Newark, NJ – It took 65 minutes and four rounds in a shootout for the Utica Comets to earn a 6-5 shootout win over the Binghamton Devils. Utica led four times, but Binghamton continued to answer in a matinee battle in the Garden State.
Utica started the scoring with Kole Lind’s powerplay strike in the first. He one timed a pass from Sam Anas to make it 1-0. Binghamton answered with a power play goal of their own six minutes later to tie it up.
The Comets would pot two unanswered as Carson Focht had his first professional goal and Lind tallied another on the powerplay. The first period came to a close with Utica leading 3-1.
Binghamton found the back of the net twice in the first six minutes of the second. First, Mikhail Maltsev snuck one past Utica netminder Jake Kielly on a pass across the slot from Ben Street. The Devils tied things up on a goal from Michael Vukojevic two minutes later.
Utica grabbed another lead when John Stevens scored a shorthanded goal on a rebound halfway through the second. Just seven minutes later, Nikita Okhotiuk picked the top left corner of Kielly’s goal to make it 4-4.
In the third, Nolan Stevens gave the Comets a 5-4 lead by creating a turnover and beating Binghamton goalie Aaron Dell short-side. With less than four minutes to play, Ben Street scored his second of the day on a slapshot from the left circle.
The overtime period featured three outstanding chances for Binghamton, but Kielly was up to the task. He made three athletic saves including one with less than a second on the clock to send the game to a shootout.
Three shootout rounds were not enough. Things were tied in until Mitch Reinke beat Dell in the fourth round. Brett Seney’s attempt to keep the game alive was stopped by Kielly as Utica earned the shootout victory.
Next up, the Comets face the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday at the Adirondack Bank Center. Fans can catch the game on WPNY, AHLTV and 94.9 KROCK.
For the latest Comets news visit www.uticacomets.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uticacomets), Twitter (@UticaComets), Instagram (@UticaComets), and the Comets YouTube Channel.