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Crunch downed by Comets, 6-3

The Syracuse Crunch peppered off 43 shots on goal, but were ultimately downed by the Utica Comets, 6-3, tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

The loss snaps a three-game winning streak and moves the Crunch to 4-3-1-0 on the season and 0-2-0-0 in the 14-game season series against the Comets.

Goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 21-of-27 shots in net for the Crunch, while Nico Daws earned the win with 40 saves between the pipes for the Comets. Syracuse special teams went 2-for-7 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill.

The Comets opened scoring with a power-play goal 6:03 into the game. Nate Schnarr passed the puck down to Chase De Leo at the goal line. His cross-zone pass then set up Tyce Thompson for a backdoor shot from the left side. The Crunch evened the score two minutes later when Gage Goncalves beat Daws from the right circle during a partial 2-on-1 with Gabe Dumont.

Utica regained the lead with three back-to-back goals beginning halfway through the middle stanza. At 9:57, Graeme Clarke sent a feed in front of the cage for Jesper Boqvist to chip in from the bottom of the right circle. Less than a minute later, Thompson tallied his second of the night on a second chance opportunity. Thompson completed his hat trick at 11:48 when he ripped a one-timer from the top of the left circle to put the Comets up, 4-1.

At 12:46, Syracuse added a power-play goal as Charles Hudon buried a one-timer from the right circle, but Utica responded 23 seconds later with a shorthanded breakaway by Aarne Talvitie.

The Crunch scored another one on the man-advantage 3:57 into the third period. Dumont cut across the slot to redirect Alex Green’s point shot past Daws and pull Syracuse back within two.

Utica stifled a comeback attempt at 13:47 when Boqvist dropped a pass for De Leo to send home from the left faceoff dot.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

The Crunch host the Laval Rocket tomorrow night.