Laval, Que. – The Utica Comets earned a point in a back-and-forth affair against the Laval Rocket but they fell by a 5-4 overtime final on Wednesday night at Bell Place.
Picking up an early power play, Laval took the game’s first lead as Charles Hudon picked up his 22nd of the season with a one-time finish from the top of the right circle at 1:27 of the period. The Comets needed just three minutes and a power play of their own to respond, with Francis Perron generating a goal on a gritty play in front of the net, set up from Jonah Gadjovich and Lukas Jasek.
The Rocket re-established their one-goal lead with under three minutes remaining in the period, as Hudon earned his second of the night on yet another power play try. His right-wing wrister flew into the net and allowed his team to take a 2-1 advantage at the break.
Shortly after the first half of the second period came and went without any scoring, the Comets racked up another power play try that resulted in a goal. With time winding down on the man-up try, Guillaume Brisebois flushed a wrist shot towards the goal that hit the stick of a defender and flew into the top corner of the net.
Laval took control right back as the special teams battle continued in the period. Jake Evans broke the puck out of his end while shorthanded and attacked at the Comets’ zone where he created space to beat Michael DiPietro with a wrist shot over the glove.
Responding less than two minutes later and tying the game for the third time was John Stevens, who motored over the Rocket line along the left wing on a quick attack. When he reached the faceoff dot, Stevens snapped a wrist shot towards the far side, beating Michael McNiven and tallying his fifth of the season.
The efficiency of the Laval power play didn’t slow down in the third, as Evans earned his second of the night and gave the home team their fourth lead of the game at 3:59 of the frame. And for the fourth time, the Comets roared right back and tied the action, with Reid Boucher potting his 25th of the season after Carter Camper fed him from behind the goal.
Neither team scored during the remainder of the period, setting the table for an overtime session, which was ended in 46 seconds by Xavier Ouellet.
The Comets return home Saturday when they play host to 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.
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