Syracuse, N.Y.– The Syracuse Crunch scored early and often in handing the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs a 5-1 American Hockey League defeat on Friday (Dec. 7).
The Crunch needed just 26 seconds of the first period to start their victory march and by the 13 minute mark of the opening session, Syracuse had built a 3-0 lead at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter.
With 18 seconds left in the first period Aaron Palushaj provided the Bulldogs with their only goal, The loss was Hamilton’s 12th against seven wins and they are last in the Western Conference’s North Division.
Syracuse tops the Eastern Conference’s East Division with 14 wins.
Brett Connolly, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn each had a goal and an assist with Connolly notching the game-winner.
Palat opened the scoring at the 26 second mark when he tipped in Mark Barberio’s long shot from the right point and the puck fluttered over the blocker of netminder Cedrick Desjardins.
Syracuse took a 2-0 lead at 7:08 of the period on a five-on-three goal by Connolly. Desjardins had made one stop but the rebound came out to Connolly who lifted the puck over the right shoulder of Desjardins.
Just over six minutes later Matt Taormina gave the hosts a 3-0 lead while on a powerplay.
Palushaj’s seventh goal of the season came when Nathan Beaulieu pinched and took the puck behind the net before centering it to Palushaj in the slot. The sniper snapped a shot past goaltender Riku Helenius.
After a scoreless middle frame, Syracuse made the score 4-1 on a goal by Killorn at 6:28 of the third frame. The Crunch’s fifth goal came at 11:08 when Pierre-Cedric Labrie banged a rebound past Desjardins.
The Bulldogs’ next game is in Hershey against the Bears on Saturday (Dec. 8).
1. SYR – Ondrej Palat (3) – (Mark Barberio, Tyler Johnson) – 0:26
2. SYR – Brett Connolly (8) – (Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson) – 7:08 (PP)
3. SYR – Matt Taormina (3) – (Cory Conacher, J.T. Brown) – 13:42 (PP)
4. HAM – Aaron Palushaj (7) – (Nathan Beaulieu, Louis Leblanc) – 19:42
5. SYR – Alex Killorn (4) – (Ondrej Palat, Mark Barberio) – 6:28
6. SYR – Pierre-Cedric Labrie (4) – (Brett Connolly, Dmitry Korobov) – 11:08