Charlotte, N.C. – The Utica Comets defeated the Charlotte Checkers by a score of 6-3 Sunday afternoon at the Bojangles Coliseum.
The game got off to a fast start with Carter Bancks and Patrick Brown dropping the gloves at the opening faceoff. The spark worked as Nikolay Goldobin found the back of the net a minute and a half later. Michael Chaput picked up the assist on the power play strike. Mike Ferrantino tied the game four minutes later on an odd-man rush. Clark Bishop had the only assist on the play. Reid Boucher made it 2-1 Comets with under seven minutes to go in the opening frame. Goldobin tallied the assist on Boucher’s third of the year. Evan McEneny extended the Comets’ lead with 37 seconds remaining in the first period, firing a shot from the point past Jeremy Smith. Brendan Gaunce and Wacey Hamilton collected the assists.
Halfway through the second period, Zack MacEwen scored his first career goal to give the Comets a 4-1 lead. McEneny and Anton Rodin picked up the assists on the power play strike. Gaunce put the Comets up 5-1 just five minutes later. Rodin and Hamilton notched the assists on the play.
Brendan Woods tallied his first goal as a Comet to put Utica up 6-1 with 12:30 remaining in the third period. McEneny and Goldobin had the assists. Andrew Poturalski got one back for Charlotte with an unassisted strike at the 16:38 mark of the third period. Julien Gauthier scored late to make it 6-3 with an unassisted goal of his own.
Thatcher Demko finished with 31 saves. Smith stopped 39 of 45 shots. The Comets’ power play went 2-2, while the penalty kill was perfect, killing off all six penalties.
The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night for their home opener against the Rochester Americans. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
Comets continue the home-game stretch with games on Friday and Saturday, puck drops at 7 p.m. and don't miss this year's Fan Fest on the new AUD Plaza in front of the Adirondack Bank Center.