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Crunch open season with 6-1 win over Utica

Gabriel Fortier scored twice in a 6-1 win over the Utica Comets tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

Fortier opened scoring with his first professional goal before netting his second in the third period. Henry Bowlby also potted his first professional marker in the second period, while Ryan Lohin recorded his first AHL goal in the third.

Sam Montembeault made 32 saves in his first start with the Crunch. Jake Kielly stopped 25-of-31 shots between the pipes for the Comets. Syracuse went 1-for-4 on the power-play and a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.

Just one minute into the game, Fortier lit the lamp off a shorthanded give-and-go with Boris Katchouk. At 9:20, Otto Somppi tipped Riley Stillman’s left point shot to build a 2-0 lead.

The Crunch extended their lead with two more goals in the middle stanza. Alex Barre-Boulet one-timed a feed from Ross Colton at 4:38 while on the power play before Bowlby scored at the 10:50 mark.

Utica finally got on the board at 18:27 when Curtis McKenzie converted on a shorthanded 2-on-1.

Fortier shoveled in his second of the night 7:04 into the third period to take back a four-goal lead before Lohin rounded out scoring at 13:48.

The Crunch travel to face the Rochester Americans on Wednesday.