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Syracuse, NY. –   In the penultimate game of the 2023-24 season, the Utica Comets stepped on the ice against their North Division rival, the Syracuse Crunch. Saturday night’s game marked the final road contest of the season. Even though Utica realized the playoffs were no longer an option, they did their best to stop Syracuse from becoming division champs by trying to steal a victory before they headed home for the last game of the season. Despite being down a goal early in the contest, the Comets fought back and managed a victory against the Crunch by a 5-2 score.

Syracuse scored the only goal of the first period after Waltteri Marela struck at 2:03 on a shot that beat Utica goalie, Akira Schmid. The period ended with the Comets down 1-0.

Brian Halonen scored his 20th goal of the year at 6:13 as his wrister beat Brandon Halverson tying the contest at 1-1. Later, Nolan Stevens took the fortuitous bounce on a centering pass that deflected off a Crunch defenseman and into the cage at 7:22. The goal was Stevens’s fifth of the season and gave Utica a 2-1 lead.

In the final period of regulation, Dylan Wendt scored his first AHL goal at 9:07 after he sent a shot from the slot passed Halverson. The assists on the goal came from Stevens and Topias Vilen bringing the game to a 3-1 Utica advantage. The captain, Ryan Schmelzer scored another goal for Utica to further extend their lead to 4-1 after his shot found the back of the net for his 18th of the year. The Crunch received another goal and it was a point shot by Max Crozier at 14:03 that brought the game a little closer as the Comets held a 4-2 lead. The Comets Xavier Parent added an empty net goal to bring the game to a 5-2 final.

Single-game tickets are now available for the final game of the regular season. The Comets play at home on Sunday against the Rochester Americans at 3:00 PM for the last game of the regular season. Visit for more information. Visit for more information.

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