WINNIPEG - Tom Sestito scored 11 minutes into overtime to lift the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 win over the Manitoba Moose in American Hockey League playoff action Tuesday.
The Crunch have a 2-1 lead over the Moose in the first-round series. Sestito managed to get his stick on defenceman Brett Motherwell's blue-line drive and redirected it past Cory Schneider for the game winner.
Zenon Konopka added a goal and an assist for Syracuse, while Michael Grabner replied for Manitoba. Both Crunch goaltender Karl Goehring and Schneider were outstanding, with Manitoba outshooting Syracuse 36-30.
All three games in the North Division best-of-seven semifinal have now gone into overtime. Games 4 and 5 will also be played at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Friday and Saturday with Games 6 and 7, if necessary, in Syracuse.
The Crunch and Moose played a scoreless first period as both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play. Manitoba outshot Syracuse 12-9 with few good scoring opportunities and a multitude of blocked shots on both sides.
Manitoba winger Grabner opened the scoring at 12:19 of the second period with his second goal of the series. Moose forward Jannik Hansen raced in on a breakaway, fired the puck over the net and hit the glass. The puck then bounced off the glass and bounced into the crease and Grabner jammed it past Goehring.
The lead was short-lived as Konopka,standing off to the side of the crease, shot the puck in off Moose forward Rick Rypien at 16:37 to tie the game 1-1 going into the third period.
From that juncture the teams played tentatively sending passes along the boards and chipping the puck out into neutral ice.
Veteran NHLer Mike Keane, in his 20th season of pro hockey, was a tower of strength in the penalty-killing department for the Moose. In regulation time both teams were 0-for-6 on the power play.