Crunch outlast Marlies, 5-3

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TORONTO – Cory Conacher scored his game-winning second goal of the game in the third period before Kevin Lynch added an insurance marker to give the Crunch a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Marlies this afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.

Conacher led the team with two goals and an assist, while Mike Halmo also put up a three-point performance with a goal and two helpers. The win advances the Crunch to 23-13-4-5 and 3-0 in the eight-game season series with the Marlies.

Goaltender Adam Wilcox earned the win with 37 saves for the Crunch. Garret Sparks turned aside 30-of-35 for the Marlies. Syracuse was unable to convert on their two power plays and went 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.

The Crunch jumped out to a quick two-goal lead in the opening frame. At the 2:47 mark, Ben Thomas passed over from the slot for Conacher to net a wrist shot from the left circle. Just 30 seconds later, Syracuse struck again. The puck came into the zone and rebounded back off the end boards. Brian Hart got a shot off, but was stopped. Henri Ikonen tried to chipped in the rebound during a battle in front of the cage before Tanner Richard finally lit the lamp.

The Marlies stole one back off on an arrant pass halfway through the first period. William Wrenn one-timed a loose puck from the right point. Dmytro Timashov was parked in front of the cage to tip the shot and put Toronto on the board.

With 32 seconds remaining in the first period, Toronto evened the score. Trevor Moore redirected a shot from the right goal post off assists from Seth Griffith and Travis Dermott.

Syracuse regained a 3-2 lead 42 seconds into the middle stanza. Erik Condra forced a turnover in the trapezoid and swept the puck out from behind the net. Halmo came skating in from the bench to pick up the puck, deke around Sparks and backhand it in.

The Marlies tied the game for a second time with a power play goal late in the second. Griffith sent a no-look pass across the slot for Moore to score from the backdoor. Timashov earned the secondary helper.

Six minutes into the third period, Syracuse went back on top for the third time. Conacher attempted to pass across the zone, but the puck ricocheted off a Marlies defender and bounced past Sparks. Halmo made it a multi-point night with the assist.

With 7:03 remaining in the game, Lynch added an insurance goal when he banked one off Sparks from the goal line. Conacher and Halmo earned points on the tally.

The Crunch and Marlies rematch tomorrow at 1 p.m.

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