Tyler Johnson's three goals leads Syracuse Crunch to fourth straight win

Syracuse, NY â?? Tyler Johnsonâ??s first career hat trick led Syracuse to a 5-3 victory over the Albany Devils this afternoon at the Times Union Center in Albany.

The Crunch extended their win streak to four games, improving their record to 30-14-2-4 overall and 20-6-0-2 on the road. With the win the Crunch pass Binghamton and Springfield to take first place in the Eastern Conference.

Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins stopped 22 of 25 shots faced in his first start for the Crunch since being acquired from the Montreal Canadians on Feb. 14.

The Crunch took a commanding 2-0 lead midway through the first period thanks to goals by Dana Tyrell and Tyler Johnson. Tyrell scored at the 10:20 mark during a 3 on 1 breakaway, assisted by Alex Hutchings and Mike Angelidis. Johnson recorded his first goal of the game 34 seconds later, assisted by Ondrej Palat and JP Cote.

Albanyâ??s Mike Sislo made it 2-1 by capitalizing on a Crunch penalty to Dmitry Korobov, scoring with 5:28 remaining in the first period.

The Crunch played defensively throughout a scoreless second period, recording only 5 shots on goal.

Johnson scored his second goal of the game 3:45 into the third period assisted on a firm pass from JT Wyman, increasing the lead to lead 3-1.

Steve Zalewski cut the Crunch lead to one with a goal at the 12:34 mark of the third. Zalewskiâ??s tally was assisted by Phil DeSimone and Alexander Urbom.

Johnson completed the hat trick with a power-play goal, assisted by Korobov and Palat, with 5:33 remaining in the game. Johnson is now tied as league-leading goal scorer (26) as well as leading active point scorer in the AHL.

After pulling the Albany goalie for an extra attacker, Jacob Josefson tacked on one more goal for the Devils with 1:32 remaining in the third. The Crunch then secured the win with an empty-net goal by Brett Connolly.

Syracuse will return home to face the Toronto Marlies on February 20 at the War Memorial.

Crunchables: Three Crunch players have scored a hat trick this season (JT Brown on Nov. 25 vs Worcester and JT Wyman Feb. 15 vs Binghamton)â?¦Tyler Johnsonâ??s three goals this afternoon came from just three shotsâ?¦Brett Connolly now has a point in nine consecutive gamesâ?¦Dana Tyrell has four points (3g, 1a) in his first five games with the Crunch

Courtesy: Syracuse Crunch