Allentown, PA – The Utica Comets were provided goals from four different skaters as they came from behind to pick up a 4-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday night at PPL Center. The win for the Comets increased their active point streak to five games.
After a majority of the period was spent with the two teams finding their footing, the Comets generated the game’s first tally with under two minutes remaining in the first. Moving quickly through center, Lukas Jasek gained the Phantoms’ line before steering a pass to Olli Juolevi. From the high slot, Juolevi slid a tape-to-tape feed to Kole Lind, who one-touched a finish for his 10th of the year, marking the only goal of the first.
Over the span of 29 seconds in the second period, the Phantoms tied the game and then took the lead, after Kurtis Gabriel earned a goal at 12:43 and Gerry Fitzgerald racked up one of his own at 13:12.
Finding a new level of energy, the Comets ripped control right back with a pair of goals before the end of the period. Juolevi’s world-class vision was on full display yet again, as he controlled the puck at the left side of the blue line and sent a slap-pass to the back post for a waiting Wacey Hamilton, who deposited his second of the year.
Justin Bailey joined the fray minutes later, racing through center and past the Lehigh Valley Defense on his way into the zone. Bailey cruised to the left-wing faceoff dot and powered a shot through the five hole of J.F. Berube, re-establishing Utica’s lead at the second intermission.
The Comets protected the lead throughout the third period and they put the game completely out of reach with time winding down and looking at an empty net. Sven Baertschi forced the puck out of the defensive zone and chased it to center where he carried it towards the empty goal and pushed it over the line.
The Comets are back at it Tuesday night at home against the Rochester Americans Puck drop is at 5 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Box Office, over the phone by calling (315) 790-9070, or online at www.empirestatetix.com. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.
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