Crunch deliver knockout blow to Marlies

Photo: Scott Thomas

Down by two late in the second period, Syracuse scored five unanswered goals and stormed past Toronto, 6-3, to win Game 7 of the North Division Finals at the War Memorial Arena on Wednesday night.

The Crunch are heading to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in five years, where they will face Providence beginning Friday.

With the Marlies in front 3-1, Matt Taormina and Adam Erne scored 1:44 apart to pull the Crunch even before the second intermission.

Then off the opening face-off to start the third period, Jake Dotchin sprung Matthew Peca on a breakaway and Peca beat Kasimir Kaskisuo to give the Crunch a lead they would not relinquish.

Cory Conacher scored an insurance marker with 1:41 remaining, and Yanni Gourde hit the empty net for the final margin.

This was the fifth series in Calder Cup Playoff history in which the home team won all seven games. The Crunch are 6-0 on home ice this postseason, outscoring their opponents 27-13.

Seth Griffith, Brendan Leipsic and Andreas Johnsson scored for the Marlies, who finished their playoff run with a 1-5 mark on the road.

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 – TORONTO 2, Syracuse 1
Game 7 – Wed., May 17 – SYRACUSE 6, Toronto 3