Crunch kick off three game weekend with win over Hershey

Syracuse, NY - A two-goal effort from Pierre-Cedric Labrie led the Crunch to a 6-1 victory over the Hershey Bears tonight at the War Memorial Arena.

Labrie, Mark Barberio and Cory Conacher each had two points as the Crunch improved their overall record to 8-2-1-1 and 2-2-1-0 at home.

The Crunch jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play thanks to a defensive effort that allowed a season-low two shots on goal in the opening frame. The Bears did not have a shot on net until over halfway through the period.

Tyler Johnson opened the scoring less than a minute into the first period with his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Johnson tucked a cross-crease pass from Philip-Michael Devos past Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby for the early score. Richard Panik was credited with the second helper.

The Crunch doubled their lead with Pierre-Cedric Labrie's first goal of the season. Labrie scored off the rebound of a Cory Conacher wrap around attempt with 3:14 to play in the first period. Assists went to Conacher and JP Cote. Labrie kept the crowd on their feet by dropping the gloves with Bear's right wing Garrett Mitchell on the ensuing faceoff. Labrie also fought Alex Berry in the third period.

With 5:32 to play in the second period, and Bears left wing Boyd Kane serving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Crunch extended their lead to 3-0. Brett Connolly lifted a loose puck over Holtby for power-play tally, assists to JT Brown and Matt Taormina. Defenseman Mark Barberio wristed the puck past Holtby just 1:28 later to give the Crunch a 4-0 lead. Evan Oberg and Alex Killorn picked up helpers on the Barberio goal.

Hershey put an end to Crunch netminder Dustin Tokarski's shutout bid with a goal from Mike Carman at the 18:56 mark of the second period. The Crunch wasted no time regaining their four goal lead; Labrie scored his second goal of the game with 36.7 seconds remaining in the second period. Assists went to Barberio and Conacher giving them each their second point of the game.

Crunch left wing Danick Gauthier added his first professional goal at the 16:54 mark of the third period for a 6-1 final.

The Crunch host the Adirondack Phantoms tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.

Crunchables: Tyler Johnson is tied for third in the AHL in goals scoredâ?¦With two points (1g, 1a) tonight Mark Barberio has 101 career AHL pointsâ?¦Tonight's 6-1 win was the Crunch's largest margin of victory this seasonâ?¦Tonight was Cory Conacher's third multi-point game this seasonâ?¦