Springfield, Mass. – The Utica Comets defeated the Springfield Thunderbirds by a score of 6-5 Saturday night at the MassMutual Center.
Alexandre Grenier struck first with a power play goal with 11:54 to go in the first period, firing a slap shot past Richard Bachman. Tim Erixon and Bobby Farnham had the assists. Frankie Simonelli tied the game two minutes with a power play goal of his own. Tanner MacMaster and Carter Bancks tallied the assists. Jalen Chatfield gave the Comets a 2-1 lead at the 13:43 mark of the first period, firing a wrist shot past Thunderbirds goaltender Samuel Montembeault. Wacey Hamilton and Lukas Jasek picked up the assists. The goal was Chatfield’s first professional goal and Jasek’s assist was his first AHL point.
Dryden Hunt tied the game at two 1:42 into the second period. Curtis Valk collected the assist. Joel Lowry put the Thunderbirds back on top six minutes later. Hunt and Valk were credited with the assists. Thomas Schemitsch extended the lead to 4-2 six minutes later. Valk and Ed Wittchow had the assists. Michael Carcone brought the Comets within one just 16 seconds later. Adam Comrie and Hamilton registered the assists. Bancks tied the game at four with 4:08 to go in the middle frame. MacMaster and Michael Chaput had the helpers.
Valk put Springfield up 5-4 five minutes into the third period. Colton Saucerman and Samuel Montembeault chipped in with the assists. Jasek tied the game at five with 2:11 remaining in the final frame from Guillaume Brisebois and Hamilton The goal was Jasek’s first AHL goal. Bancks scored the game-winning goal with 39 seconds to go in regulation. Hamilton and Cole Cassels picked up the assists.
Bachman finished with 30 saves to improve his record to 13-12-4. Montembeault stopped 28 shots. His record falls to 13-21-3. The Comets power play went 2-6, while the penalty kill allowed two goals in seven attempts.
The Comets return to the ice Thursday, April 5 as they battle the Toronto Marlies. Puck drop at Ricoh Coliseum is at 11 a.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.