SYRACUSE — Less than two minutes after the Rocket evened the score, the Crunch responded.
Olivier Archambault scored a highlight reel goal and Syracuse held off Laval for the final 9:13, as the Crunch edged the Rocket, 3-2, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday. The win snaps Syracuse’s four-game skid.
“Great play by (Archambault). Second effort and a great goal,” Crunch head coach Groulx said. “It’s always huge when you bounce back and respond with a goal like that.”
Syracuse rookie Anthony Cirelli finished with a goal and an assist, while Jamie McBain had a pair of helpers. Alexander Volkov and Archambault each recorded a goal, and Mathieu Joseph had one assist.
Eddie Pasquale made 20 saves to earn the victory.
“He was good and gave us a chance to win,” Groulx said.
Volkov opened the scoring midway through the first period with a shorthanded marker, and Cirelli added to the Crunch lead before the first intermission.
“We were prepared to play. We knew we had to come out strong. That’s a good team over there,” Cirelli said. “We needed a full 60 minute effort. We came out pretty strong to take the lead, but we can’t let teams get back in there. We need to finish the game out.”
Former Crunch forward David Broll tipped in a puck on the power play to cut Laval’s deficit to one before the midway point of the second.
The Rocket evened the score 9:06 into the third when Adam Cracknell deflected a point shot past Pasquale, but the Crunch quickly retook the lead. Archambault dangled through the lone defenseman back and beat Laval goalie Zachary Fucale five hole.
“I don’t even know. I just tried to do something and it worked,” Archambault said. “I was happy.”
The goal stopped the Rocket from getting rolling once they tied the score.
“A great effort by (Archambault) there to deke that guy out and put it in,” Cirelli said. “It was definitely a huge momentum swing for us. They were kind of taking it to us and they tied the game. For us to get that big goal was huge for us.”
Syracuse (27-17-2-3) wraps up the three-in-three weekend with a trip to Bridgeport Sunday.
“We’ll see where our energy level is at. I think it’s been pretty good,” Groulx said. “We’ve been using four lines here and I think it’s pretty good. Hopefully we still have enough in the tank to play the way we want to play.”