Binghamton, NY – The Utica Comets fell behind early and were plagued by the efficient scoring of the Binghamton Devils as they fell by a 5-1 margin on Saturday night at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Needing less than a minute to get the scoring started, the Devils used a shot-block that turned into a breakaway to take a 1-0 lead. Ben Street stepped in the way of a long slap shot, allowing him to counterattack up the ice without being contested. On the breakaway, he fired a shot over the right leg of Richard Bachman to earn his 11th goal of the season. Minutes later, the Binghamton lead was doubled, with Julian Melchiori getting in on the scoring. Sneaking to the slot, Melchiori re-directed a feed from Joey Anderson that fluttered into the top corner of the goal.
The Comets withstood the pressure the rest of the way in the first, but they surrendered a season-high 21 first period shots, and went into the first intermission facing a 2-1 deficit.
The Devils maintained their firm grip on the game through the second period, padding their lead with three more goals during the frame. Ryan Schmelzer earned a breakaway tally during a span of four-on-four play at 1:24, Fabian Zetterlund added a power play goal at 11:21, and Dakota Mermis did the same at 19:58 as the Devils generated a 5-0 advantage through the first 40.
Plugging away in the third period, Utica broke through with a net-crashing play from Seamus Malone and got on the board 7:04 in. After receiving a pass from Sven Baertschi, Reid Boucher hit the brakes on the right wing side and fired a shot towards the goal that Gilles Senn kicked away with the right leg. Following the play, Malone crashed the net with his stick on the ice and forced the rebound over the line for his first of the year.
Malone’s goal was the only of the night for the Comets, who were handed a 5-1 loss on the road.
The Comets return to action Wednesday on the road against the Belleville Senators. Puck drop at CAA Arena is at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.
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