Comets Fend of the Wild

by Mark Caswell, Jr.

Mar 15, 2015

The Utica Comets slipped by the Iowa Wild 4-3 Sunday evening at the Allstate Arena after capturing their second shootout win of the season.

Brandon DeFazio and Alexandre Grenier were the two to seal the deal in the shooutout and helped the Comets capture a very important two points as the playoff race is in full swing. Nicklas Jensen (1-0-1), Bobby Sanguinetti (1-0-1), and Alex Friesen (1-0-1) scored the game’s first three goals, all coming in the second period. Cal O’Reilly (0-2-2) continued to produce in typical fashion with two assists for the game.

After a tame and scoreless first period, Jensen was the first one to light the lamp for the Comets just six minutes into the following period. O’Reilly made the right decision as he dropped off a pass to Jensen inside the right dot, because the Danish winger didn’t hesitate to snipe it past John Curry’s glove side for the 1-0 lead.

Exactly a minute and a half later the Comets found another to strengthen their lead to two just moments after Steve McCarthy was sent to the box for high-sticking. With a set up from Sven Baertschi, Sanguinetti directed the puck through traffic on a wrist shot from above the right circle and beat Curry on the short side to make it for the power-play goal. O’Reilly also received his second assist of the game.

At 15:30 the Comets found their third of the game on the tail end of another power-play opportunity. Alex Biega slapped one towards the net from the center point and Friesen tipped the puck in for the Comets second power-play goal to make the score 3-0. Peter Andersson was credited with the secondary assist.

With less than two minutes left in the period, the Wild started to mount their attack on a power-play of their own and Tyler Graovac scored as he tipped in the one-timer from his fellow teammate McCarthy which made it a 3-1 game.

With a boost of confidence the Wild continued to show the Comets that they weren’t going down without a fight as the teams began the last stanza. Just eight minutes in the Wild found themselves on another power play as Collin Bowman pounded a one-timer on the open side of the net before Markstrom could push off and make the save. Jonathon Blum tallied his second assist of the game on the Wild’s second power-play goal that put them within one.

Just five minutes later, the Comets said goodbye to their lead as McCarthy found his second point of the game as he netted a re-bound in front for the 3-3 equalizer. Brett Sutter was credited with the only assist on the play.

After no one found the back of the net in the extra period, the game made it’s way into the Comets third shootout of the season. The first two Comets shooters, DeFazio and Grenier both buried the rubber to give Utica their second shootout win of the season and the 4-3 victory over the Wild.

Both teams scored two power-play goals in Sunday evening’s match-up with a combined total of 10 chances.

Even after dropping their two-goal lead in the third period the Comets improved their record to 28-0-0-0 when leading after two periods of play.

It’s back to The Utica Memorial Auditorium this Friday March 20th, as the Comets prepare to take on the Rochester Americans at 7 p.m. for their first home game since March 4th.

Three Stars: 1. UTI Alexandre Grenier (Shootout Goal) 2. IA Steve McCarthy (1 Goal, 1 Assist) 3. IA Jonathan Blum (2 Assists)

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