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Photo: Scott Thomas

Crunch fend off Bruins, go up 2-1

Cory Conacher scored two goals and assisted on two others and Syracuse survived a late Providence push to take a 5-4 win on Wednesday night and a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Game 4 is Friday evening in Syracuse.

The Crunch had a comfortable 4-1 lead with just over three minutes to go in the game before the Bruins scored twice in 22 seconds to make it a 4-3 game.

Conacher’s empty-net goal at 17:52 gave Syracuse the breathing room they would need as Providence pulled back within one on Ryan Fitzgerald‘s first professional goal at 19:09.

Yanni Gourde and Matt Taormina each tallied a goal and an assist, Jake Dotchin recorded two assists and Michael Bournival scored for the Crunch, who have outscored their opponents 32-17 in going 7-0 at home this postseason.

Danton Heinen scored twice for Providence, tying San Jose’s Ryan Carpenter atop the AHL playoff scoring leaderboard with 17 points.

Mike McKenna (9-5) made 37 saves for the Crunch. Zane McIntyre allowed three goals on 15 shots before being relieved by Malcolm Subban (0-1), who stopped 21 of 22 shots in his first game action since Apr. 12.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
A4-Providence Bruins vs. N1-Syracuse Crunch
Game 1 – Fri., May 19 – Syracuse 6, PROVIDENCE 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., May 21 – PROVIDENCE 2, Syracuse 1 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 24 – SYRACUSE 5, Providence 4
Game 4 – Fri., May 26 – Providence at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 27 – Providence at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 30 – Syracuse at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 31 – Syracuse at Providence, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern