The Syracuse Crunch rolled past the Utica Comets, 5-2, today at the Upstate Medical University Arena.
Jimmy Huntington and Cole Koepke led the team with a goal and an assist each, while Chase Priskie, Peter Abbandonato and Andreas Borgman contributed goals to advance the team to 16-9-2-0 on the season. The Crunch are now 5-4-1-0 in the 14-game season series with the Comets.
Goaltender Ryan Bednard earned his second consecutive win in net for the Crunch turning aside 36-of-38 shots. Michael DiPietro stopped 27-of-31 between the pipes for the Comets. Syracuse was unable to convert on their one power play opportunity, but went a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
The Crunch opened scoring 7:11 into the game. Priskie fired a shot wide right that went off the end boards and back out into the right circle for him to chip in. Huntington doubled the lead for the Syracuse when he stole the puck along the blue line and beat DiPietro on a breakaway at 10:14. Two minutes later, it was 3-0 after Abbandonato and Ryan Lohin came in on an odd-man rush. DiPietro made the save on Lohin’s right-side shot, but Abbandonato cleaned up the second chance.
Syracuse continued lighting in the lamp in the second period. At 7:48, Borgman picked the top right corner on a point shot to put Syracuse up by four.
Utica finally responded with 7:16 remaining in the middle frame. After a battle in the corner, Curtis McKenzie shoveled the puck out to the bottom of the right circle for Carson Focht to grab, turn and send in.
The Comets stole another one back with 6:12 remaining in the third period when Josh Wesley fired a wrister from the slot.
Koepke halted a Comets comeback and secured the victory with an empty-netter in the final minutes.
The Crunch continue a five-game stretch against the Comets on Wednesday in Utica.