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Strong third lifts Crunch past Tigers

Kyle Palmieri scored the game-winner with just under seven minutes remaining in the game, Rick Schofield notched his first pro goal and Mark Mitera added an empty-netter – all in the third period – as Syracuse collected a 4-1 road win over Bridgeport on Monday afternoon.

The game was originally scheduled to take place between the two clubs yesterday at 3 p.m., but unsafe ice conditions pushed it to a 1 p.m. start time today.

The Crunch won their third straight and sixth in their last seven games (6-1-0-0).

Palmieri extended his point streak to seven games, and now has 10 goals and three assists over that span. In addition, Patrick Maroon picked up an assist to nudge his scoring streak to six games (4-7-11), and rookie Maxime Macenauer scored the Crunch’s first goal of the game to extend his point and goal streak to four games (5-1-6).

The Crunch continued their trend of getting off to a good start, as Macenauer notched a power play goal by punching in a rebound on the doorstep from a Maroon shot past Mikko Koskinen just 4:20 into the contest to give the Crunch a 1-0 lead. The goal marked the seventh straight game Syracuse has scored first.

Although the Crunch outplayed Bridgeport in the first and outshot the home team 13-8, the Sound Tigers held the slight edge in play in the second, outshooting the Crunch 12-9. Bridgeport had the only two power play opportunities of the stanza, but was kept in check by two strong Syracuse penalty kills.

Former Crunch defenseman Dylan Reese knotted the score at 1-1 on a 4-on-4 at the 5:44 mark of the third after taking a feed in the slot and sniping a shot to the top left corner past Timo Pielmeier, the German-born netminder’s only blemish of the day.

Palmieri was left all alone in front of the net and capitalized on a feed from Josh Green to put the Crunch ahead 2-1 at the 13:12 mark and Rick Schofield swept the puck past Koskinen on a wraparound attempt just 44 seconds later to make it 3-1.

Mitera added his fifth of the season on a long empty net goal with 2:08 remaining to make it 4-1 and Pielmeier stood tall the rest of the way, stopping 29 of 30 shots on the afternoon to record his 13th win of the year (13-16-1).