21st birthday…