Jan 22, 2023
Syracuse, NY. – After suffering a defeat at home, the Utica Comets took to the road to battle the same team they lost to just 24 hours prior, the Syracuse Crunch. In four previous games against Syracuse, the Comets have come away empty handed, and during the fifth installment of the heated I-90 rivalry, Utica took to overtime to finally secure a victory as Nolan Foote sealed the deal just 12 seconds into the extra session.
In the opening period, the Crunch drew first blood when Simon Ryfors shot deflected off a stick and into the net behind Utica goalie Akira Schmid at 4:01. Later in the period, the Comets captain, Ryan Schmelzer tied the contest when he drove the net for a rebound chance off Syracuse netminder Kayden Fulcher. As he blasted the puck into the net at 6:17, it was his fourth goal of the season as assisted by Nolan Stevens and Tyler Wotherspoon. This goal tied the game at 1-1 and that’s where the game would rest after twenty minutes of play.
The Comets took advantage in the second period during a power-play opportunity, and it was Graeme Clarke who rushed into the Crunch zone and wristed a shot that found the back of the net at 7:59. It was Clarke’s team leading 15th goal of the season and team leading 32nd point. The goal was assisted by Joe Gambardella and Schmelzer. It was the only goal of the middle frame and the Comets skated away with a 2-1 lead.
In the final period of regulation, Crunch defenseman Jack Thompson stepped into the slot and placed the puck through traffic at 4:39 on the blocker side of Schmid and into net tying the game at 2-2. Since there were no more goals in regulation, we headed for overtime.
In the extra session, it only took 12 seconds for Nolan Foote to win the hockey game with a goal that gave his team a 3-2 victory and the first win against the Crunch this season.
The Comets will make their way back on Tuesday to finish up the once postponed opening night matchup against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins at the Adirondack Bank Center at 7:00 PM followed by a game against the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday night at home. Tickets are still available for both games. Please visit www.uticacomets.com/tickets for more information.