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Ryan Keller leads Syracuse to 3-2 win over Hamilton Bulldogs

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Ryan Keller leads Syracuse to 3-2 win over Hamilton Bulldogs

The Canadian Press
By:

Keller stepped out of the penalty box to score Syracuse's second third-period goal, leading the Crunch to a 3-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday in an American Hockey League game at the Bell Centre.

Called for high-sticking after Steven Goertzen drew Syracuse even at 2-2 earlier in the third, Keller could only hold his breath while his teammates killed his penalty before he returned to the ice and beat Yann Danis with a shot from the right side 10 seconds later for his 11th goal at 14:06.

"It was nerve-wracking sitting in there," Keller said. "We battled back so hard and it was unfortunate to get a call go like that, where you get your stick up by accident and it gets called. You never want to see your team lose that way, especially if you're the one sitting in the box, so it was nice to see the clock tick down to zero on the penalty.

"And then to come out and get a chance like that and be able to bury it really felt nice."

Ryan Caldwell scored a power-play goal in the first for the Crunch and Tomas Popperle made 23 saves. Danis also stopped 23 shots.

The Bulldogs hosted Syracuse before a crowd of 8,013 spread throughout the lower bowl of the arena, the home of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, Hamilton's parent team.

Canadiens GM Bob Gainey watched the game from the press box along with coach Guy Carbonneau.

"It was my first time in this building, along with a lot of other guys, so it definitely gives you a little jump in your step and definitely gets you going," Keller said.

Matt D'Agostini and Cory Urquhart scored in the first for the Bulldogs, who had recorded points in three straight games (2-0-1).

"Every single guy in this room wants to be playing in this building at some time or another, so to get a little taste of it was something nice," said D'Agostini.

Goertzen scored his eighth goal on a long shot past Danis 7:05 into the third with a delayed penalty signalled against Hamilton.

Caldwell also beat Danis with a long shot to tie the game with a power-play goal in the first as the Crunch claimed its fifth point in its third game in as many days.

Syracuse won its second straight, including a 4-1 win over Houston on Saturday which ended a three-game losing streak (0-2-1).

D'Agostini scored four goals, including the overtime winner, in Friday's 5-4 win in Syracuse.

He picked up where he left on Sunday, taking Corey Locke's pass before firing a slap shot past Popperle to open the scoring 0:48 for his 19th goal.

"It was good to get one early like that but our line, we all had a couple of chances after that but we couldn't seem to put one in after that," D'Agostini said.

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Ryan Keller leads Syracuse to 3-2 win over Hamilton Bulldogs