Cleveland, OH – The Utica Comets used a five-goal second period to roll past the Cleveland Monsters by a 6-2 final on Saturday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena.
The opening period was dominated by the goaltenders, who slammed the door on each try they faced. Ivan Kulbakov made 10 first period saves, including a flurry on an extended five-on-three, and JF Berube made seven of his own.
The Comets flexed their muscles and took complete control in the second period, eventually scoring five times on 21 shots. The scoring began at 6:32 with Zack MacEwen’s 14th of the season, assisted by Wacey Hamilton on a perfectly-designed faceoff play. Utica doubled their lead a few minutes later on a backdoor play from Carter Bancks to Jesse Graham, who punched in his third of the year.
The onslaught in the second continued with Vincent Arseneau picking up a rebound and generating his third goal of the season and Adam Gaudette creating two quick goals of his own. The five-goal second period set a new season high for the most goals scored in a single period.
After surrendering five goals, Berube was pulled in favor of Brad Thiessen.
Midway through the third period, Arseneau cleaned up another net-front rebound after a shot from Kole Lind and poked in his second of the game. The Monsters came to life over a span of 1:13 in the third, earning two goals in that span. It was far too little too late as the Comets cruised to a 6-2 final.
The Comets are back at it tomorrow against the Cleveland Monsters. Puck drop at Quicken Loans Arena is at 3 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.