SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Jamie McBain led the Syracuse Crunch with four points in a 5-3 victory over the Charlotte Checkers tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Along with McBain’s one goal and three assists, Erik Condra netted two goals in his first game back with the Crunch to help snap a three-game winless streak and improve the team to 4-6-1-2 on the season.
Goaltender Michael Leighton recorded the win turning aside 21-of-24. Checkers netminder Jeremy Smith allowed five goals on 35 shots. Syracuse was able to convert on 2-of-7 power play opportunities and went 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Syracuse came out of the gates strong and built up a 3-0 lead in the first period. Halfway through the stanza, Carter Verhaeghe skated around the back of the net and threw a centering feed for McBain to redirect in. Dennis Yan picked up the secondary assist. Two minutes later, Condra lit the lamp on the power play to double the lead. McBain shot from the blue line, but was stopped. The rebound came out into the slot for the captain to chip in on the backhand. Cory Conacher assisted on the marker. At the 14:25 mark, Mathieu Joseph scored on the power play. He walked the blue line before letting a slap shot go from the high slot. McBain and Tye McGinn earned points on the tally.
The Checkers finally responded with 13 seconds remaining in the first period. After a series of quick passes between Trevor Carrick and Janne Kuokkanen, Nicolas Roy one-timed a feed through an open back door on the man-advantage.
Just 2:45 into the middle frame, Charlotte came within one off another power-play goal. Andrew Poturalski netted a shot from the top of the left side circle with help from Andrew Miller and Philip Samuelsson.
Halfway through the second period, Syracuse went back up by two. Kevin Lynch won the faceoff in the right circle and sent the puck out to Alexander Volkov at the boards. The rookie skated around the cage and backhanded a quick feed for Bournival to go top shelf.
The Checkers pulled within one for a second time with 5:03 remaining in the second. Kuokkanen skated the puck into the zone and dropped a pass off for Aleksi Saarela to send home from the left circle. Nick Schilkey helped on the goal.
Condra netted his second of the game late in the third period to secure a 5-3 win over Charlotte. During a 3-on-1 rush, Anthony Cirelli threw a pass across the zone to Condra. The right-winger deked around an outstretched Smith and tucked the puck in behind the goaltender. McBain made it a four-point night with the secondary assist.
The Crunch will travel to face the Hershey Bears at Giant Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.