Comets shut out Crunch in final Galaxy Cup series matchup of the season

Utica beat Syracuse 3-0 in the 14th and final meeting of the year between the two rivals, as they each finish with an even seven wins head-to-head.

Posted: May 11, 2021 12:17 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - The 14th and final meeting of the season between the Utica Comets and Syracuse Crunch put a fitting bow on an even rivalry between the two teams this season with Utica shutting out Syracuse 3-0 at the Adirondack Bank Center, Wednesday.

With the Comets' win, the Galaxy Cup series this season ends as a draw with each team winning seven games a-piece (Comets won two in overtime - 5-7-2-0 head-to-head).

Through two periods of play, it was an ultimate goalie battle with both the Comets' Joel Hofer and Crunch netminder Spencer Martin turning away every chance they saw.

Shots were 22-17 in favor of the Comets heading into the third period, but the game remained scoreless.

In the final frame, 5:17 in, Nolan Stevens broke through with a quick shot off a face-off in the offensive zone that beat Martin inside the far post to put the Comets on the board first. Lukas Jasek assisted on the goal after winning the draw back to Stevens for the shot.

With 4:30 remaining in the game, Syracuse gambled by pulling the goalie for an extra skater. Shortly after, Nikita Alexandrov, who had multiple chances throughout the game, found himself all alone on a breakaway and slid the puck into the empty net to give Utica an insurance goal. Jasek and Hofer picked up the assists on the empty-netter.

Stevens felt like two wasn't enough and so with under three minutes remaining, he put in his second of the night, jamming home a puck at the doorstep off a beautiful feed from Tyler Tucker behind the net. Mitch Eliot had the secondary assist on the goal.

In addition to an assist, Hofer finished the night perfect, making 26 saves on 26 shots to earn the shutout.

The Comets wrap-up the season with three straight against the Rochester Americans, beginning with the home finale on Wednesday night.

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