Hartford, CT. – A strong first period wasn’t enough for Utica as they surrendered five unanswered goals in a 6-3 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the XL Center. Reid Boucher, Ashton Sautner, and Lukas Jasek found the net for the Comets. Connor LaCouvee made his first AHL start, stopping 23 shots in the loss.
Boucher found the net six minutes into the game to give Utica an early 1-0 lead, wiring a wrist shot past Wolf Pack goalie Marek Mazanec. Evan McEneny and Lukas Jasek tallied the assists. Ville Meskanen tied the game four minutes later. Sautner put Utica back on top with a power play goal at the 11:19 mark of the first. Boucher and Jonathan Dahlen had the assists. Tim Gettinger evened the game at two with a power play goal of his own with 3:31 to go in the first.
Boo Nieves put Hartford up 3-2 with six minutes to go in the second period. Utica kept pressing to tie the game but Mazanec stood tall as Hartford took their lead into the second intermission.
Hartford broke the game open with late goals from Cole Schneider, Gabriel Fontaine, and Brandon Crawley to put the game out of reach. Jasek tipped a shot from Jaime Sifers to bring the game to 6-3 with 10 seconds left, but it was too little, too late.
The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night to battle the Laval Rocket. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.