Syracuse, NY – The Utica Comets battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to tie the game, but a late goal from the Syracuse Crunch handed the Comets a 2-0 loss on Friday night at the War Memorial.
The Crunch needed just 2:03 of game time to score the first goal of the night, which eventually stood as the lone tally of the first. Ben Thomas moved into the Utica zone and flung a long shot that beat Michael DiPietro over the stick side. DiPietro settled in as the period progressed, playing quite spectacularly and making 16 saves on 17 tries in the period.
Syracuse added to their lead while on a power play early in the second period as Taylor Raddysh gathered the puck in the right wing side and found an open Gemel Smith, who took a shot that powered into the back of the net. Smith’s goal was the only one in the second period, as the Comets headed into the dressing room facing a 2-0 deficit while being outshot 33-13 over the first forty minutes.
Roaring to life early in the third period, the Comets got on the board courtesy of Nikolay Goldobin. Carter Camper moved into the attacking zone and fed the puck to Lukas Jasek for a rink-wide feed to Goldobin, who dropped to a knee and fired a one-timer into the net for his 18th of the year.
Later on in the period and continuing to pressure the Crunch defense, the Comets forced a turnover in the attacking zone and made Syracuse pay. Reid Boucher intercepted an outlet pass and walked to the slot area where he pinpointed a wrist shot past Scott Wedgewood for his team-leading 28th of the season.
Grabbing the lead right back just minutes later, Raddysh put the game out of reach after punching home a rebound try following a DiPietro save on Boris Katchouk’s initial try.
The Comets are back in action Sunday afternoon when they take on the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at Blue Cross Arena is at 3:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.
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