Rochester pulled back in front of the Syracuse for first place in the North Division of the American Hockey League with a 5-3 triumph over the Crunch on Saturday at the Onondaga War Memorial in Syracuse. It was the first of two weekend games between the teams. The teams will meet at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
Taylor Leier scored twice for the Amerks in the victory giving him five goals in 16 games with Rochester since he was acquired from Lehigh Valley Phantoms in exchange for Justin Bailey on Jan. 17.
Leier scored a short-handed goal to give Rochester the llead at 3:40 of the opening period. C.J. Smith and William Borgen had assists on the goal.
Alexander Nylander scored unassisted just 10 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0. It was his ninth of the season but first since Jan. 4, a span of 14 games.
Mitchell Stephens' power-play goal for Syracuse made it 2-1 at 11:53, but Leier scored his second of the game and 15th AHL goal of the season to make it 3-1 at 13:43.
Stephens answered with another goal at 9:37 of the third, but Victor Olofsson and Smith tallied for the Amerks to make it 5-2. Ross Colton scored for Syracuse with the man advantage with 1:16 left.
Rochester (35-27-5) leads Syracuse (34-17-5) by two points in the standings. Sunday's game will be the third in three days for the Crunch, which moved into a tie for first with a 4-0 victory on Friday on home ice against Lehigh Valley.