Utica, N.Y. – The Comets jumped out to a 1-0 lead but surrendered five consecutive goals and ultimately fell 5-3 to the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Tanner Kero, Jesse Graham, and Carter Bancks scored for Utica. Marek Mazanec stopped five of eight shots before being pulled in favor of Michael Leighton.
Kero got the Comets on the board on halfway through the first period after a beautiful setup in the slot from Cam Darcy. Jesse Graham also tallied an assist. Bobby Butler tied the game two minutes later with a shorthanded goal.
Shawn St. Amant gave Hartford the lead two minutes into the second period, beating Mazanec on a breakaway. Ryan Gropp extended the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal two minutes later. Leighton replaced Mazanec in net following the goal. Ville Meskanen continued the scoring run, beating Leighton with a wrister at the 14:01 mark of the middle frame.
Gropp scored his second of the night six minutes into the final period to make it 5-1 Hartford. Jesse Graham ended the scoring run with a wrister through traffic with 6:32 to play. Brandon Anselmini and Darcy had the assists. Bancks brought the Comets back within two with a shorthanded goal three minutes later. Stefan LeBlanc and Brendan Gaunce picked up the assists. A pair of late penalties ended any chance of a comeback for the Comets.
The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night to battle the Belleville Senators. Puck drop at CAA Arena is at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.