Mar 24, 2023

Utica, NY. –  The Comets head into the weekend starting off at home against their in-state division rival, the Syracuse Crunch on Friday night inside the Adirondack Bank Center. The jam-packed crowd roared from the very start as the home crowd tried to propel the Comets to victory and two additional points in the tightly contested North Division. With the Comets starting a three games in three days segment of the schedule, the value of the first game remained high and Utica wouldn’t disappoint the home crowd and skated away with the victory and temporarily hold the second spot in the North Division head of the Crunch.

In the first period, the Comets went to the power-play and made the Crunch pay a price as the point shot from Robbie Russo was stopped by Crunch goalie Max Legace, the rebound rested at the skates of Brian Halonen who deposited the puck into the cage for his 17th of the season at 11:38. The Crunch followed that up and tied the game after Lucas Edmonds scored on a rebound chance at 13:34. The goal made the game 1-1 and that would be it for scoring in the first period.

In the second period, the Comets reacquired a lead after Brian Pinho slipped the puck to the oncoming Timor Ibragimov who skated right in on Legace and shot it blocker-side and in at 9:54 giving the Comets a 2-1 lead. The goal was Ibragimov’s third of the season. Pinho would add another point during the game after he scored deflecting a Reilly Walsh point shot into the Syracuse goal at 18:51. Pinho struck for his 10th goal of the season helping Utica to a 3-1 lead after forty minutes of play.

In the final period of regulation, the Comets extended their lead after Graeme Clarke deflected the Tyler Wotherspoon point shot passed Legace at 6:42 for his team leading 22nd goal of the season. Simon Nemec added an assist that gave the Comets a 4-1 lead. The Crunch bit back after Cage Goncalves scored at 8:50 to bring it to a 4-2 game. While the Crunch got within a goal in the final 58 seconds of the game with a goal from Cole Koepke, the Comets were able to hang on and secure the victory by a 4-3 score.

The Comets next game will be at home on tomorrow against the Rochester Americans at 7PM. Tickets are still available. Visit uticacomets.com for more information.

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