Five-goal third keeps Amerks’ season alive

Rochester scored five times in the third period, including four goals within the final five minutes, and got in the win column with an 8-5 victory over Syracuse in Game 3 of their North Division semifinal series on Friday night.

Still down 2-1 in the best-of-five series, the Amerks host Game 4 on Sunday afternoon.

Rochester built leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 but saw the Crunch pull even each time. Then with an extended two-man advantage, the Amerks got a goal from Jiri Kulich with 4:39 to play to go ahead 5-4 before Michael Mersch picked up his second goal of the night 46 seconds later.

Simon Ryfors brought Syracuse back within 6-5 with his third goal of the night at the 17:27 mark, but Brett Murray scored an empty-netter at 18:41 and Mersch completed his own hat trick with another one at 19:24.

Mersch (3g) and Murray (1g, 2a) led the Amerks’ offense with three points apiece, while Ryfors finished with three goals and an assist for the Crunch and Alex Barré-Boulet set franchise playoff records with four assists and five points.

North Division Semifinals (best-of-5)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – SYRACUSE 3, Rochester 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – SYRACUSE 3, Rochester 0 | Recap
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 28 – ROCHESTER 8, Syracuse 5
Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Syracuse at Rochester, 3:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 6 – Rochester at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern