Syracuse, NY - The Syracuse Crunch overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat the Rochester Americans 5-4 in a shootout tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
October's CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month Nikita Kucherov had four points (2g, 2a) to lead the Crunch to their fifth consecutive victory and a 6-2-1-0 overall record.
The Crunch scored three unanswered goals, including two power-play goals to overcome a 4-1 hole. Syracuse netminder Kristers Gudlevskis made 29 saves, and four in the shootout, for his second win of the season. Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett stopped 36 shots in defeat.
Rochester forward Luke Adam opened the scoring with a power-play goal 3:25 into the first period. Kucherov retaliated to tie the game with a breakaway goal 33 seconds later.
Jamie Tardiff broke the tie with a five-on-three power-play goal at the 9:13 mark of the first period. Brayden McNabb, who finished the night with four points (1g, 3a) scored at the 14:21 mark to give Rochester a 3-1 lead going into the first intermission. Amerks forward Kevin Sundher scored Rochester's fourth goal of the contest 6:53 into the second stanza.
Under a minute later Kucherov scored his second goal of the night and momentum turned in the Crunch's favor. With assists on the play Dmitry Korobov earned his second point of the night and Vlad Namestnikov extended his point-streak to eight games.
Syracuse tied the game with two power-play goals in the third period. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov scored his first professional goal at the 12:38 mark of the third period to cut Rochester's lead to one and Namestnikov forced overtime with his fifth goal of the season with 2:37 to play in regulation.
Kucherov converted on his shootout attempt before Cedric Paquette scored the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout. Rochester's Colin Jacobs was the only Amerk to score during the tiebreaker.