UTICA, N.Y. - For the fourth time this season, the Utica Comets battled the Syracuse Crunch in a Galaxy Cup rivalry match-up, and for the fourth time came away on the losing end, getting shutout 2-0 at the Adirondack Bank Center, Friday.
In the first meeting of the season at the Aud, the teams skated to a scoreless opening period thanks to the strong goaltending of the Comets' Akira Schmid, and the Crunch's Max Legace.
The teams would trade chances until the 17:01 mark of the second when Gabriel Dumont got the Crunch on the board, slipping a shot past Schmid from the slot off a feed from Alex Barre-Boulet. The assist was Barre-Boulet's 242nd point as a member of the Crunch, setting a new franchise record.
Despite numerous chances for the Comets, Legace held tall and held the home team off the board.
At 12:52 of the third, the Crunch got an insurance marker, with Jaydon Dureau beating Schmid upstairs on a breakaway.
The Comets pulled Schmid for an extra attacker with just under four minutes left, but were unable to solve Legace, as they drop their second straight game, both to Syracuse, and lose their fourth overall to their biggest rivals.
Schmid did all he could to keep Utica in the game, making 20 stops, some of them highlight reel material. Legace stopped all 25 shots he faced from the Comets for the shutout win.
The Comets drop to 19-12-5-1 on the season, and sit just three points up on both the Crunch and Rochester Americans in second place in the North Division.
These same teams head back out to Syracuse to face-off in their third straight game, completing the weekend home-and-home, on Saturday at 7 p.m.