Utica, NY – The Utica Comets suffered a 4-3 shootout loss to the Syracuse Crunch Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Joel Vermin struck first to give the Crunch an early lead just 1:49 into the game. The shorthanded goal was Vermin’s ninth of the year. Adam Comrie extended the Crunch lead two minutes later, blasting a one-timer past Thatcher Demko. Henri Ikonen and Pierre-Luc Leblond were credited with the assists on Comrie’s fifth of the year. Carter Bancks put the Comets on the board at 17:11 with his sixth of the year, receiving a saucer pass from Mike Zalewski through two defensemen. Wacey Hamilton was also credited with an assist as the Comets trailed 2-1 after the first.
Eight minutes into the middle frame, Evan McEneny tied the game with a rocket from the point that squeaked through Adam Wilcox. McEneny’s fifth of the year was assisted by Michael Carcone and Alexandre Grenier. Wilcox was pulled in favor of Kristers Gudlevskis after the score. Wilcox finished the night with five saves on seven shots. Dominik Masin retook the lead for the Crunch six minutes later. Cory Conacher and Michael Peca notched the assists as the Crunch took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
Jordan Subban tied the game with a power play strike halfway through the third period. Bancks and Pascal Pelletier picked up the assists on Subban’s 10th goal of the season. Neither team could find the net in the final 10 minutes, sending the game to overtime.
Overtime did not yield a winner, despite a Comets power play for the final 1:42. The North Division rivals would need a shooutout to decide the game. Cory Conacher scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Crunch a 4-3 victory.
Demko finished the night with 26 saves, while Gudlevskis stopped 11 of 12 shots in relief of Wilcox.
The Comets power play went 1-6, while the penalty kill was perfect, killing off all four attempts.
The Comets are back in action next Friday on the road against the Hartford Wolfpack. Puck drops at 7:15 p.m. at the XL Center. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
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