LAST NIGHT: The Comets remain without a blemish on their record with six wins in six games to start the year as they defeated the Toronto Marlies 5-2 inside the Adirondack Bank Center on Saturday night.
In the first period, it was off to a swift start that included Chase Deleo with an early goal on the power play as he fired a puck past Marlies goalie Michael Hutchinson at 5:29. The Marlies stuck back just twenty seconds later when Alex Steeves deflected the Josh Ho-Sang pass behind Utica netminder, Akira Schmid. This tied the game at 1-1. Although, The Comets were rewarded with four powerplay opportunities in the period they were only able to capitalize on one, ending the first period with a score of 1- 1.
In the second period, Steeves scored his second of the game as he left the penalty box for a breakaway, and he slid the puck between the legs of Schmid 19 seconds into the period. This was matched by Utica with a Joe Gambardella goal just minutes later as he pounced on a loose puck which was in the crease after AJ Greer hit the post. The goal was scored at 2:07 and the contest was tied 2-2 after forty minutes.
In the last period of regulation, the first goal occurred 9:29 into the period on a power play from forward Nolan Foote who scored his first as a Comet redirecting the shot from Reilly Walsh at 7:29. Towards the end of the period Comets winger Graeme Clarke maneuvered his way to the empty net which extended the lead by two and ultimately extending it by three quickly after Gambardella potted his second on another empty net tally. The Comets skated away with a 5-2 win.
The Comets scored two power-play goals on five chances while the Marlies went without a goal on the man advantage during three chances. Utica out shot Toronto 29 to 26 on the evening.
TODAY’S GAME: The Comets battle the Laval Rocket today at 5:00 PM inside the Adirondack Bank Center to close out the team’s three game in three-night segment. Laval is headlined by Cole Caulfield, who shined for the Montreal Canadiens in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Rocket lost to the Syracuse Crunch 4-0 last night. They post the 23rd best powerplay in the AHL at 14.7% and the 11th best penalty kill at 84%. They go up against a Comets team that leads the league in powerplay percentage (33%), penalty kill percentage (92%) and goals against average (1.8).