SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch rallied for three goals in just 1:55 late in the third period, but were unable to catch the Utica Comets and fell, 5-3, tonight at the Adirondack Bank Center.
The loss moves the Crunch to 30-24-6-2 on the season and 3-9-1-0 in the 14-game season series against the Comets.
Crunch goaltender Max Lagace turned aside 10-of-14 shots. Akira Schmid stopped 32-of-35 in net for the Comets. Syracuse went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Utica was 2-for-2.
The Comets opened scoring 16:24 into the game off a shorthanded breakaway by Frederik Gauthier. They doubled their lead with a power-play goal at the 17:53 mark of the second period when Fabian Zetterlund fed Ryan Schmelzer who was all alone out front.
Just 19 seconds into the third period, Utica scored again on the man-advantage. Chase De Leo forced a turnover while Lagace was playing the puck behind the net and cashed in when he wrapped around the open cage. Aarne Talvitie then hit the empty net while shorthanded at the 10:56 mark.
The Crunch finally responded at 15:56 and rattled off three consecutive goals to come back within one. Gabe Fortier got the team on the board when he roofed the rebound of Declan Carlile’s right-point shot. Only seven seconds later, Simon Ryfors tipped in Sean Day’s shot from the left point. Alex Barre-Boulet capped off the three-goal rally when he chipped in Riley Nash’s backdoor feed at 17:51.
Utica halted the comeback effort and secured the win when Tyce Thompson potted another empty-netter with 1:07 remaining in the game.
The Crunch travel to face the Hartford Wolf Pack tomorrow.
Single game tickets and ticket packages for the 2021-22 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial 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).
Crunchables: Declan Carlile made his professional debut and recorded his first professional point tonight.