Crunch take 2-0 series lead on Portland

Syracuse follows OT win with punshing Game 2 triumph

On the other side of the puck, the Pirates were hammered with 24 hits, 11 penalties and a few injuries, allowing the Crunch to dictate the pace early Portland generated 13 hits on Syracuse and killed off all 11 penalties that were committed. The Pirates blocked 14 shots and created five odd man rushes that were not converted.

Syracuse who had not played Portland all season, protected home ice and took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. The Crunch will try to close out the series on Thursday night, traveling all the way to Oregon to try and close it out.

Unlike Game 1, the Crunch came out with a stellar effort right from the onset. Syracuse scored on two of its first six shots, displaying relentless pressure on offense, Tyler Johnson shoveled a pass to Palat to the left side. Palat immediately cashed in finding an opening above Chad Johnson’s glove for the first goal.

As that opening period progressed, Syracuse forced the Pirates out of its rhythm and into turnovers, punishing hits and limited scoring opportunities.

With 9:36 remaining in the period, J.T. Wyman and Raku Angelidis crashed the net under heavy duress, but it was Brown who converted a rebound firing in a shot just outside the crease. Syracuse now had a 2-0 lead, and shut down Portland for the remainder of the period.

The second period was physically exhausting for both teams in large measure because it lasted 45 minutes. The Crunch made it 3-0 when a short-handed Johnson, one of the fastest players in the AHL, dashed down the ice and scored on a bullet shot in the right corner of the net.

In a game that was completely dominated by Syracuse, it appeared as though the Pirates were too frustrated to pay attention to the scoreboard. As a result, it could not a play at a high level or with a successful sense of urgency.

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