A furious late rally fell short on a goal-mouth scramble at the buzzer as the Syracuse Crunch shaded the Portland Pirates 4-3 in an American Hockey League game played tonight at the Onondaga County War Memorial At Oncenter.
The Pirates rallied for three goals in the third period to set up the late opportunity. Mike Weber and Philip Gogulla, with a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the game, engineered the comeback attempt. The Pirates celebrated a last-second goal which was ultimately waved off by the referee.
Portland suffered their second straight one-goal loss to drop to 35-20-5-3 on the season.
Brendan Bell, with two goal, Jared Aulin and Nick Holden staked the Crunch to a 4-0 advantage through two period of play as Syracuse moved to 28-29-3-3 on the year.
Bell opened the scoring for the Crunch capitalizing on a five-on-three power play to give Syracuse a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game. Holden scored in the final five minutes of the period to send the Crunch into the first intermission with a two-goal advantage. Frischmon and Aulin added second period scores to send Syracuse into the third with a 4-0 lead. Weber scored midway through the third to spoil Kevin Lalonde’s shutout bid. Gogulla’s two late goals set up a controversial finish.
The Pirates out shot the Crunch 34-26 in the game as Jhonas Enroth started and took the loss. He played the opening two periods allowed all four Syracuse goals on 19 shots. J.P. Lamoureux came on in the third and stopped all eight shots he faced.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were 1. Bell, 2. Gogulla and 3. Aulin.
The Pirates complete a three-game road trip tomorrow (Sunday) at 4 p.m. when they travel to HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY to face off against the Rochester Americans. The game can be heard live on News Talk WLOB 95.5 and on line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 3:45 p.m.