Hofer's first pro win helps Comets to rally past Crunch

Comets goalie Joel Hofer registered his first professional win in his third pro start to help the team to a 5-1 win over the Crunch at the Aud.

Posted: Apr 14, 2021 12:52 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - Utica Comets goalie Joel Hofer, a St. Louis Blues prospect, notched his first professional win as the team rallied with five unanswered goals in the final two periods to beat the Syracuse Crunch 5-1 at the Adirondack Bank Center, Tuesday.

The Comets spent half of the opening frame shorthanded taking five penalties, but the Crunch took a 1-0 lead into the locker room on a short-handed goal by Taylor Raddysh. Syracuse outshot Utica 14-9, but Hofer made a few key saves to keep it a one-goal game.

In the second, the tables turned with the Comets getting four power plays, including a 5-on-3, as the Crunch took five penalties of their own.

Just under the midway point of the frame, 9:53 in, Utica finally converted just after a power play expired as Curtis McKenzie put in a wrap-around for his second of the year. Jack Rathbone and Nolan Stevens assisted on the equalizer.

With 2:22 remaining in the frame, Jonah Gadjovich added his tenth of the year on the power play, a tip-in in the slot off a feed from Sam Anas to give the Comets a 2-1 lead after two. Mitch Reinke also assisted on the goal.

After outshooting Syracuse 22-3 in the second, the Comets kept the pressure up in the third. Gadjovich added another just 1:18 into the final stanza for his 11th of the year. Anas and Rathbone assisted.

Then 3:18 in, Sven Bärtschi tallied his third of the year off assists from McKenzie and Lukas Jasek. Reinke then closed the scoring with his first, on the power play, with Bärtschi and Jasek factoring on the goal.

The Comets outshot the Crunch 38-11 in the final two periods, 47-25 in the game.

Hofer finished the night with 24 saves for his first win as a professional. Samuel Montembeault made 42 saves for Syracuse.

These teams are right back at it on Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

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