Corner Brook, Newfoundland - The Syracuse Crunch opened preseason play with a 4-1 victory over the St. John's IceCaps tonight in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Goals from Cory Conacher, Philip-Michael Devos, Richard Panik and Alex Killorn lifted the Crunch over the IceCaps in the first game of a three-game series.
The Crunch opened the scoring at the 11:26 mark of the first period. Mark Barberio fed a wide open Conacher, who was easily able to get the puck past IceCaps netminder Chris Carrozzi to give the Crunch a 1-0 lead. Barberio was last season's defenseman of the year and Conacher is the reigning rookie of the year and league MVP.
Ben Maxwell tied the game with a power-play goal at the 17:56 mark of the first period. While Crunch defenseman Evan Oberg was serving two minutes for elbowing Maxwell shoved a loose puck past Crunch goaltender Dustin Tokarski for the unassisted goal. Shots were 13-11 in favor of the IceCaps during the first period.
Both teams made a goalie change halfway through a scoreless second period. Riku Helenius replaced Tokarski in the Crunch net and the IceCaps replaced Carrozzi with Tyler Plante. Shots were 17-6 in favor of the Crunch during the second period.
The Crunch took a 2-1 lead early in the third period thanks to a shorthanded goal from Devos, assisted by Alex Hutchings. Right wing Panik made it 3-1 at the 5:56 mark with an unassisted goal that sailed over Plante's shoulder. Killorn made it a 4-1 final with a goal late in the frame.
The Crunch and IceCaps will meet again tomorrow night in Stephenville, Newfoundland. Puck drops at 6:00 p.m. eastern time.