Syracuse N.Y. (Syracuse Crunch) – The Syracuse Crunch fell to the St. John’s IceCaps, 3-2, in Game 1 of the 2012 Calder Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Despite a perfect outing by the Crunch’s penalty kill unit and goals from Kyle Palmieri and Mark Bell, the St. John’s IceCaps took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The Crunch outshot the IceCaps, 15-8, in the opening frame but neither team was able to find the back of the night.
Three minutes into the second period, St. John’s captured their first lead of the game after a Brock Trotter feed from behind the net found Derek Meech at the point. His shot found its way through traffic to the back of Crunch netminder Iiro Tarkki’s net.
Palmieri evened the score halfway through the second period with a power-play tally. With St. John’s Kevin Clark serving two minutes for tripping, Palmieri one-timed the puck past St. John’s goalie Eddie Pasquale at the 10:22 mark of the period.
The Crunch entered the final frame of regulation play still tied, 1-1. Bell gave the Crunch at 2-1 lead after burying the puck past Pasquale from the left side off of a pass from Dan Sexton with 8:47 remaining in the third period.
The IceCaps responded less than two minutes later when Aaron Gagnon slipped the puck past Tarkki off of a pass from Ben Maxwell and Travis Ramsey to tie the game at 2-2.
Jason King netted the game-winning goal for the IceCaps with less than two minutes remaining in the third period.
The Crunch will take on the IceCaps for game two Saturday, April 21 at the War Memorial.
Crunchables: When the Crunch lose Game 1 and win Game 2, they are 2-0 in the playoff series…Kyle Palmieri’s goal was the first playoff goal in his career…Mark Bell’s third period goal was his sixth career AHL playoff goal.