Mar 5, 2022
Utica, NY – The Comets took on their I-90 rival in the 10th addition of the Empire Recycling Cup against the Syracuse Crunch coming off a victory against them last night. To end the back-to-back games in Syracuse, the Comets came away with the victory by a 5-2 score led by Chase DeLeo and Alex Holtz.
In the first period, the Comets started the scoring on the power-play when Nolan Foote launched a shot on goal which created a rebound on the save my Hugo Alnefelt. It was Utica forward Graeme Clarke who drove the net with his stick on the ice and lifted the puck into the net at 12:37 for his eighth goal of the year putting the Comets up 1-0.
In the middle frame, Comets forward Chase DeLeo along with Alex Holtz during a four-on-four segment made the Crunch pay. Holtz sent the puck to the streaking DeLeo who sliced a backhander over the right shoulder of Alnefelt and in the net at 1:36. It was DeLeo’s 11th goal of the season. DeLeo and Holtz weren’t done just yet when they manuevered in on a 2-on-1 rush. Holtz moved into the zone with speed and sent a perfect pass to DeLeo who wristed into the cage at 4:16. DeLeo’s tallied his 12th goal and his team leading 41st point of the season putting his team up 3-0. The Comets weren’t done yet and it was a power-play goal by rookie Alex Holtz for a team leading 20th goal of the season at 13:22. The shot from just inside the left circle was assisted by AJ Greer and Ryan Schmelzer. Only fifty seconds later, the Crunch got on the board when a point shot by defenseman Alex Green beat Comets netminder Akira Schmid at 14:12. After forty minutes of play, the Comets led 4-1.
In the final period of regulation, the Crunch closed the gap when forward Cole Koepke beat Schmid when his team pulled their netminder for an extra attacker. The goal at 15:10 gave the Crunch some hope towards the latter stages of the period. But it was Fabian Zetterlund who struck for his 20thgoal of the season as he tallied an empty netter at 15:24 putting up Utica back up by three with a 5-2 lead and that’s how the game would end with the Comets getting their 32nd victory of the season.
The Comets are back in action tomorrow night against the Crunch inside the Adirondack Bank Center on Wednesday, March 9th at 7:00 PM. Tickets are still available. You can purchase them by going to uticacomets.com/tickets.