Crunch Pull Away from Penguins for Game 4 Win
W-B/Scranton looks to extend series with Game 5 Saturday in Syracuse
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Tyler Johnson broke a third-period deadlock with his ninth goal of the playoffs as the Syracuse Crunch defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final.
With the score tied, 2-2, early in the third period, Ondrej Palat moved with the puck down the right wing, circled behind the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton net and spotted up Tyler Johnson in the high slot for a one-timer 1:50 into the frame.
The Penguins would have a chance to notch the equalizer with a man-advantage late in regulation. The Crunch not only killed off the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power play, but also added an empty-net tally from J.T. Wyman with 55.6 seconds remaining.
Playing his first-ever pro game, Scott Harrington made the score 1-0 in favor of the Penguins at 13:40 of the first with his team on the power play. Having lost his goal stick on the prior offensive rush by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Syracuse goaltender Cedrick Desjardins could not find the puck through a screen on a wrist shot from the center blueline by Harrington.
The Crunch answered back to tie the game 77 seconds after the Harrington’s tally. A faceoff win in the Penguins zone by Ondrej Palal was passed to the near point for Brendan Mikkelson, who skipped a snap shot through traffic and past Brad Thiessen.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would take the lead once again with 3:20 left until the second intermission. Warren Peters won a puck battled along the right boards and floated a pass to the slot that was settled down by Jayson Megna before he roofed a backhander for his second goal of the playoffs.
Syracuse quickly responded for a second time to knot the match at two. It took only 1:32 to pull even when Brett Connolly redirected Mark Barberio’s point shot to the top right corner of the net.
Thiessen turned aside 20-of-23 shots for the Penguins. Desjardins stopped 21-of-23 shots for the Crunch.
The Eastern Conference Final between the Penguins and Crunch shifts back to Syracuse or Game 5 on Saturday, June 1 at 7:00PM. Tune in 102.3 The Mountain or AHLLive.com
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