Utica, NY. – For the first time this season, the Comets hosted the Belleville Senators inside the Adirondack Bank Center on Wednesday night. The Comets, coming off a home loss against Rochester the previous game, looked to turn things around against the top affiliate of the Ottawa Senators. In the final analysis, the Comets received big saves from Nico Daws while first goals of the season from Nolan Stevens and Robbie Russo as well as a multi-point night from both the captain Ryan Schmelzer and Graeme Clarke lead the way to a win.
The Comets struck first and it was the very first goal of the season for Nolan Stevens that did it. He rested in the crease when the rebound came right to his stick. He flipped into the cage past the Senators netminder Kevin Mandolese at 14:38. The goal was assisted by Ryan Schmelzer and Graeme Clarke. With the period winding down, it was a glorious passing sequence that gave the Comets a 2-0 lead after Alex Holtz moved the puck to Schmelzer who proceeded to leave it for defenseman Robbie Russo. Russo lifted it over the sprawling goalie at 19:14 and ended the period 2-0.
In the middle frame, the Senators found their way onto the scoresheet after Jarid Lukosevicius deflected the point shot by Dillon Heatherington between the legs of Comets goalie Nico Daws at 2:55 cutting the Comets lead to 2-1.
In the final period of regulation, Graeme Clarke strode down the right wing side and pick a spot on Mandolese for a goal at 6:36 giving him a second goal on the season. The goal was assisted by Joe Gambardella which was his first point of the season. With the netminder pulled, the Senators took advantage of a 6 on 5 advantage and they drove the goal with Rourke Chartier the recipient of a good bounce and he put the shot into the net behind Daws at 17:58 cutting the Comets lead to 3-2. But, it wasn’t enough to derail the Comets as the home team skated to a 3-2 victory.
The Comets Nico Daws turned aside 26 of 28 shots while the Senators Antione Bibeau stopped 24 of 27.
The Comets are back on the ice against the Charlotte Checkers on Friday and Saturday in North Carolina before returning home again next week Wednesday against Laval at 7:00 PM.