Wilkes-Barre, PA – Reid Boucher scored twice and Lukas Jasek earned the overtime winner as the Utica Comets defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a 4-3 margin on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
After a majority of the first period was spent with the two teams feeling each other out, the Comets cracked things open at the 17:40 mark of the opening frame. Carter Camper tied up his man in the face-off dot in the attacking zone, allowing Boucher to collect the puck before stepping to his left to wire a wrist shot over the leg of Emil Larmi.
Two minutes later, Boucher doubled the Comets’ lead with his second goal of the night. Working the perimeter on the power play, Olli Juolevi was fed by Nikolay Goldobin for a one-timer at the blue line. Juolevi’s shot rattled off the skate of a Penguin and slid flat to Boucher who snapped it over the line for a late strike.
Using specialty teams to claw back into the game, the Penguins got on the board 3:13 into the second period. A long shot from David Warsofsky was knocked down on its way to the goal and Stefan Noesen cashed in on the chaos in front of the goal. Just over five minutes later and on another man-up try, Warsofsky blasted a long one-timer from the line that beat Zane McIntyre, tying the game at two.
Carrying their momentum into the third, the Penguins took their first lead of the game at the 8:56 mark of the period. Coming out of the box after serving a penalty, Anthony Angello had the puck cleared ahead for a breakaway that allowed him to slip a shot into the back of the net.
Throwing everything they had at the net, the Comets generated a late equalizer with under three minutes remaining in the game. Ashton Sautner curled deep with the puck and sent it in front of the net where Carter Bancks knifed the puck into the back of the net. Bancks’ dramatic goal tied the game at three and sent it into an overtime session.
After McIntyre came up with a handful of critical saves early in overtime, a Comets counter attack generated the eventual game winner. Sven Baertschi found Brogan Rafferty drifting into space in the attacking zone, and Rafferty dished a backdoor feed to Jasek for a one-touch into the net for a 4-3 triumph.
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