Binghamton, NY – Two new Utica Comets scored in their debuts and many familiar faces picked up where they left off during a 4-3 win over the Binghamton Devils in the opening game of the season at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday.
After the Comets had a goal disallowed at 6:26 of the opening frame, the Devils took the night’s first lead with a bang-bang play in the attacking zone. After a shot was blocked near the blue line, the puck angled to Mikhail Maltsev, who sent it to Nathan Bastian across the ice for a one-time strike and the only goal of the first period.
The Comets took complete control in the second period, beginning just 1:23 into the session. Reid Boucher was sprung in the high slot and took a shot that appeared to be stopped, but it leaked over the line and in, tying the game at one. Boucher scored again 53 seconds later and put the Comets ahead by finishing a tape-to-tape feed from Kole Lind.
The relentless pressure continued and Justin Bailey registered his first goal as a Comet at the 6:50 mark, cracking open a 3-1 lead for Utica. Bailey raced up the left wing side and called his own number on a two-on-one, slipping a wrist shot through the legs of Evan Cormier and in. That wasn’t the end of Utica’s second period domination, as Guillaume Brisebois added to the outburst by lifting a shot into the top corner of the goal from a Boucher delivery at 14:09 of the frame.
Binghamton got back on the board just after the midway point of the third period and cut into the Utica lead, as another backdoor play rewarded Josh Jacobs for his first of the year. With time winding down and Cormier on the bench for an extra attacker, the Devils inched to within one with a scramble in front of the goal that allowed Joey Anderson to score.
Utica withstood the late surge and slammed the door shut in the waning moments and capped off the road win.
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