Laval, QC – A red-hot power play that scored three times propelled the Utica Comets to a 5-4 win over the Laval Rocket on Saturday at Bell Place.
Earning a power play early in the game, the Comets made the Rocket pay with their potent man advantage. Holding the puck along the perimeter, it eventually landed on the tape of Evan McEneny for a long-range shot. His drive was re-directed in front by Tanner Kero, who angled it into the goal for his sixth power play strike of the season. It was the lone goal of the first period, sending the Comets into the intermission with the lead.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair as each team scored twice. Alex Belzile tied the game at the 1:31 mark with a top-corner wrister, but Darren Archibald ripped the lead right back with his 5th of the season on a rebound try in front of the Laval net.
The Rocket knotted the game at two less than four minutes later, with Ryan Culkin registering his first of the season at 12:02 of the frame. With time ticking down in the period, Cam Darcy won a faceoff back to Zack MacEwen, who pinpointed a wrist shot over the glove of Charlie Lindgren and into the back of the net.
Early in the third the Rocket tied the game for the third time with Hunter Shinkaruk’s tally, which found the goal after a re-directing a shot from Michael McCarron. Utica’s power play continued to roll as McEneny blasted a one-timer into the top corner of the goal just after the midway point of the period.
Utica eventually built their first multi-goal lead of the game as Brendan Gaunce moved in behind the goal and went to center the puck, resulting in the pass ricocheting off a Rocket defender and going into the goal. Laval clawed back to within a goal a little over a minute later after Victor Mete spotted a loose puck and deposited.
Richard Bachman slammed the door shut down the stretch, preserving the Comets’ one-goal lead all the way through the final buzzer.
The Comets are back in action Wednesday night when they hit the road to take on the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at Blue Cross Arena is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.