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CRUNCH DEFEAT COMETS, 6-3, IN PRESEASON FINALE

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Utica Comets, 6-3, in the preseason finale tonight at the Upstate Medical University Arena.

Mitchell Chaffee led the team with two goals and an assist, while Felix Robert tallied a goal and two helpers. Gabriel Dumont, Devante Stephens, and Max Groshev all contributed a goal each.

Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt earned the win stopping 21-of-24 shots. Tyler Brennan turned aside 18-of-21 shots in net for the Comets before being relieved by Jeremy Brodeur to start the third period. Brodeur went on to stop 11-of-14. The Syracuse power play converted on 3-of-7 opportunities. The penalty kill went a perfect 7-for-7.

The Comets were quick to find the back of the net and opened scoring just 57 seconds into the game when Xavier Parent went five-hole with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle. Less than a minute later, the Crunch evened the score with a power-play goal when Chaffee ricocheted a shot off a Comets defender and in.

Syracuse added two more in the first period to build up a 3-1 lead. They went on top with their second power-play goal of the night at the 8:28 mark. Chaffee’s right point shot got caught in traffic and dropped down for Dumont to grab before turning and firing into the net. The scoring continued halfway through the frame when Stephens chipped the puck into an open net on the back door off a cross-zone feed from Bennett MacArthur.

Utica stole one back early in the middle stanza off a long left-point shot from Yushiroh Hirano that caught the goaltender but trickled across the goal line. At the 9:09 mark, Filip Engaras followed behind an odd-man rush and jammed in a rebound to tie the game up at three goals each.

The Crunch rattled off three goals in the third period to steal the victory. It started at the 2:42 mark when Chaffee potted his second goal of the night on a shorthanded breakaway. Robert then netted a quick wrister from the left circle while on the man advantage at 13:58. Groshev rounded out the night’s scoring with a shorthanded goal of his own late in the game to help secure a Crunch win.

The Crunch travel to Utica for the 2023-24 season opener on Friday night.

Single-game tickets and ticket packages for the 2023-24 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).

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