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Utica, NY – The Utica Comets ended a three-game in three-day weekend with a victory over the Cleveland Monsters by a 3-2 score on the strength of Joe Gambardella’s three-point night as well as 37 saves from Mareks Mitens.
The Comets power-play went to work in the first period and after a faceoff win and a one-timer by Robbie Russo resulted in a rebound in front of Monsters netminder Cam Johnson, AJ Greer took the puck and sent it past the sprawling goalie for a 1-0 lead. The goal at 12:45 was Greer’s fifth of the season. The Comets left the first period with the advantage.
During the middle frame, the Comets extended their lead after defenseman Kevin Bahl’s point shot sailed through the traffic and into the net at 1:24. It was Bahl’s first of the season and put the Comets up 2-0. But it was the Monsters that roared right back with a goal just 43 seconds later after a slapshot by Billy Sweezey beat Mitens. Later in the period, Mitens made a glorious diving glove save before the puck could go into a wide-open net. Yet, the Monsters power-play tied the game at 11:06 after Kevin Stenlund deflected the Liam Foudy shot into the Comets goal. The game was suddenly tied at 2-2 and that’s how it would end after forty minutes of hockey.
In the final period of regulation, Joe Gambardella scored a shorthanded breakaway goal at 4:15 as he lifted a backhander over the netminder and the Comets led the game once again, 3-2. With brilliant saves by Mitens to end the game, the Comets skated away with the victory.
The Comets will be back in action tomorrow night on road in Cleveland at 5:00 PM. They will return home on Wednesday night against the Laval Rocket. Tickets are still available. For more information, visit uticacomets.com/tickets.