Utica Comets Over Adirondack Flames 4-1

For the seventh consecutive time this season, Jacob Markstrom and the Utica Comets beat the Adirondack Flames 4-1 Saturday night at The Utica Memorial Auditorium.

In what can only be described as an All-Star performance from a goaltender who will be playing in the All-Star game later this month, Jacob Markstrom stood on his head tonight making a total of 42 saves on the 43 shots he faced from the Flames. Four separate Comets players recorded goals and rookie Brendan Gaunce (0-2-2) helped fulfill the Comets’ desire to end their two-game losing streak by tallying two assists for the night.

Brendan Gaunce
Brendan Gaunce

After last night’s scoreless venture in Hamilton, Ontario, the Comets wanted to make a quick splash on the scoreboard and that they did. Merely two minutes into the first stanza, Emile Poirer took a tripping penalty after what was already 4-on-4 play for the two clubs. Just 16 seconds after the Flames began their penalty kill, the Comets ended it at 2:08. While beginning their offensive attack, Alexandre Grenier noticed Dustin Jeffrey on his way to the crease and made the pass as the veteran forward reached Brad Thiessen’s personal space. With a spin to avoid the backhander, Jeffrey poked the puck through the veteran goaltender’s legs to abolish the Comets’ power-play drought for the 1-0 lead.

Adirondack answered back just over four minutes later on a wrap-around by David Wolf. Once the German forward realized Markstrom moved to the opposite post, Wolf switched gears and wrapped the puck on the open side for the 1-1 equalizer. Mathieu Tousignant and Nonlan Yonkman were both credited with assists on Adirondack’s first goal of the night.

At 10:57 the Comets had the go-ahead goal and never looked back. Brandon DeFazio centered a pass to Darren Archibald and a wrist shot was all it took for the Comets forward to bury it top shelf over Thiessen’s shoulder to make it 2-0. Bobby Sanguinetti received the secondary assist on the play.

In tried and true fashion, the Comets found more action in the second period of play. At 7:58 Gaunce made his way down the right wing looking for an opportunity to shoot. What looked like an odd angle to take a shot from, young rookie Will Acton tipped the puck in past Thiessen for the Comets’ third goal of the night to strengthen their lead by two.

For the Comets’ fourth goal it was re-bound central for a Comets defensemen who has not seen much action near the front of the net so far this season. After a quick shot on net by Gaunce, Thiessen left a re-bound to his right side ready for the taking. Once Kent Huskins saw the opportunity, he rushed up to bury the golden opportunity at 10:19 for his first of the year to make the score 4-1. Hometown native Mike Zalewski received the secondary assist on the play.

Kent Huskins
Kent Huskins

After Saturday night’s victory over the Adirondack Flames, the Vancouver Canucks American Hockey League affiliate now have reached a total of 51 points on the season and have widened the gap to four points over their North Division rivals. In seven games this season, the Comets have outscored the Flames 22-9.

The Comets won’t be skipping town any time soon because their next game at The AUD is this Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in the history of either franchise.

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