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CRUNCH FALL TO AMERKS, 4-3, IN OVERTIME

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch fell to the Rochester Americans, 4-3, in overtime tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

The loss evens the series, 2-2, and forces a Game 5 in Rochester on Friday.

Crunch goaltender Brandon Halverson stopped 43-of-47 shots. Devon Levi turned aside 41-of-44 in net for the Amerks. Syracuse converted on 1-of-2 power play opportunities, while the penalty kill went a perfect 3-for-3.

The Crunch opened scoring just four minutes into the game. Cole Koepke skated in on a short breakaway that was stopped by Levi, but Gabriel Fortier grabbed the rebound and sent it across the slot for Koepke to score from the left circle.

Syracuse Crunch Alex Barré-Boulet (12) roofs the puck for a goal against Rochester Americans goalie Devon Levi (27) in American Hockey League (AHL) playoff action at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse. Photo credit: Syracuse Crunch.

Syracuse made it a three-goal lead with back-to-back goals in the middle frame. The first one came at the 3:53 mark. Waltteri Merelä skated the puck down the right wing during a 2-on-1 with Gage Goncalves. At the last minute, he sent a feed across the slot for Goncalves that was turned aside, but Merelä got his stick on the rebound and sent it into a wide-open net. Three minutes later, Alex Barré-Boulet scored a power-play goal from the left circle while Levi was screened.

The Amerks rattled off three goals in the third period to tie the game and force overtime. They stole the first one back just 19 seconds into the third period. Joseph Cecconi sent the puck towards the next for Brandon Biro to redirect it in. Halfway through the frame, they scored again to cut the lead to one. Lukas Rousek centered the puck from along the goal line for Cecconi to chip in as he cut toward the net. At 14:48, Biro potted his second of the game as he tipped in a feed from Rousek.

Brett Murray scored the game-winner 11:45 into the overtime period to give Rochester the win.

The Crunch and Amerks will play Game 5 on Friday

Single-game tickets and ticket packages for the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).

Crunchables: Waltteri Merelä and Alex Barré-Boulet have goals in back-to-back games.

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