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Goaltender's Fight Upstages Comets Overtime Loss

by Mark Caswell, Jr.

Apr 15, 2015

When the Utica Comets (45-20-7-2) and Binghamton Senators meet up things tend to gets wild. Things were no different Wednesday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, where the Comets fell to the Senators 6-5 in overtime. 11 goals, and a goalie fight between Jacob Markstrom and Peter Mannino highlighted the game’s 83 penalty minutes.

Brandon DeFazio (2-0-2), Frank Corrado (0-2-2), and Carter Bancks (0-2-2) enjoyed multi-point games for the Comets. Darren Archibald (1-0-1), Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1), and Cory Conacher (1-0-1) also recorded goals.

The Senators opened up the game’s scoring off of a great scoring chance for the Comets, oddly enough. Hunter Shinkaruk wired a shot that beat goaltender Chris Driedger but rang off of the crossbar and immediately sprung the Senators into a fast-break three-on-one the other way. Ryan Dzingel one-timed a pass from Danny Hobbs past a diving Markstrom for his 17th goal of the season.

After Senators’ goaltender Driedger left the game with an injury, the Comets quickly knotted the game at one. From a step just inside the blue line, Archibald wristed a shot past Peter Mannino blocker to set a new career-high for goals in a season, with 13. Michael Zalewski and Frank Corrado recorded the assists.

It was wash-rinse-and-repeat for the Comets second goal. From the same spot just inside the blue line, DeFazio let loose a wrist shot that beat Mannino’s glove to give the Comets their first lead of the night. Carter Bancks and Frank Corrado notched assists on the goal. The goal was DeFazio’s 20th goal of the season, making him the franchise’s second 20-goal scorer.

The heated rivalry between this team saw a new chapter written, one that anyone in attendance won’t soon miss. An all-out brawl, including a goalie fight between Markstrom and Mannino, ensued at the 14:02 mark of the second period. All-in-all 73 penalty minutes were collected between the two teams.

The Senators stormed back in the third period with two quick power-play goals. Chris Wideman unleashed a slap shot from the point that was tipped by Derek Grant. The puck trickled through the legs of Joacim Eriksson and just past the goal line to tie the game.

A minute later, Alex Grant deflected home a shot from the point from Aaron Johnson for the 3-2 lead. The goal came on the heels of a Conacher diving penalty, to give the Senators a power play.

Not even two minutes later Conacher erased his mistake and tied the game back up. After taking a breakout pass from Bobby Sanguinetti, he streaked into the Senators zone and sniped a slap shot past the blocker of Scott Greenham.
Defenseman of the Year, Chris Wideman, regained the lead for the Senators at the 11:51 mark of the third period. A bad turnover from Travis Ehrhardt, popped the puck out to Wideman, who one-timed a slapper past Eriksson.

After firing an initial shot on goal, DeFazio raced around the back of the net and buried the rebound to knot the game back up at four. Bancks and Wacey Hamilton grabbed assists on the goal.

The Comets retook the lead with 3:34 left in the third. Grenier rang a shot off the crossbar after Cal O’Reilly cleanly won the offensive zone draw. O’Reilly collected the rebound, and connected with a behind-the-back pass to Grenier, for the 5-4 lead.

Exactly 40 seconds later the game was tied once again. Shane Prince tapped home a pass from Cory Schneider to tie the game at five.

At the 3;53 mark of overtime the Senators ended the wild game. Frederik Claesson split the Comets defenders, and buried a breakaway goal for the win.

The Comets will continue their push for the Western Conference crown on Friday night in Rochester, NY. The Rochester Americans will be welcoming the Comets for their last meeting of the season this Friday at 7:05 p.m.

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