Bridgeport, CT – The Utica Comets picked up a point but fell 5-4 in overtime to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday at Webster Bank Arena.
Just under five minutes into the game, the Comets faced their first deficit after Travis St. Denis earned his 11th of the year on a top-corner wrist shot. Utica only trailed for about six minutes before drawing even while operating on their first power play of the game. Reid Boucher steered the puck to the middle of the ice where Tanner Kero re-directed the feed into the back of the net for his 18th tally of the season. Before the end of the period, Bridgeport’s Otto Koivula slipped behind the defense and deposited a try to generate a 2-1 Sound Tigers’ lead at the break.
The second period continued the back-and-forth theme as each team exchanged goals yet again. With Utica on a man-advantage, Luke Schenn was provided space at the left-side circle where he unloaded a one-timer that flew over the pad of Christopher Gibson and pulled the Comets square for the second time. Just over four minutes later, Bridgeport snatched the edge right back, courtesy of Steve Bernier’s deflection.
Early in the third period, the Comets roared back and tied the game at three, as Jonathan Dahlen one-touched a backhand into the roof of the goal following a Brendan Woods centering pass. Less than two minutes later, Utica propelled into the lead for the first time on the night with a shorthanded strike from Brendan Gaunce. Earning a takeaway on a forecheck, Gaunce twisted a backhand over the right leg of Gibson and registered his third shorthanded goal of the season.
Midway through the third period and pressuring the Comets, the Sound Tigers tied the game at four on the back of Ben Holmstrom’s third of the year. Holmstrom’s late goal forced a three-on-three overtime session that saw Tanner Fritz tally the game winner with a one-timer, 2:28 into the frame.
The Comets are back at it Wednesday night when they host the Laval Rocket. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 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.