Video courtesy of Syracuse Crunch
Conor Sheary collected two goals – including the game-winner – and an assist to help lead the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday at Onondaga Country War Memorial Arena and a sweep of the best-of-five Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
With the game knotted at one after the first period of play, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went ahead for the second time 2:39 into the frame. Accepting a pass at the Syracuse blueline from Derrick Pouliot, Sheary was able to skate in alone to the left hashmark before firing a wrist shot inside the near post.
Holding the 2-1 edge after two periods, the Penguins pulled away from the Crunch with back-to-back power play tallies in the first five minutes of the third. Sheary set up on the far dot of the Syracuse zone and made no mistake with a snap shot off a circle-to-circle pass from Wilson with 2:59 gone in the period.
Back on a 5-on-4 advantage a minute later, Derrick Pouliot pushed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to three at 4:30 when his bid from the center blueline zipped by the left side of screened Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis.
Tanner Richard needed only 66 seconds to get Syracuse back within two goals, swatting a puck to the right of Matt Murray’s crease that caromed off a body and through the pads of the Penguins goalie.
Using their timeout after the Crunch tally, the Penguins settled down and maintained their 4-2 lead until Andrew Ebbett sealed the victory on an empty-net goal coming with 1:18 left in regulation.
Though Syracuse controlled the beginning of Game 3, the Penguins were able sneak ahead, 1-0, at 7:32 after they took to their first power play of the game. From the top of the left circle, Sheary sent a pass across the zone that Wilson one-timed past the outstretched glove of Gudlevskis.
The Crunch would even the score with 3:07 remaining until the first intermission on a shot from the point by Luke Witkowski that was partially blocked by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defense. The puck slid slowly toward the front of the crease where Yanni Gourde was able to swat it over the shoulder of Murray.
Murray allowed two goals on 35 shots in recording his third straight win of the postseason. Gudlevskis made 19-of-23 shots for Syracuse.