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Crunch winning streak snapped, drop two weekend games

by Jamie Kelly / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Syracuse Crunch had their four-game winning streak snapped this weekend, losing 4-1 Saturday night to the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins and 4-3 on Sunday afternoon to the Adirondack Phantoms. Their record now stands at 4-1-2.

The Crunch began the weekend by hosting the Penguins at the War Memorial Arena Saturday night but were unable to continue their early season momentum.

One of the AHL’s leading goal scorers and Crunch offensive catalyst, Cory Conacher, opened the scoring just 38 seconds into the game off feeds from Alex Killorn and Brett Connolly, but that proved to be the only offense the Crunch could generate the rest of the game.

The Penguins, led by Erik Tangradi’s two tallies, went on to score four unanswered goals, the third coming on the power play, to hand the East Division-leading Crunch their first regulation loss of the season.

The Crunch had seven power play chances, failing to convert on any of them, while the Penguins went one-for-six.

Crunch netminder Dustin Tokarski turned aside 25 of 28 shots.

The Crunch had little time to lament the loss, as they played host to the Phantoms less than 24 hours later.

Though the Crunch showed more compete level and drive than the previous night, they still came out on the losing end of a 4-3 overtime victory from the Phantoms.

Both teams traded goals throughout the game, as Brett Connolly opened the scoring for the Crunch on the power play at the 8:21 mark of the first period.

After Adirondack fired back with two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead, Crunch forward Alex Killorn took matters into his own hands by scoring a pair of goals, just 30 seconds apart to give the Crunch a 3-2 lead.

Lightning prospect Alex Killorn scored a pair of goals on Sunday for the Crunch.

The see-saw battle proved to be the story of the game, as the Phantoms tied it with just more than minute to play in the third period on a Brayden Schenn tally. The Phantoms seemed to carry the momentum into the extra frame, as Brandon Manning scored just 14 seconds into overtime to propel the Phantoms to victory.

The Crunch had a difficult time staying out of the penalty box, killing off eight of ten Phantom chances. Syracuse scored two of their three goals with the man advantage, finishing two-for-seven on the night.

Crunch goaltender Riku Helenius turned aside 25 of 29 shots in a losing effort.

The Crunch sit tied first in their division and third in the Eastern Conference with 10 points.

Syracuse forward Cory Conacher has been very productive offensively this young season for the Crunch, sitting tied for second in league scoring with five goals and 11 points in seven games. Tyler Johnson has also been hot for the Crunch, cracking the top 20 scorers list with five goals and eight points in seven games.

The Crunch will be looking to seek revenge next Friday, November 2nd when they travel to Adirondack to take on the Phantoms once again. It will be a light week for Syracuse, as this serves as the only game on the schedule.

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