Laval, Que – The Utica Comets struck first, but fell victim to timely scoring from the Laval Rocket during a 6-4 loss on Friday night at Bell Place.
Earning an early power play, the Comets made no mistake on the man advantage and generated the night’s first goal. After crisp distribution of the puck in the attacking end, the play was capped off by a pass from Carter Camper to Francis Perron, whose initial shot was turned aside, but Perron followed the play and cashed in on his own rebound.
Late in the period, the Rocket forced a takeaway in their own end and Josh Brook started a two-on-one up the ice. Brook carried deep into the zone and pulled the trigger on a shot, beating Zane McIntyre and tying the game at one before the break.
Laval continued their control of the scoring into the second period, taking the lead just 6:26 in, and adding to it with time winding down in the frame. Finding an open area on the right wing side, Riley Barber reeled in a long pass and was able to slide a shot through the legs of McIntyre and over the line to make it 2-1. The lead was doubled with under a minute remaining in the second with a put-back score from Jake Evans, who sent the home team into the locker room with a 3-1 lead.
The third period was a wild back and forth featuring six total goals between the two teams. Otto Leskinen started the scoring early, but his strike was responded to by Lukas Jasek just three minutes later, as the Comets roared back to within two goals.
Changing the outcome for Laval over the span of 1:01 were Barber and Ryan Poehling, who struck back to back, creating a 6-2 margin for the Rocket in the third. Down the stretch the action was dominated by the Comets, with goals from Camper and Jonah Gadjovich, but the late surge by Utica wasn’t enough in the 6-4 defeat.
The Comets go right back at it tomorrow in a rematch against the Rocket. Puck drop at Place Bell is at 3 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.
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