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Syracuse Crunch hold off pesky Providence Bruins in Game 3, take 2-1 series lead

Syracuse defenseman Jake Dotchin shield Erik Condra from a Providence player following a near-brawl during Game 3 on Wednesday night.

The Syracuse Crunch nearly gave back Game 3 of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night, until they did not.

The Crunch led 4-1 late in the third period, when the Providence Bruins proceeded to score three goals in less than five minutes in the game.

The game-winner proved to be an empy-net goal from Cory Conacher in the final minute of play.

"They're a good team as well," Crunch head coach Ben Groulx said in reference to the Bruins. "That's why we can't stop playing. I think if we think it's going to be easy, I think they just sent us a message that they're not going to stop playing. "Even though they were down 4-1, they were coming. Hopefully we're going to learn from tonight's game."

"They finished fourth in their division, so we know that they have a lot of fight," Conacher replied. "They beat some good teams to get to where they are right now. We knew going into the third [period] that they'd fight back and fortunately we just ended up getting one more goal, and that's what mattered in the end."

"Sometimes games like that can take on a life of their own, which is always odd," Syracuse goalie Mike McKenna said. "When it's a 2-1 game, it feels like it can go on forever like that -- and sometimes it just starts to roll. We know what we can do in this locker room, though, and we know when we play our game what we're capable of."

The Crunch push their home playoff win streak to 8-0 during the 2017 postseason, while also improving to 8-1 when scoring 3-or-more goals.

With the win, Syracuse takes a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 taking place on Friday night from the War Memorial.

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