Crunch Topped by Comets, 5-4
UTICA, N.Y. - After going down by three, the Syracuse Crunch climbed back within one twice, but couldn't overtake the Utica Comets in a 5-4 loss tonight at the Adirondack Bank Center.
The loss puts the Crunch on a five-game winless streak as the team moves to 21-13-2-1 on the season. Utica now has a 4-2 lead in the 12-game season series.
Eddie Pasquale stopped 22-of-27 shots in net for the Crunch before being relieved by Martin Ouellette to start the third period. Ouellette went on to turn aside both shots he faced. Ivan Kulbakov made 30 saves in net for the Comets. Both teams went 1-for-7 on the power play.
The Comets jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 25 seconds into the game. After Utica forced a turnover at the right boards, Reid Boucher grabbed the puck and dished it over for Tom Pyatt to redirect it in from the left circle. Utica doubled their lead on the power play with 1:19 remaining in the opening frame. Tanner Kero threw the puck towards the net for Jonathan Dahlen to stuff in. Boucher tallied the secondary helper.
The Comets built a three-goal lead three minutes into the middle stanza. After Zack MacEwen's right wing shot ricocheted off the end boards, Carter Bancks picked it up in the left circle and fired. His shot was redirected by Adam Gaudette in the slot.
Syracuse pulled within one with back-to-back goals 58 seconds apart. At the 3:59 mark, Alex Barre-Boulet jammed the puck in during a battle out front. The assist went to Carter Verhaeghe. Less than a minute later, Gabriel Dumont wrapped around from behind the cage and tucked one past Kulbakov with the help of Boris Katchouk and Barre-Boulet.
Utica rebuilt a three-goal lead with two more markers in the second period. Dahlen potted his second of the night at 5:38 when get got a lead pass from MacEwen and went top shelf on a mini breakway. With 4:27 remaining in the frame, Kole Lind netted a wrister from the slot. Dylan Blujus and Gaudette earned points on the tally.
The Crunch added two more early in the third to come back within one for a second time. Just 1:02 into the period, Dumont received the puck from Taylor Raddysh in the neutral zone, sped across the blueline and scored his second of the night. Six minutes later, Alex Volkov tipped Cal Foote's right point shot on the man-advantage. Dennis Yan recorded the secondary helper. The team was unable to build momentum for a comeback and fell to the Comets for the second consecutive game.
The Crunch return home to host the Belleville Senators on Friday at 7 p.m.
Single game tickets and packages for the 2018-19 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.
Crunchables: The Crunch have given up five or more goals four times this season...Martin Ouellette made his Crunch debut tonight.
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