COMETS SUFFER LOSS TO MARLIES IN OVERTIME, DOWN 1-0 IN SERIESApr 27, 2023
Toronto, ON – After ousting their first series opponent in two games, the Comets headed back to Canada to take on the North Division’s top seeded, Toronto Marlies in a best-of-five matchup. When the puck dropped at Coca-Cola Coliseum, it brought plenty of anticipation as the Comets looked to win their third straight playoff game against a Marlies team that hadn’t played a game since the end of the regular season in mid-April. The Comets came our roaring to a three goal lead but were unable to hold off a surging Marlies team. The Comets tied the game late but would end up on the wrong side of overtime being defeated for the first time in the playoffs as the game ended 6-5 for Toronto.
The opening period started with the Comets killing off an early Marlies powerplay. After they successful did that, they received a powerplay and struck for the first goal of the series. Reilly Walsh blast from the blueline sailed passed Keith Petruzzelli at 6:08. The goal was Walsh’s third in as many games, and it was assisted by Alex Holtz and Graeme Clarke. With the 1-0 lead, Clarke took a favorable bounce in the Comets zone and skated down the ice on the left-wing side and placed the puck short side on the Marlies goalie at 13:40. This extended Utica’s lead to 2-0 and that’s how the game would stay heading into the first intermission.
In the middle frame, the Comets added another goal after Mason Geertsen hammered a shot from the blueline off the pad of Petruzzelli and right to an open Xavier Parent who wasted no time slamming the puck into the net at 2:06 giving the Comets a 3-0 lead. But, the Marlies finally got onto the scoreboard when Pontus Holmberg took the cross ice pass through the crease and slid the puck behind Comets goalie Nico Daws at 5:43. With the game at 3-2 in the Comets favor, the Marlies added another goal to brings things a little closer. Nick Abruzzese placed a perfect cross ice pass to Topi Niemela at 7:00 who scored to bring the game to 3-2. The Marlies, riding a wave of momentum, used the man-advantage to score the tying goal after a Logan Shawn one-timer from the right-wing side found its way into the Comets cage at 13:59. After forty minutes of play, the game was tied at 3-3.
In the final period of regulation, Walsh once again scored for Utica giving his team a 4-3 lead after his point shot deflected off a Marlies player and into the net at 11:08. Walsh scored his fourth goal of the playoffs and second of the game. The Marlies answered on the next shift and it was Shawn slamming home the cross ice pass into the net at 11:43 tying the contest on his second goal of the night at 4-4. Toronto then took their first lead of the game after a shot from Semyon Der-Arguchintsev found its way in through traffic at 12:41. With time running out, the Comets pulled Daws for an extra attacker. With the team setup in the offensive zone, a blast from Holtz bounced off Brian Pinho and then into the net tying the game at 5-5 at 19:09. It was Pinho’s first of the playoffs with Holtz picking up his second assist of the game. After sixty minutes of hockey, we headed to sudden death overtime.
In the overtime period, a shot by Joseph Blandisi ended the game at 18:25 as his shot from the left wing found room over the shoulder of Daws. The Comets suffered their first loss of the playoffs as they skated away defeated, 6-5.
The Comets and Marlies are back at it for Game two on Saturday at 4:00 PM before game three at home on Wednesday, May 3 and Friday, May 5 if necessary. Tickets are available by visiting www.uticacomets.com/tickets.