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Wild Game 2 ends in 6-4 Crunch loss

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Syracuse Crunch dropped Game 2 of the 2013 Calder Cup Finals 6-4 to the Grand Rapids Griffins tonight at the War Memorial Arena.

The Griffins hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals series. The series will now shift to Grand Rapids for Game 3 and 4 (and 5 if necessary).

The Griffins jumped out to an early lead, scoring less than five minutes into the game. Brennan Evans and Gustav Nyquist assisted on Tomas Tatar’s opening goal.

Triston Grant put Grand Rapids up 2-0 at the 11:31 mark of the period. Grant was able to put the puck past Cedrick Desjardins after Landon Ferraro’s initial shot bounced off the pads of the Crunch netminder.

The Crunch cut the Griffins’ lead in half with 5:57 left in the period. With forwards in front of Petr Mrazek, Andrej Sustr’s shot from the point found its way into the top left corner of the goal. Matt Taormina and Philippe Paradis picked up assists on the Crunch’s first goal of the game.

Grand Rapids regained its two-goal lead just over six minutes into the second frame. After Desjardins made the save on a shot by Jeff Hoggan, Ferraro collected the puck in the crease for the goal. Riley Sheahan also assisted on the play.

The Crunch again cut the deficit to one with a power-play goal at the 10:06 mark of the second period. Richard Panik buried the rebound of a Tyler Johnson shot from the stick side circle to bring the game to 3-2. Brett Connolly was also credited with an assist.

However, Grand Rapids had a response yet again. Tomas Jurco answered back just over two minutes later with power-play goal for the Griffins. Sheahan grabbed his second assist of the game on Grand Rapids’ fourth goal.

The Crunch and Griffins ended the second period with a wild final four minutes. At the 16:12 mark of the period, Syracuse again brought the game to within one goal. Mrazek was unable to stretch across the net to stop Connolly’s shot from the right side of the net. Johnson and Ondrej Palat assisted on Connolly’s goal.

Just over two minutes later, a J.T. Brown shot appeared to hit the outside of the net. After a review at the next stoppage of play, the officials deemed that the puck had actually gone through the net and Syracuse was awarded a goal with 18:23 gone in the period. J.T. Wyman picked up an assist on the Crunch’s fourth goal.

21 seconds later, Johnson was called for a delay-of-game after he shot the puck over the boards. The Griffins quickly struck back with a power-play goal five seconds into the man advantage with a goal from Francis Pare.

After a six-goal second period, just one goal was tallied in the third frame. Syracuse went scoreless, while Grand Rapids took a 6-4 lead with less than six minutes left in the game. Jan Mursak’s goal was assisted by Hoggan and Paetsch.

Desjardins ended the night with 23 saves on 29 shots and Mrazek saved 30 of 34 Crunch shots.

Crunchables…Andrej Sustr is the 17th Crunch player to score a goal during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs…With an assist tonight, Ondrej Palat now leads all players in points (21) during these playoffs…Tonight was the first time the Crunch and an opponent have combined for more than ten goals since October 20th...Evan Oberg played in his first game since Apr. 5th against Hershey

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