Utica, N.Y. – The Utica Comets were provided goals from Reid Boucher and Jagger Dirk, but they couldn’t overcome the early scoring from the Binghamton Devils during a 4-2 loss on Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.
The opening minutes of the first period were controlled by the Devils, who needed only 4:52 to earn a 2-0 lead. Starting the night’s scoring, Blake Pietila carved towards the low slot and reeled in a feed that he swiftly chipped past the stick side of Richard Bachman. Moments later, the visitors extended their lead with a net-front tip by Nathan Bastian, who re-directed a long wrist shot from Colton White. The early efficiency from the Devils eventually put the Comets behind by a pair after first period.
Earning a five-on-three advantage early in the second, the Comets sliced the deficit in half by capitalizing with the extra attackers. Jesse Graham controlled the puck at the top of the circles before sliding a pass across the ice to Boucher, who sailed a one-timer into the back of the goal.
The Devils re-established their two-goal lead with a power play tally of their own, as Yegor Sharangovich crashed the goal and deposited a rebound tally after a Bachman kick save. The rest of the period leveled out, as Utica went into the third period trailing by two.
Opening their lead to a game-high three goals, the Devils were propelled by Pietila’s second of the night on a short-side wrist shot from the left faceoff dot. The tally put the Comets in a 4-1 hole, midway through the third period.
Utica threw everything they had at Binghamton for the remainder of the way, and they eventually broke through with under two minutes remaining. Dirk fired a long shot that flew through traffic and past Colton Phinney. It was as close as the Comets would get, even after pulling Bachman for an extra attacker in the closing moments.