Utica, NY – It was the first meeting of the season between the Utica Comets and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Comets came up with an overtime victory at home inside the Adirondack Bank Center by a 6-5 score.
In the early minutes of the game, the Comets took two penalties to put the Penguins on the 5-on-3. The Penguins were able to capitalize on the man advantage opportunity when Valtteri Puustinen scored off a pass from former Comet Mitch Reinke. The Comets answered back at 14:57 when Alexander Holtz hammered home a rebound in front of the net. Just two minutes later, the Comets took a 2-1 lead off a goal from Brian Flynn. Chase DeLeo fed a pass to Jeremy Groleau whose shot made its way through traffic before being redirected by Flynn. At 7:34 of the period, the Penguins tied the game up thanks to a goal from Jordy Bellerive. The action packed first period ended with the teams tied at 2-2.
The Comets got off to a strong start in the second period, scoring less than five minutes into the frame. It was Chase DeLeo with another nice pass, this time to Nate Schnarr who fired one past the Penguins goaltender to give the Comets a 3-2 lead. Then, Ryan Schmelzer intercepted a Penguins breakout pass and buried a goal to put his team up by two halfway through the period.
In the third period, it was the Penguins who found the back of the net first. At 16:09, Jan Drozg put home a rebound to make it a 4-3 game. Minutes later, Penguins forward Valtteri Puustinen scored his second goal of the night to tie the game. At 8:33, the Penguins took the lead thanks to a goal from former Comet defenseman Taylor Fedun. The Comets responded four minutes later with a goal that was set up by a highlight reel passing play. The puck went from the stick of DeLeo to Holtz, who then found Frederik Gauthier alone in front for the goal.
The teams were tied at five goals at the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime. Neither team scored in the extra frame, so a shootout was needed to decide the winner. In the first round, both Alexander Holtz and Anthony Angello scored. In the second round, Fabian Zetterlund scored a goal what would end up being the final goal of the shootout to give the Comets a 6-5 win.
The team returns home on tomorrow night to battle the Hartford Wolfpack with a 7:00 PM puck drop. Tickets are still available. Please visit www.uticacomets.com/tickets for more information.