Sometimes an opponent really makes you angry. Sometimes an opponent needs to get beaten up. Sometimes that lands you 27 penalty minutes on one play and requires your teammates to kill off seven-straight minutes of penalties.
On October 6, 2018, and in just their second game of the season, tempers flared for Brendan Woods in the contest against Belleville. Irritated by Filip Chlapik of the Senators, Woods decided he needed to make a statement against the opposing forward.
After the fracas, Woods accumulated a laundry list of penalties, including two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct for instigating and a game misconduct for an aggressor.
While Woods’ night was done at the 19:26 mark of the second period, it was far from over for his teammates who were nursing a 2-1 lead.
The Comets faced the almost unheard of task of killing off seven-straight minutes of penalties to end the second and start the third period. Richard Bachman stood on his head between the pipes, and stalwart penalty killing from players like Brendan Gaunce, Cam Darcy, and Carter Bancks.
The edge-of-the-seat action was a thrill to witness, as the fans in attendance immediately recognized the insanity that was the seemingly-endless penalty kill. When the clock on Woods’ penalties finally ticked to zero, the Adirondack Bank Center roared in one of its patented eruptions.
Eventually, Darren Archibald tallied an empty-net goal and made it 3-1 with ten seconds remaining in the third period, and Richard Bachman made 31 saves in a winning, and first-star, effort. It was the Comets’ first win of the 2018-19 season and was one of the year’s most memorable moments.
As it was told to the Utica Observer-Dispatch:
“As a killer you strive to be out there and make a difference in the game,” Brendan Gaunce said. “For guys on the kill, you take a lot pride in being perfect in games. I think today showed that you can win a game with a PK.”
“The guys made it easy for me,” Richard Bachman said. “We did a lot of little things tonight ... and that made things easier on my mind.”