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AMERKS LOSE HOME FINALE TO CRUNCH

The Syracuse Crunch broke open a tie game by scoring four goals in the third period to beat the Rochester Americans, 7-4, in American Hockey League action Saturday despite three goals from Thomas Vanek.

The game, played before 10,877 in Blue Cross Arena, was the Amerks' home finale.

Vanek's three goals all came on the power play and gave him 42 for the season. He scored two of the goals 20 seconds apart early in the second period to give the Amerks (51-18-4-6) a 3-2 lead before Matthias Trattnig tied it for the Crunch at 12:32 of the second.

Tim Jackman scored a short-handed goal at 3:57 of the third to give Syracuse a 4-3 lead before Vanek tied it up. But goals from Syracuse's Raffaele Sannitz and Mark Hartigan as well as an empty-netter from Joe Motzka closed the scoring.

Jeff Jillson had the other Rochester goal while Chris Taylor had three assists. Tom Askey, starting in place of Rochester starting goalie Ryan Miller, made 23 saves.

The Amerks' final regular season game is tonight against the Cleveland Barons in Gund Arena at 6 p.m. The Amerks will face the Hamilton Bulldogs in the North Division semifinals as the AHL playoffs begin later this week.

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