SYRACUSE, N.Y. ( SYRACUSE CRUNCH) – The Syracuse Crunch were downed by the Utica Comets, 4-3, tonight at the Adirondack Bank Center.

The loss moves the Crunch to third in the North Division standings with a 30-23-5-3 record. Syracuse still leads the 14-game season series against Utica, 6-3-1-0.

Crunch goaltender Max Lagace stopped 16-of-20 shots. Isaac Poulter earned the win turning aside 24-of-27 between the pipes for the Comets.

Syracuse was held scoreless on two power play opportunities, while Utica went 1-for-3.

The Comets were first on the board with a power-play goal 11:38 into the game. Lagace made the save on Robbie Russo’s shot from the right circle, but the rebound dropped down for Brian Halonen to sweep in. Two minutes later, the Crunch evened the score off a similar play. Jack Thompson’s right-point shot was stopped, but the rebound kicked out for Lucas Edmonds to send in.

Utica added two more goals to build a lead in the second period. Halfway through the frame, Timur Ibragimov put the Comets back on top with a short breakaway goal. Brian Pinho then tipped Reilly Walsh’s wrister past the netminder with 1:09 remaining in the period.

Graeme Clarke made it a three-goal lead for the Comets 6:42 into the third period by tipping in Tyler Wotherspoon slap shot from the top of the left circle. Two minutes later, the Crunch stole it back when Phil Myer’s right-point shot went wide, ricocheted off the end boards and back out for Gage Goncalves to score. Cole Koepke then tipped in Thompson’s shot to bring Syracuse back within one with just 59 seconds remaining in the game. The Crunch eventually ran out of time and the comeback effort fell just short.

The Crunch return home to host the Hershey Bears tomorrow.