The Utica Comets rallied from down 3-1 in the third period to defeat the Texas Stars 4-3 in overtime at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas on Wednesday night.
Bobby Sanguinetti’s (1-2-3) and Cal O’Reilly (1-1-2) propelled the Comets third period comeback, while Joacim Eriksson’s 38 saves earned the Comets their 15th win of the year.
It did not take long for the Stars to open up the game’s scoring. Just 4:28 into the first period Brett Ritchie received a pass from Dowling and proceeded to fire a shot that squeaked through Joacim Eriksson’s leg pads, and just barely crossed the goal line. Scott Glennie picked up the secondary assist.
Just five minutes later the Stars doubled their lead. Maxime Fortunus ripped a slapshot from the point. Dowling deflected the shot straight down, and quickly chipped a backhand shot past Eriksson to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.
The Comets cut the deficit to one just two and a half minutes after the Stars second goal. After he danced through defenders, and got to the slot. Will Acton put a shot on net. A mad scramble ensued in the crease, and somehow Alex Friesen dug the puck out and broke the Stars’ shutout bid. Brandon DeFazio was credited with an assist after feeding it to Acton.
12:39 into the second period, the Stars cashed in on the power play. A failed clearing attempt resulted in a turnover. A couple of quick passes found reigning MVP Travis Morin with the puck all alone at the right circle. Morin fired off a wrist shot over the glove of Eriksson for the Stars’ third goal of the night. Dowling and Ritchie collected the assists.
The Comets once again cut the lead to one at 16:51 of the third period. Will Acton started the goal-scoring play after he rang a shot off the post. With the Stars scrambling, a pinching Bobby Sanguinetti scooped up the puck, and passed it over to Acton on the backdoor for the Comets second goal of the night. Brendan Gaunce picked up the secondary assist.
Under 90 seconds later the Comets finally knotted the game back up. With Utica set-up on the power play, and working it around the Stars’ zone, Sanguinetti ripped a shot past Campbell to tie the game at three. Cal O’Reilly and Kane Lafranchise recorded assists on the game-tying goal.
Sixty minutes was not enough to settle this one, with the game headed to overtime knotted at three.
2:37 into overtime the Comets captain landed his team their first overtime victory of the year. Dustin Jeffrey took a pass from defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti. After looking he around, he slipped Cal O’Reilly a pass across the crease, for the game-winning goal.
With the overtime victory, the Comets now have 33 points and now have the most points in the American Hockey League.
The Comets will get a day of much-needed rest before they head to San Antonio to take on the Rampage at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Comets have out-scored the Rampage 8-2 in their previous two meetings this season and are 2-0-0-0 vs them. Following their match-up with the Rampage, Utica will return home for a four-game home stand starting on Wednesday, Dec. 10 vs. Rochester Americans.
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