Apr 19, 2024

Utica, NY –   On Friday night, the Utica Comets stepped on the ice at the Adirondack Bank Center in front of a raucous crowd that did all they could to propel their team to a victory. Utica, still out of a playoff position in the North Division, knew in the final three games of the regular season, they had to collect wins. Standing against their fiercest rival, the Syracuse crunch, the team laid everything out on the ice to keep their playoff hopes alive. While the Comets battled throughout the evening and led the contest by a goal on three different occasions, they couldn’t hold their leads and were ultimately defeated by a 4-3 score. Their hopes of the post season faded in the loss at home.

In the opening period, the Comets got the scoring started after Shane Bowers deflected the puck behind Syracuse goalie, Hugo Alnefelt at 5:11 for his 10th goal of the season. The crowd rose to their feet as the Comets grabbed a 1-0 lead. After the Crunch tied the game from a wrist shot by Lucas Edmonds that beat Akira Schmid at 6:33, the Comets struck once more for another goal. Xavier Parent used the same method as the previous Utica goal when he tipped the shot by Tyler Wotherspoon at 8:22. It was Parent’s 14th tally of the year. The Crunch tied the game for the second time, and it was a wrist shot by Jack Finley at 14:33 that brough the game to a 2-2 score. Schmid’s night was spelled by goalie, Nico Daws, who stepped into the crease for the remainder of the contest.

During the second period, Utica once again achieved a lead after Robbie Russo blasted a point shot that sailed passed Alnefelt at 3:08 for his fourth goal of the season. This lifted the Comets to a 3-2 lead and sent Brandon Halverson to the Crunch’s crease to replace Alnefelt. Later in the period, the Crunch scored twice in a row. The first of those two goals was scored by Waltteri Merala at 9:05 on a wrist shot over the blocker of Daws which was followed by a powerplay goal from Gabriel Fortier who deflected a point shot into the Comets net at 16:07. After forty minutes of play the Comets trailed 4-3.

In the final period of regulation, despite pulling the goaltender, the Comets couldn’t get back on the scoresheet and were defeated by Syracuse, 4-3. The two teams meet for a rematch tomorrow night in Syracuse.

Single game tickets are now available for the final game of the regular season. The Comets play at home on Sunday against the Rochester Americans at 3:00 PM for the last game of the regular season. Visit for more information.

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