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Photo: Scott Thomas

Crunch’s Game 5 romp pushes Marlies to brink

Syracuse is one step closer to the Eastern Conference Finals after a 5-1 win over Toronto at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena on Saturday night.

The Crunch now own a 3-2 series lead in the North Division Finals, with Game 6 scheduled for Monday night in Toronto.

Syracuse spotted the Marlies a 1-0 lead in Game 5 before scoring the next four goals. Matthew Peca tied the game at 11:24 of the first period and Joel Vermin put the Crunch in front for good at 3:18 of the second.

Kevin Lynch and Jonathan Racine (shorthanded) both scored their first career AHL playoff goals, and Gabriel Dumont tacked on an empty-netter with 3:38 to play.

Mike McKenna (6-3) made 26 saves as the Crunch improved to 5-0 at home this postseason, outscoring their opponents 21-10.

Steve Oleksy scored the only goal for the Marlies in Game 5, his first in 32 career Calder Cup Playoff contests. Kasimir Kaskisuo (4-2) stopped 18 of 22 shots faced.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
N1-Syracuse Crunch vs. N2-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Fri., May 5 – SYRACUSE 3, Toronto 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 6 – SYRACUSE 8, Toronto 5
Game 3 – Tue., May 9 – TORONTO 5, Syracuse 3
Game 4 – Wed., May 10 – TORONTO 3, Syracuse 2
Game 5 – Sat., May 13 – SYRACUSE 5, Toronto 1
Game 6 – Mon., May 15 – Syracuse at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 17 – Toronto at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern