Charlotte, N.C. – The Utica Comets extended their point streak to six games as they used come-from-behind dramatics on their way to a 4-3 overtime win against the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
After a majority of the first period was played in a defensive struggle, the Comets were the first to break through, doing so 17:07 into the game. Fresh off a power play, Guillaume Brisebois walked to the left-side circle and threw a backdoor pass to Brendan Gaunce, who tipped in his 7th of the season. It was the only marker of the first period and was the fourth straight game the Comets scored the first goal.
The offense picked up in the second, with the Comets earning their second of the game early in the period. After holding the puck in attacking zone, Evan McEneny began a give-and-go play that resulted in Brendan Gaunce setting up McEneny for a one-timer that slid over the line.
Charlotte wouldn’t be denied, and they earned two goals over the span of less than eight minutes and eventually knotted the game. Jake Bean lasered a shot into the top corner at 9:25, and Morgan Geekie was on the receiving end of a fortuitous bounce that drew the Checkers even before the second intermission.
The Checkers notched a third unanswered goal midway through the third, and the Comets faced a deficit for the first time all night. Pulling Demko in the waning moments, Lukas Jasek threw a rink-wide pass to Reid Boucher, whose quick shot tied the game with 54 seconds left, eventually forcing overtime.
Forcing a steal on an attempted breakout in the extra session, Gaunce snapped a backdoor feed to Darren Archibald who deposited the game winner for his eighth goal of the season.
The Comets return to the ice Friday night when then hit the road to battle the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop at the MassMutual Center is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.