While the Crunch had goals contributed by over a handful of different players, the trio of Matt Kennedy, Maxime Macenauer and newly acquired goaltender Ray Emery led the way for the team, earning the first, second and third star of the night, respectively.
Kennedy (1+2), who scored his first goal of the season, and Macenauer (1+2), who netted the game winner only four minutes into the game, both had multi-point games for Syracuse, which scored three goals in both the second and third periods. Patrick Maroon (1+1) and Kyle Palimeri (1+1) also chipped in two points in tonight’s contest.
This win also backed-up behind Emery, a former NHL-er, who got the start tonight for the Crunch and stopped 37 of the Amerks’ 38 shots. With the win, Emery picks up his second win of the season since joining Syracuse.
Scoring the lone goal for the red, white and blue nearly 30 minutes into the game was Chris Taylor (1+0), who picked up his second goal in three nights. Paul Baier, who added an assist on the goal, also contributed his second point in as many games.
The goaltending situation for Rochester was a joint effort from Tyler Plante and Marc Cheverie. After Syracuse scored its fourth goal of the night in the second period, Amerks’ coach Chuck Weber sent him to the bench in favor of the rookie Cheverie, who made his Rochester and AHL debut. Together they managed to stop 31 of the 38 shots they faced.
The Crunch got on the board first just 2:45 into the opening period as Nick Bonino found the back of the net for the eighth time this season. The puck eventually found its way to the stick of Bonino after a turnover by Amerks’ winger Jeff LoVecchio in the middle of the defensive zone. Maroon and Kennedy each picked up assists on the play.
The Crunch gained momentum early in the second period, netting two goals over a span of 40 seconds. At 4:33, Macenauer beat Plante with a shot that the goaltender appeared to get a piece of. Upon gaining entry into the Rochester zone, Macenauer cruised to the high slot and let a wrister go that just squeaked by Plante.
Maroon then earned his second point of the night less than a minute later, putting the Crunch up by two. Kennedy and defenseman Eric Regan earned the helpers.
Rochester finally added its first goal of the night at 9:35 of the second period. Taylor managed to beat Emery, with help from Baier and Michael Duco. The goal was Taylor’s ninth shot “between the pipes” this season.
Syracuse would keep the upper hand, though, and answered back less than a minute later at 10:13 of the period to extend its lead to 4-1. Macenauer took the initial shot, which bounced off the post, but winger David Laliberte quickly picked up the rebound and sent the puck to the back of the net for the seventh time this season. Mat Clark also contributed an assist on the goal. Upon the goal, the Americans made a goal switch in favor of netminder Cheverie for his Amerks debut.
The Crunch continued to increase their lead, adding another handful of goals to the scoreboard in the third period and making the score 7-1. Palimeri netted the first goal at 5:35, while Nicolas Deschamps and Josh Green added their first points of the night with assists. The goal was the first allowed by Cheverie in an Amerks uniform.
The Amerks return to the ice on Monday, February 21st for a North Division showdown against the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum. Puck drop for the matinee contest is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.