After Three Disallowed Goals, Crunch Fall to Comets in Overtime

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Mike Angelidis remained adamant after the game: It was in.

The Syracuse Crunch captain appeared to have scored the go-ahead goal on a wraparound early in the third period, but referee Graham Skilliter, who did not see the goal, ruled the video review to be inconclusive.

"It was a goal, I saw it clear as day," Angelidis said. "I saw it go over by a foot. Clear as day. There's nothing you can do. The ref's on the other side, he doesn't see it. It's frustrating, because everybody on the ice on our side and even their guys knew it went in."

The Crunch had three potential goals disallowed, including two by video review in the third period, and the Utica Comets rallied in overtime for a 2-1 win at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday. Syracuse has dropped 12 of its last 13 games.

"Our line had probably eight scoring chances tonight, we just couldn't get the one (goal)," Angelidis said. "When we did, it didn't count."

"It's just frustrating, because that line -- Angelidis' line -- was working really hard and I thought they were our best line all night," said Crunch coach Rob Zettler. "They were creating chances and making stuff happen."

PC Labrie, one of Angelidis' wingers, opened the scoring with a low wrist shot from the right wing circle with 1:32 left in the first period. Philippe Paradis and Angelidis were credited with the assists.

"I didn't even look at the net," Labrie said. "I just got it and zip it to the net. That's it. When you can't score in 15 games, that's the way to do it."

The Comets knotted the score with a power play goal by Nicklas Jensen midway through the second period.

Syracuse appeared to retake the lead when Tanner Richard's shot found the back of the net late in the second, but the goal was waved off for a player in the Utica crease.

Angelidis' wraparound was waved off early in the third, and minutes later Luke Witkowski's shot was originally ruled a goal but called back after a video review.

"(Angelidis) had probably like four scoring chances, they could have bounced his way," Labrie said. "It's going to bounce at some point."

Brandon DiFazio netted the game-winner with 58 seconds left in overtime. Cedrick Desjardins finished with 34 saves in net for Syracuse, while Joacim Eriksson had 25 at the other end.

"I thought he was outstanding tonight," Zettler said of Desjardins. "I thought he played really well."

Despite the Crunch's current struggles, Labrie remains optimistic.

"We're in a tough bad stretch and good things are coming," Labrie said. "You can see the last few games it could have bounced either way."

For Zettler, the losses are less about luck.

"You create your own breaks, you create your own chances," Zettler said. "We're not going to make any excuses. We didn't score enough goals tonight. Our power play had nothing tonight and that was the difference."

Syracuse (18-23-4-5) travels to Hershey Saturday, then has a rematch with the Bears at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Sunday.

"We've got to rest and recoup," Zettler said. "We've got a bus ride tonight and we get back at it tomorrow night. It's hard in these situations when you're losing like we are, and it's hard to refocus. We've got to find a way and do it."

Pictured: Referee Graham Skilliter waves off a Crunch goal against the Comets at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.