Hot Start- Crunch doubles up Providence for 1-0 series lead
It's a perfect start.
The Syracuse Crunch dominating the Providence Bruins from start to finish on the road to win 6-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final in front of 3,431 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
The win is even earning the praise of the parent club, Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Crunch raced out to a 2-0 first period lead when Tye McGinn found net less than four minutes into the game. Michael Bournival followed suit later in the period to double the lead.
There were two themes in this game, the ability of Syracuse to respond to any Providence rally, and the play of goalie Mike McKenna.
McKenna played outstanding, stopping a whopping 33 out of 36 shots to preserve the win. Two of those goals came in a 13 second span in the 3rd period.
The Crunch came clawing back every time the Bruins found a way to come back.
When that 2-0 lead was sliced in half, Joel Vermin kept the Bruins at bay with a goal to reset the commanding two goal lead.
In fact, when Providence scored the aforementioned pair of goals in 13 seconds, McKenna bounced back, regrouped, and sent back every other shot that came his way.
That's when Yanni Gourde and Byron Froese cleaned up the mess with a pair of empty-net goals to deliver the 6-3 final score.
With the win, Syracuse takes a 1-0 series, with Game 2 in Providence on Sunday night at 7:05 p.m.
Syracuse stealing one on the road does set up three games at the War Memorial next week, unless of course, the Crunch were to sweep the Bruins.
The games at the War Memorial are set for next Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.