SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch peppered off 43 shots on goal, but were ultimately downed by the Utica Comets, 6-3, tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak and moves the Crunch to 4-3-1-0 on the season and 0-2-0-0 in the 14-game season series against the Comets.
Goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 21-of-27 shots in net for the Crunch, while Nico Daws earned the win with 40 saves between the pipes for the Comets. Syracuse special teams went 2-for-7 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Comets opened scoring with a power-play goal 6:03 into the game. Nate Schnarr passed the puck down to Chase De Leo at the goal line. His cross-zone pass then set up Tyce Thompson for a backdoor shot from the left side. The Crunch evened the score two minutes later when Gage Goncalves beat Daws from the right circle during a partial 2-on-1 with Gabe Dumont.
Utica regained the lead with three back-to-back goals beginning halfway through the middle stanza. At 9:57, Graeme Clarke sent a feed in front of the cage for Jesper Boqvist to chip in from the bottom of the right circle. Less than a minute later, Thompson tallied his second of the night on a second chance opportunity. Thompson completed his hat trick at 11:48 when he ripped a one-timer from the top of the left circle to put the Comets up, 4-1.
At 12:46, Syracuse added a power-play goal as Charles Hudon buried a one-timer from the right circle, but Utica responded 23 seconds later with a shorthanded breakaway by Aarne Talvitie.
The Crunch scored another one on the man-advantage 3:57 into the third period. Dumont cut across the slot to redirect Alex Green’s point shot past Daws and pull Syracuse back within two.
Utica stifled a comeback attempt at 13:47 when Boqvist dropped a pass for De Leo to send home from the left faceoff dot.
The Crunch host the Laval Rocket tomorrow night.
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: Evan Wardley made his AHL debut tonight…Gage Goncalves has goals in a three home games this season…The 43 shots on goal are the most this season surpassing 40 against Hershey on Oct. 27.