Cleveland, Ohio – Michael DiPietro made 27 saves and earned his first career shutout as he led the Utica Comets past the Cleveland Monsters by a 3-0 final on Friday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Showing no signs of rust following the All-Star break, the Comets jumped on the Monsters on their way to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Tanner Sorenson’s relentless forecheck allowed him to steal the puck behind the Cleveland net before serving up Carter Bancks in front for his sixth of the year.
Just over seven minutes later the Comets padded their lead, as extended possession in the attacking zone yielded results. Ashton Sautner’s shot was blocked, but the rebound caromed to Lukas Jasek, who steered it across the ice to Nikolay Goldobin. Upon receiving the feed, Goldobin wired a wrist shot to the goal that went in for his 16th of the season.
The second period saw more pressure and opportunities created, but neither team found the score sheet. DiPietro came up with nine saves during the middle frame, while his counterpart Veini Vehvilainen made eight stops of his own.
The third period featured more of the same, with DiPietro standing on his head throughout the stanza. The Comets created more separation with one minute left and on a five-on-three advantage, as Goldobin tallied his second of the game and put the icing on the cake of a 3-0 Comets’ win.
The Comets are back at it tomorrow afternoon in a rematch against the Monsters. Puck drop is at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.
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