Utica, N.Y. – The Utica Comets rallied to force overtime but ultimately fell 2-1 to the Springfield Thunderbirds Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. In his first professional game, Seamus Malone scored his first professional goal. Michael Leighton made 23 saves in the loss.
The two teams traded chances in the opening frame, including a power play for each team, but no one was able to find the net.
Matt Mangene got the scoring started six minutes into the second period, beating Leighton with a screened shot over the right pad. The Comets had a plethora of chances to tie the game up but Thunderbirds netminder Chris Driedger was up to the task.
Utica kept up the pressure to start the third, throwing 10 shots on goal in the first eight minutes of the period. The Comets finally broke through when Malone buried a rebound halfway through period. Zack MacEwen and Tanner Kero picked up the assists. Neither team could pull ahead in the final 10 minutes and the game would head to overtime.
Anthony Greco was awarded a penalty shot in overtime and he took full advantage to give Springfield the win.
The Comets go right back at it tomorrow night against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is a 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.