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COA News 2024

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Syracuse Crunch lost 5-2 to Comets in the regular season finale

SYRACUSE, NY – The Syracuse Crunch fell 5-2 to the Utica Comets in the regular season finale tonight at Upstate Medical University Arena.

The team finishes the 2023-2024 regular season with a record of 39-24-4-5 and 87 points.

Crunch goalie Brandon Halverson stopped 13 of 17 shots. Akira Schmid put up 37-of-39 between the pipes for the Comets. Syracuse’s power play couldn’t convert on three chances, while the penalty was a perfect 2-for-2.

The Crunch were the first to score just 2:03 into the game. Waltteri Merelä forced a turnover along the boards, where Jordy Bellerive grabbed the puck and skated to the goal line. His quick feedback to the right circle gave Merelä a one-timer.

The Comets stole the lead with two goals in the middle frame. At 6:13, Brian Halonen shot a wrister from close range from the slot. Just 1:09 later, Nolan Stevens came down the left wing and centered a shot that deflected off a skate and inbounds.

Utica added two more in the final frame to build a three-goal lead. Dylan Wendt sent a shot from the slot midway through the frame, followed by Ryan Schmelzer with a long wrister from the right circle at 12:56. The Crunch stopped the scoring and stole one back at 14:03 when Max Crozier fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle, but Xavier Parent responded by hitting the empty net to clinch a Comets win.

The Crunch have secured their spot in the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs, but their opponent has yet to be decided.

Ticket packages for the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office in the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse by calling the office at 315 -473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster.

Crunchables: Waltteri Merelä has goals in consecutive matches.