Crunch Comeback Falls Short in Overtime, 4-3
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Syracuse Crunch trailed the Utica Comets three times, but came back each time off Ben Thomas's first professional goal and Matthew Peca's first professional two-goal game to force overtime. The effort fell short in the extra frame and Utica took a 4-3 win tonight at the War Memorial Arena.
Tonight's game completes the 10-game Galaxy Cup series, which Utica took, 6-4. The loss also drops the Crunch to 32-28-11-4 on the season.
Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis turned aside 29-of-33 shots in defeat. His counterpart, Richard Bachman, earned the win with 32 saves. Syracuse was unable to convert on six power-play opportunities, but the penalty kill unit was successful on all three Utica man-advantages.
The Comets opened scoring just 18 seconds into the first period when Mike Zalewski found the back of the net with the help of Brendan Gaunce and Curtis Valk. Thomas responded minutes later with his first professional goal from the right point. David Broll and Cam Darcy registered the assists.
Utica went up again with 5:50 remaining in the middle frame. Alex Friesen gained control of the puck on a breakaway during a 5-on-3 disadvantage and snuck one over the goaltender's stick from the right circle. However, Peca tied it up when he lit the lamp early in the third period. He battled Bachman in the crease and jammed in the rebound of Daniel Walcott's shot.
The Comets went back on top for the third time at the six-minute mark of the final frame when Zalewski potted his second of the game. Peca was there again to knot the contest and force overtime with 5:53 remaining with a wrist shot from the slot. Jeff Tambellini and Jonne Tammela grabbed the helpers.
The Comets quickly extinguished the Crunch's rally with a marker 33 seconds into overtime. Gudlevskis blocked a shot from Zalewski, but couldn't come back to stop Gaunce on the rebound.
The Crunch complete their 2015-16 season tomorrow when they travel to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 5:05 p.m.
Syracuse Crunch ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased either in person at the Crunch Box Office located in the War Memorial at 800 South State Street in Syracuse or by calling the office at 315-473-4444. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@officialsyracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch and #BelieveInBlue.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 16, 2016
- Ontario's Peter Budaj Wins AHL's Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award - Ontario Reign
- Schmalz Shines as Reign Fall to Gulls in Final Regular-Season - Ontario Reign
- Ontario's Peter Budaj Wins AHL's Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award - AHL
- Crunch Comeback Falls Short in Overtime, 4-3 - Syracuse Crunch
- IceHogs to Meet Lake Erie in First Round of Calder Cup Playoffs - Rockford IceHogs
- Griffins Look to Playoffs Following 3-2 Loss in Finale - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Manitoba Moose Post-Game Report - Manitoba at Texas - April 16 - Manitoba Moose
- Rowney Receives Team MVP, Scores Only Goal in 3-1 Loss - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Admirals Face Grand Rapids in First Round of Calder Cup Playoffs - Milwaukee Admirals
- Rattie, Wolves Wrap Season with Win - Chicago Wolves
- Rattie, Wolves Wrap Season with Win - Chicago Wolves
- Stars Finish off Regular Season with 4-1 Win in Front of Sellout Crowd - Texas Stars
- Wild Closes out Season with 4-2 Defeat in Chicago - Iowa Wild
- Falcons Rally to Defeat Pirates - Springfield Falcons
- Bears Rally from Behind against Phantoms - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Bears Defeat Phantoms, Lock up Division Title - Hershey Bears
- Providence Beats Penguins, Will Meet Again for Playoffs - Providence Bruins
- Comets Claim Third Consecutive Galaxy Cup - Utica Comets
- Condors Cap Season on Three-Game Win Streak, 3-2, in Grand Rapids - Bakersfield Condors
- Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters' Playoff Schedule Announced - Cleveland Monsters
- IceHogs Season Award Winners Named - Rockford IceHogs
- Griffins to Open Playoffs against Admirals - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Albany Devils Dominance Gets Lost in Mayhem - Albany Devils
- Wolf Pack Conclude Season with 2-1 Setback at St. John's - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Toronto Marlies Post Game Notes - Toronto Marlies
- Bridgeport ends road schedule with loss - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Mason Geertsen Reassigned to Komets - San Antonio Rampage
- IceCaps Top Wolf Pack to End Season in Victory - St. John's IceCaps
- Guhle Scores as Amerks Drop First of Two with Marlies - Rochester Americans
- Syracuse Crunch Present 2015-16 Team Awards - Syracuse Crunch
- American Hockey League Announces Suspension - AHL
- Ryan Macinnis and Kyle Wood Report to Springfield - Springfield Falcons
- Regular Season Finale Tonight against Milwaukee - Rockford IceHogs
- Final Home Game of the Season Tonight at 7:30 Sees Heat Wear Military Themed Sweaters - Stockton Heat
- Ritchie Recalled by Anaheim - San Diego Gulls
- Panthers Recall Shaw from Portland - Portland Pirates
- Ontario Reign Game Preview: Reign and Gulls Wrap up 2015-16 Regular Season Tonight - Ontario Reign
- Game Day: Albany Devils vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers - Albany Devils
- Manitoba Moose Post-Game Report - Manitoba at San Antonio - April 15 - Manitoba Moose
- Carruth, IceHogs Shut out Griffins 4-0 - Rockford IceHogs
- Gulls' Early Lead Erased in 4-2 Loss to Ontario - San Diego Gulls
- Reign Capture Western Conference Regular-Season Title with 4-2 Win - Ontario Reign
- Griffins Fall 4-0 in Rockford, Will Learn First-Round Opponent - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Rampage Close out 2015-16 Campaign with 5-2 Loss to Moose - San Antonio Rampage
- Admirals Fall in Regular Season Finale - Milwaukee Admirals
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Syracuse Crunch Stories
- Syracuse Crunch Announce 2020-21 Regular Season Schedule
- Syracuse Crunch Announce Training Camp Schedule and Exhibition Game
- Syracuse Crunch Announce Training Camp Roster
- Syracuse Crunch Recall Four from Orlando Solar Bears
- Tampa Bay Lightning Assign Forward Boo Nieves to Syracuse Crunch