Utica, N.Y. – The Utica Comets jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but surrendered five unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss to the Belleville Senators Saturday afternoon at the Adirondack Bank Center. Evan McEneny and Zack MacEwen scored for Utica. Michael Leighton made 24 saves in his Comets debut.
McEneny drew first blood for Utica, blasting a shot from the point on the power play four minutes into the game. Adam Gaudette and Reid Boucher recorded the assists. MacEwen doubled the lead 3:31 later, picking off a pass in the offensive zone and roofing a wrister over the shoulder of Senators goalie Marcus Hogberg. The Comets had a chance to make it 3-0 when Cam Darcy was awarded a penalty shot, but Hogberg came up with a stop. A pair of goals from Morgan Klimchuk 2:05 apart tied the game at two heading into the first intermission.
Darren Archibald gave Belleville their first lead of the night 6:20 into the second period, beating Leighton off a faceoff. Cody Goloubef extended the lead to 4-2 with another power play goal halfway through the second period.
The Comets struggled to muster up any offense in the final frame, only throwing eight shots on net in the third period. Max McCormick scored an empty-net goal with under two minutes to play to seal the game.
The Comets return to the ice Friday, January 25 for a matchup against the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at Blue Cross Arena is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.