SYRACUSE, N.Y. – (SYRACUSE CRUNCH) The Syracuse Crunch were edged by the Utica Comets, 5-4, in a shootout this afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center.

Despite the loss, the Crunch earned a point and are still in second place in the North Division with 75 points. Syracuse is now 33-24-5-4 on the season and 7-3-1-1 in the 14-game season series against Utica.

Crunch goaltender Hugo Alnefelt turned aside 25-of-29 shots and 0-of-2 shootout attempts. Akira Schmid stopped 25-of-29 shots and 2-of-3 shootout attempts in net for the Comets.

Syracuse converted on 1-of-3 power play opportunities, while the penalty kill went a perfect 5-for-5.

The Crunch opened scoring just 1:46 into the game when Trevor Carrick powered in a one-timer from the blue line off a feed from Gage Goncalves while on the power play. Four minutes later, the Comets tied the game on an odd-man rush. Joe Gambardella skated the puck down the left side and sent a cross-slot feed for Simon Nemec to chip in. Utica took over the lead halfway through the first period when Reilly Walsh fed Graeme Clarke for a one-timer.

Syracuse responded with two quick goals in the first 2:28 of the middle frame. Just 1:11 in, Rudolfs Balcers carried the puck through the neutral zone and down the right side before beating Schmid with a wrister. A minute later, Alex Barre-Boulet threw the puck across the zone to Simon Ryfors who dropped a pass back for Goncalves to send in and put the Crunch on top.

The Comets tied the game at the 11:18 mark of the second period when Gambardella fired in a long left-point shot, but 11 seconds later, the Crunch stole it back when Jack Finley tipped in Daniel Walcott’s shot from the left circle. The second stanza ended in a 4-4 tie after Nolan Foote scored from the slot late in the frame.

The teams remained locked through the third period and overtime time frame, forcing a shootout. The Comets took a lead in the first round off a goal from Foote then both Lucas Edmonds and Clarke scored in the second round. Schmid stopped Balcers in the third to give Utica the win.

The Crunch are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Rochester.