Utica, NY – The Comets and Crunch met again only 72 hours after a Sunday matinee in Syracuse. This time it was the Comets turn to host the I-90 rivals at the Adirondack Bank Center and it took overtime to decide the winner as Jonah Gadjovich ended the game with his second of the night.
The first period provided fans with back and forth, high paced action but ended without a goal being scored. A key moment occurred 12:24 into the opening frame while the Comets were on the penalty kill. As the Crunch played the puck down low to forward Jimmy Huntington, he was hit into Comets starting goaltender Jake Kielly who went to the ice awkwardly. After receiving some medical attention, Kielly was able to leave the ice under his own power but would not return. Goaltender Joel Hofer entered the game in relief of the injury to his teammate. Kielly made six saves before exiting and Hofer made five of his own for a total of 11. Crunch goaltender Spencer Martin also turned away all 10 shots he saw.
The second period saw more of the same as the first with several chances from both teams but neither goaltender surrendering a goal. The Comets were outshot again in the middle frame with Hofer making 13 saves and Martin making seven. At the end of the second period with 28 seconds remaining, Crunch’s Sean Day was called for cross checking and put the Comets up on the man-advantage for the first time in the game.
Opening up the final frame with the man advantage the Comets capitalized and drew first blood. As the penalty expired Jonah Gadjovich tipped home a shot from the blue line by Jett Woo to give the Comets the 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the third period. Comets forward Sam Anas picked up a second assist on the goal. Late into the third period, the Crunch evened up the score at 1-1 on an even strength goal by Chase Priskie who beat Hofer upstairs after the initial save kicked out into the slot, assisting on the goal was Taylor Raddysh and Peter Abbandonato. The score would remain tied at 1-1 through the final two minutes of play and sent the game into the extra frame.
In overtime it was Hofer coming up with big save after big save to start the final frame as the Crunch controlled the play for the first two minutes. Then Gadjovich created a turnover and found himself all alone on a breakaway with Martin. Unable to find the back of the net on the breakaway, the Comets continued the pressure and Gadjovich would not be denied a second time. A centering pass from Carson Focht found Gadjovich driving the net and slid the puck past Martin for the game winning goal.
The Comets ended the Crunch five game winning streak after the defeat, but they Crunch now hold a six-game point streak. The Comets continue their dominance at home inside the Adirondack Bank Center with a record of 7-1. The Comets are back in action at home on Friday night against divisional opponent, the Rochester Americans.
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