Utica, N.Y – Winning two games at home, the Utica Comets entered Sunday afternoon’s game with the hopes they could ride the wave of momentum to another victory. Unfortunately, the Crunch three first period goals were enough to propel them over the Comets.
In the first period, goaltender Mike DiPietro was on his game as he turned away five shots in the first six minutes of the contest. However, as the game went on, it was the Crunch that capitalized on an opportunity in the Comets’ zone. Crunch defenseman Chase Priskie stepped in for a shot that went wide off the end-boards. Priskie took advantage of his own rebound and fired a shot that got past Comets netminder Mike DiPietro at 7:11 putting the Crunch up, 1-0. Syracuse added to their lead when Jimmy Huntington scored the next goal of the contest when he skated down the ice on a partial breakaway and wristed a shot that fooled DiPietro off the far post and in. The goal at 10:14 made it 2-0 but the Crunch weren’t done just yet. They added another goal on a two-on-one rush when Ryan Lohin’s shot was stopped on a remarkable save by DiPietro but the rebound went right to Peter Abbandonato who slammed it into the net at 12:02. At the conclusion of the first period, the Comets skated off the ice down 3-0.
In the middle frame, the Crunch added to their lead after Andreas Borgman’s point shot went off the post and in through a screen. At the 7:48 mark, the Crunch lead the game 4-0. The Comets finally struck when the Curtis McKenzie won a board battle and sent the puck to the stick of Carson Focht who immediately shot it over the glove and in on Crunch goaltender Ryan Bednard at 12:44. At the conclusion of forty minutes, the Comets were down 4-1.
In the final period of regulation, Comets defenseman Josh Wesley took advantage of a good bounce right to the slot in the Crunch zone and rifled the puck into the net bringing the game closer at 4-2 at 13:48. It was Wesley’s first goal as a member of the Comets in his 18th game. Trent Cull, head coach of the Comets, decided to pull his netminder for an extra attacker. After several good chances, the Crunch had the answer with the empty net goal and it was Cole Koepke at 18:32 bringing the game to its conclusion with the Comets defeated by a 5-2 score.
The Comets are back in action tomorrow night in Rochester before heading back to the Adirondack Bank Center for two home games including a game on Wednesday and Friday night against the Crunch yet again.
For the latest Comets news visit www.uticacomets.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uticacomets), Twitter (@UticaComets), Instagram (@UticaComets), and the Comets YouTube Channel.