Mark Mancari proved to be the hero as he tied the game in the third period and later scored in the 5th round of the shootout, giving the Americans a 6-5 victory in its season opener.
The Americans managed to build a 4-1 lead in the second period, but the Crunch continued to battle back all night long, scoring four straight goals and going up 5-4.
David Leggio made some big saves throughout the game, especially on the penalty kill to keep the Amerks on top. However, the Crunch were relentless and piled shots on goal in the latter half of the game. Syracuse outshot Rochester 34-24 on the night, but fell one goal shy.
Corey Tropp led the offensive attack in the opening period, scoring two of Rochester’s three first period goals. The Amerks tallied a pair of goals within two minutes of each other late in the first period, building a 3-1 lead heading into the intermission.
Mark Pysyk increased the Amerks’ lead early in the second period.
The Crunch responded with a goal from Mike Angelidis. Despite being outshot 12-3 in the second period, the Amerks managed to allow just one goal. Syracuse took control of the game in the third period, scoring three goals and going on top.
The Crunch showed why they were such a good team, and had the Americans pinned in their own zone. Syracuse got itself into penalty troubles in the third period, giving Rochester chances.
Trailing by a goal, the Amerks had an 5-on-3 power play opportunity in the third period, and Mark Mancari capitalized on it. Mancari was the only one to score in the shootout, moving the Amerks to 1-0.
Rochester went 1-7 on the power play while Syracuse went 2-7.
Leggio finished the game with 29 saves on 34 shots. Tokarski had 19 saves on 24 shots.
The Americans will play at 5:00 tomorrow in Toronto against the Marlies.