The Syracuse Crunch survived a physical battle against Portland on Sunday night, winning Game 2 of the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs 4-2. The Crunch leads the series 2-0.
Unlike Game 1, Syracuse got off to a good start in Game 2, with Ondrej Palat and J.T. Brown both tallying first period goals. The lead grew to 4-0 in the second period as AHL MVP Tyler Johnson scored his second goal of the playoffs, with teammate Brett Connolly also chipping in late in the second period.
Portland scored a goal in the second and third periods to make it 4-2, and tried to play with an empty net for the last few minutes to no avail. The story of the game was the physical play, more specifically the fighting. As the game went on, a stoppage of play was usually followed by some extra-curricular activity between the two teams. 24 penalities were called, four of which were because of fighting, and two were game misconduct penalties. One of those was by Andy Miele of Portland, and one by Richard Panik of Syracuse.
The Crunch will try to sweep Portland as they travel to Pirate territory on Thursday. The puck drops in Portland at 7:00 p.m.