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Crunch downed by Comets, 5-1

The Syracuse Crunch opened scoring, but the Utica Comets responded with five unanswered goals to take a 5-1 win tonight at the Adirondack Bank Center.

The loss moves the Crunch to 10-7-1-0 on the season and 2-3-0-0 in the 14-game season series against the Comets.

Goaltender Sam Montembeault had a five-game winning streak snapped as he turned aside 42-of-47 shots in net for the Crunch. Joel Hofer earned the win with 24 saves between the pipes for the Comets. Syracuse went 0-for-6 on the power play, while Utica was 2-for-9.

The Crunch were first on the board with a shorthanded goal 13:52 into the first period. Boris Katchouk forced a turnover behind the net and kicked the puck out for Taylor Raddysh to score with a quick stick from the slot.

The Comets put up two goals in the second period to take the lead. After a scramble out front halfway through the frame, Curtis McKenzie grabbed the puck behind the cage, wrapped around and tucked it past Montembeault. Then at 17:38, Jonah Gadjovich redirected Sam Anas’s shot from the right circle while on the power play.

Utica made it 3-1 just 1:18 into the final frame. Anas stick handled into the zone and down the slot before feeding Gadjovich who sent home a shot from the bottom of the left circle. The Comets added another one two minutes later when Lukas Jasek won the face off and sent it back for Sven Bartschi to quickly fire in from the point.

The Comets made it five unanswered with another power-play goal late in the game. Bartschi centered a feed from the right corner to set up Mitch Reinke who followed behind the play and scored with a wrister.

The Crunch and Comets finish the second of back-to-back games in Utica tomorrow.