AHL North Division Finals Recap: Cleveland Monsters vs Syracuse Crunch Game 3 l 05/22/2024

William Madely

The Syracuse Crunch faced off against the Cleveland Monsters in Game 3 of the AHL North Division Finals on Wednesday night. With the series being a best of 5, the Monsters had the opportunity to sweep the Crunch, but it was not going to be an easy task. The Monsters made a significant change in goal, sitting out their star goalie, Jet Greaves, and giving Malcolm Subban the start. The Crunch, fueled by their home crowd, were determined to avoid elimination, being down 2-0 in the series. The game was a back-and-forth battle, with both teams giving it their all.

First Period:

The first period started with a lucky goal scored by Jake Gaudet for the Monsters, as the puck bounced off the goaltender Matt Tomkins. Shortly after, the Crunch responded with a power-play goal from Alex Barre-Boulet, evening the game 1-1. The rest of the first period was filled with tight checking and some rough play, resulting in roughing minors for Phillipine Myers and Jakub Zboril at the end of the first.

Second Period:

The second period started off slow, with very few shots from both teams. However, about 10 minutes in, the game picked up when Daniel Walcott of the Crunch received a hooking penalty. Stefan Matteau took advantage of the power play and scored an impressive slap shot goal, putting his team back in the lead at 2-1. The Crunch fought back, and Cole Koepke managed to tie the game at 2-2 with a skilled goal over Subban. Shortly after, the Crunch took the lead for the first time that night with a redirected shot from Jordy Bellerive. The period ended with the Crunch ahead 3-2.

Third Period:

It all came down to a thrilling game for Syracuse, but unfortunately, it didn’t end in their favor. Just a minute into the period, Alex Whelan scored a crucial goal to tie the game at 3-3. Shortly after, Josh Dunne’s impressive goal gave the Monsters a 4-3 lead. The Crunch fought back and managed to level the game at 4-4 with a redirected goal by Alex Barre-Boulet, his second of the game. However, the rest of the period belonged to Cleveland. Luca Del Bel Belluz scored the game-winning goal, putting the Monsters ahead 5-4. Roman Ahcan sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, becoming the sixth different player to score for the Monsters in this game. Malcolm Subban’s 25-save performance also contributed to Cleveland’s win.

Bring on the Bears

The Cleveland Monsters are set to face off against the defending champions, the Hershey Bears, in the Eastern Conference Final. Both teams swept their opponents in the division final rounds, setting the stage for an exciting showdown. The series will kick off next Thursday night in Hershey, PA, and is expected to be a must-watch for all hockey fans. Check out the full series schedule below:

AHL ECF Schedule

Matthew Buhrmann

Writer at Inside the Rink l Covering Cincinnati Cyclones l Student @uofcincy l @Mbuhrmann61 on socials

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