Charlotte, NC – The Utica Comets never led until they won the game in overtime as they came from behind to defeat the Charlotte Checkers by a 3-2 margin on Saturday at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
The Comets created a handful of chances in the first period, but the Checkers were the only team able to find the back of the goal. While operating on a powerplay late in the frame, Joey Keane took a long shot that was re-directed by Ryan Bourque and past Jake Kielly, who was making his first AHL start.
Charlotte doubled their lead just over six minutes into the second period, as Mark Cooper was rewarded for crashing the net, as he was able to re-direct a right-wing shot from Clark Bishop and over the line.
The Comets roared right back with their first of the night after earning a power play effort in the middle stages of the period. After Brogan Rafferty caught a feed at the line, he settled the puck down and slid it over to Reid Boucher, who smashed a one-timer to the net that flew over the pad of Keith Kinkaid for his 33rd of the season.
Utica’s power play efficiency continued into the third period and allowed the Comets to tie the game at 2-2, 11:59 into the period. After winning a faceoff, Tyler Graovac got the puck along to Boucher, who used another pinpoint one-timer to beat Kinkaid for his 34th goal of the season. The goal marked Boucher’s 175th career point as a comet, tying a franchise record.
Neither team broke the tie before the end of regulation, setting the stage for an overtime session. Late in the overtime period, the Comets generated the winner as Brogan Rafferty dangled his way through the entire Checkers’ defense before laying a backhand feed to the tape of Kole Lind for the game winner.
The Comets are back in action Wednesday, March 11 at home against the Syracuse Crunch. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Box Office, over the phone by calling (315) 790-9070, or online at www.empirestatetix.com. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.
For the latest Comets news visit www.uticacomets.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uticacomets), Twitter (@UticaComets), Instagram (@UticaComets), and the Comets YouTube Channel.