Utica Comets Over the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2

In their first ever meeting the Utica Comets defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 Wednesday evening The Utica Memorial Auditorium to improve their overall season record to 24-8-5-0.
Dustin Jeffrey (2-1-3) ‘pictured above) led the way for the Comets with three points. Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) and Carter Bancks (1-0-1) registered the other two goals for the Comets to help finalize the Comets four-goal night. Jacob Markstrom started in his second game in a row and put on another stellar performance for the fans at The AUD by saving 26 on the 28 shots he faced from the Griffins.
After an entertaining, yet scoreless first period, the Comets found the back of the net at 1:04 after the start of the second stanza. In a play that can only be credited to Brendan Gaunce for the successful set-up, Jeffrey received the puck just as Gaunce had slipped it over the blue line past a Griffins defenseman. Once Jeffrey was in all alone with Griffin’s goaltender Jared Coreau, he unleashed a quick deke on an attempt to bury one on the backhand. Coreau was able to deflect the shot with his pad but Jeffrey quickly picked up the rebound to the right of the net. With a little patience, Jeffrey noticed Coreau was out of position and took the opportunity to bury it from an awkward angle, which ended up going far-side top-shelf for the 1-0 lead.
Alex Grenier
Alex Grenier
Exactly two minutes and five seconds later, Jeffrey scored his second goal of the night on a power-play opportunity. It began with a shot from Grenier from the point who got it inside of the blue paint for Brandon DeFazio. After some puck fumbling in front, Jeffrey retrieved the puck to the right of Coreau and without any hesitation, Jeffrey snapped it into the mesh to make it 2-0.
Later on in the period at 12:31, the Griffins decided to answer back on a power play of their own just 15 seconds after Andrey Pedan went to the box for a tripping call. Alexey Marchenko banged one in from the point directly past Markstrom to keep the score within one. Scott Czarnowczan and Marek Tvrdon were both credited with assists.
Luckily for the Comets, Brennan Evans took a slashing penalty on Gaunce just prior to the ending of the second period. The power-play opportunity carried into the third period of play, which is exactly where the Comets found their next goal.
At 1:01 into the third period, Jeffrey led the attack at the point and fed the puck over to Sanguinetti on the right side. Sanguinetti took one hard blast and the puck met Grenier’s stick in front of Coreau’s net. The puck ended up deflecting and snuck past Coreau for the Comets second power-play goal of the night to make it 3-1.
Just 38 seconds later, the Griffins found their second goal of the night while setting up on the attack in the Comets zone. After receiving a pass from Mitch Callahan, Ryan Sproul took a slapshot from the point towards the Comets net. Andy Miele met with the puck halfway to its destination and deflected the shot past Markstrom to make the score 3-2.
Carter Bancks
Carter Bancks
The Comets finally put an end to the madness at 19:02 just after the Griffins had pulled Coreau for the extra-attacker. Carter Bancks guided the unassisted puck to the empty net for his fourth goal of the season for a final decision of 4-2.
It’s Pink the Rink night this Friday in what will be the Comets third and final game of their three-game home stand. The breastcancer awareness and fundraising event will host the Milwaukee Admirals at The AUD for a 7 p.m. matchup in what will be the first meeting this season between the two clubs. Immediately following the game, there will be a live auction for the Comets pink-accented jerseys at center ice. All money raised will be donated to the Breast Care Center of the Regional Cancer Center at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare.

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