Utica, N.Y. – The Utica Comets jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the second period and never looked back as they topped the Syracuse Crunch 4-3 Saturday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. Darren Archibald’s second period goal broke the Comets record for career goals, passing Alexandre Grenier’s previous record of 67.
Zack MacEwen drew first blood with power play goal halfway through the first period, knocking the puck out of the air and past Crunch goalie Connor Ingram. Jonathan Dahlen and Olli Juolevi tallied the assists.
Lukas Jasek extended the lead to 2-0 six minutes into the middle frame, converting on an odd-man rush with Darren Archibald. Archibald pushed the lead to 3-0 two minutes later with another power play goal. The Crunch would respond when Cameron Gaunce ended Ivan Kulbakov’s shutout bid halfway through the second period followed up by a Cory Conacher penalty shot goal. Jaime Sifers and Jasek perfectly executed a give-and-go to give Sifers his first goal since March 9, 2017 and a 4-2 lead for the Comets heading into the second intermission.
Andy Andreoff made things interesting with a power play goal to bring the Crunch within one at the 12:41 mark of the third period. The Comets shut down the Crunch in the final eight minutes, backstopped by some remarkable saves from Kulbakov to come away with the victory.
Kulbakov finished with 35 saves and his record improves to 3-1-0 on the season.
The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night when they host the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.