Can't stop the Crunch- Syracuse stops Springfield for 3-0 series lead

The Syracuse Crunch has looked nearly unstoppable during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs.

That trend continued on Wednesday night.

Syracuse controlled the action most of the way and took out Springfield 3-0 at the War Memorial, forging a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

With the win, the Crunch is a perfect 6-0 so far in the playoffs after sweeping Portland 3-0 in the first round.

Cedrick DesJardins was on fire in goal for Syracuse stopping all 24 shots he faced, good enough by far for the win and shutout victory.

"We know it would be a tight game," DesJardins says. "There wasn't a lot of space out there, we played relentless hockey and we have that power to get those killer goals and that's what made the difference."

The Crunch started a bit slow with some early penalties but absolutely woke up when Richard Panik broke a scoreless tie with a breakaway wrister for a 1-0 Syracuse lead with less than five minutes to play in the first period.

The 2nd period saw no scoring, despite several opportunities for both sides, but that would change quickly in the third period.

Very quickly.

Off the opening face off, Ondrej Palat collected the puck, wrapped around the cage and sent the puck home for an incredible goal.

Syracuse put this one on ice a few minutes later when Palat found AHL MVP Tyler Johnson for the one-timer and 3-0 lead.

When asked what made the difference in the game, Crunch head coach Rob Zettler did not go with x's and o's, but rather said a name, a name that's been important during this Crunch playoff run.

"Ondrej Palat, how about that for a name," Zettler says. "I thought he was a difference-maker. In the 3rd he made an unbelieveable play shorthanded to put us up 2-0, and then follow it up with an even more difficult pass to Johnson it 3-nothing. To me, he was the difference maker in the game tonight."

Syracuse looks to close out the series and earn another sweep when game four gets going at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the War Memorial.