IceCaps Sink Comets in Overtime
by Mark Caswell, Jr.Dec 4, 2015
Despite outshooting the St. John’s IceCaps 31-15, the Utica Comets dropped a hard fought overtime game to the IceCaps by the score of 2-1 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night.
Ashton Sautner (1-0-1) had the lone goal for the Comets, while Joe Cannata saved 13 of the IceCaps 15 shots on goal.
The IceCaps struck first with a goal from Angelo Miceli 13:55 into the first period. Miceli brought it down the right side of the ice, in front of the net, and wrapped a shot around Cannata to take a 1-0 lead. Luke Pither and Tim Bozon assisted on the goal.
The Comets tied the game 1-1, 1:21 into the second period, when Sautner took the puck down the left side of the ice and ripped a wrist shot off the post, and into the net for his third goal of the season. Travis Ehrhardt was credited with the assist.
After a scoreless third period, the game went to overtime. In overtime, Andrey Pedan was called for a boarding penalty, and the IceCaps capitalized on the power play. Bud Holloway put a slap shot past Cannata 2:42 into the extra frame to give the IceCaps a 2-1 win. Mark Barberio assisted on the game-winning goal.
The Comets had 31 shots on the night, while the IceCaps had 15. Eddie Pasquale made 30 saves for the IceCaps.
The loss drops the Comets to 9-9-2-1 on the season. The IceCaps improve to 12-5-4-2 with the win.
The Comets will be on the road on Saturday, as they travel to Syracuse, NY to take on their rival, Syracuse Crunch. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tonight’s Game: The Comets look to get back to their winning ways tonight when they welcome the St. John’s IceCaps to the Utica Memorial Auditorium for the first time. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Comets currently sit in sixth place in the North Division with 20 points, while the IceCaps are in third place with 28 points.
Last Game: The Comets dropped their last game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night by the score of 3-1, which snapped their four game winning streak. Mike Zalewski scored the lone goal for the Comets, bringing his season total up to five. Alex Friesen recorded his fifth assist of the season on the goal, and Richard Bachman made 16 saves in net.
Scouting the IceCaps: The IceCaps have been hot, real hot. You have to go all the way back to Nov. 6, a 4-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, to find their last regulation loss. The red-hot IceCaps have collected a point in each of their past nine games with a 5-0-3-1 record that includes a weekend sweep of the first place Toronto Marlies. In fact, the IceCaps have handed the Marlies, one of the AHL’s elite teams thus far, three of their six losses this season. The potent IceCaps line-up features three of the league’s top point-scorers. Bud Holloway (6-17-23), is tied for second in the league with 23 points, just one shy of the league lead. Sophomore Charles Hudon (10-10-20) and Michael McCarron (9-11-20) have 20 points apiece. Just behind him, tied for 18th in the league, is Daniel Carr (8-9-17) with 17 points. In net, rookie Zachary Fucale has taken the lion’s share of games with 12. He has posted a record of 7-2-2-1, with a goals against average of 3.12, and a save percentage of .907.
Comets Penalty Kill: The Comets penalty-killing unit has killed off 16 straight penalties, and now have killed 87.2% of their opponents’ power-play attempts, which is tied for the third best mark in the league. The unit has allowed just one power-play goal against since Nov. 21 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Since then, the team has killed off 21 of their opponent’s 22 (95.5%) power plays. 86.9%.
Spreading the Wealth: The Comets have 22 different players that have scored at least one point, including 16 players with five points or more, and six players with double-digit points. Hunter Shinkaruk leads the way with 19 points on 11 goals and eight assists. Alexandre Grenier has recorded 12 points on three goals and nine assists. Carter Bancks and Linden Vey have 11 points each. Bancks has four goals and seven assists, and Vey has one goal and 10 assists. Blair Jones and Taylor Fedun cap off the Comets double-digit scorers, with 10 points apiece. Jones has seven goals and three assists, while Fedun has four goals and six assists.
Cannata score on him: Comets goaltender, Joe Cannata is ninth in the AHL with a goals against average of 2.27. Cannata has a .917 save percentage, and has racked up a total of 299 saves in 12 games this season. He has a record of 6-5-1-0 this season, recording one shutout along the way.
Lucky Number 3: When the Comets fail to reach the three-goal mark in a game, the team is 0-8-1-0 this season. When they successfully strike three times, the team is 9-1-0-1.
Closing in on the Century Mark: Head Coach Travis Green is 9 wins away from his 100th win as a professional coach. All 91 wins have come as the bench boss of the Comets.
Jonesin’ For One More: Blair Jones is one point away from his 300th career professional point. The veteran forward has recorded 282 points in the American Hockey League for the Springfield Falcons, Norfolk Admirals, Abbotsford Heat, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Utica Comets. The Comets assistant captain has also scored 17 points in the National Hockey League during his time with the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Looking Ahead: The Comets will hit the road on Saturday, traveling to Syracuse, NY to take on their rival, Syracuse Crunch at War Memorial Arena. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.