Utica, NY – The Comets looked to bounce back against the Syracuse Crunch after a Sunday matinee game found the Comets on the wrong end of a 5 – 2 game in Syracuse. This time it was the Comets hosting the Crunch inside the home confines of the Adirondack Bank Center, a building which is quite friendly to the Comets with an 8-1 season record. However, after the game, the Comets were bested by the Crunch, 5-3.
It was the Crunch who struck first when they capitalized off a Comets turnover inside their zone. Boris Katchouk was able to settle a puck in the slot and find Taylor Raddysh on the back door where he tipped in the pass over the sprawling Comets netminder Joel Hofer. Lucas Carlsson was credited with the second assist on the goal scored 7:57 into the first period. The Comets evened the score at 1 when Sven Bärtschi sprung lose on a breakaway from a beautiful saucer pass from Sam Anas who lifted the puck high above the heads of the Crunch defensemen and onto Bärtschi’s stick who made no mistake about it beating Crunch goaltender Spencer Martin with a quick shot through the legs. The Crunch retook the lead with one second remaining on the lone man advantage they received in the opening frame. It was Otto Somppi scoring the goal with assists from Lucas Carlsson and Raddysh. The Comets again evened up the score at two when this time Anas capitalized on a turnover inside the Crunch’s zone. Anas made a quick forehand to backhand move and beat Martin to tie the game.
The Comets took their first lead of the night when Nikita Alexandrov had his first shot attempt blocked but re-gathered and fired the puck past Martin to make it 3 – 2 Comets. Will Lockwood picked up the lone assist on the goal. That lead didn’t last long as the Crunch answered with a goal of their own less than 30 seconds later when Ryan Lohin cashed in on a loose puck in front of Hofer to level the score 3-3. Henry Bowlby and Peter Abbandonato picked up helpers on the Lohin goal. Both teams had opportunities to retake the lead but Hofer and Martin both stood tall and the second period came to an end tied 3-3.
The third and final lead change of the game occurred 38 seconds into the third period when Raddysh scored off a tough angle banking it in off a diving Hofer. The goal gave the Crunch a 4-3 lead with assists from Raddysh and Andreas Borgman. The Comets would pull Hofer in the final two minutes of the period in hopes of tying it up. But it was the Crunch who would find the goal as Raddysh scored his second of the game on the empty net registering a hattrick on the evening. Somppi and Katchouk both picked up assist on the goal. The Comets would also be outshot 35 – 22 in the game and come up short as they fell to the Crunch 5 – 3.
These two teams will battle once again on Friday night inside the Adirondack Bank Center for a 7:00 P.M. puck drop as the Comets will look for redemption against their division rival.
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