Utica Comets Drop 1-2 To Milwaukee Admirals

The true meaning of Pink the Rink night and the money raised for Breast Cancer research and awareness overshadowed the 2-1 loss the Comets had dropped to the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night at The Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Dustin Jeffrey (1-0-1) found the Comets only goal of the night despite their onslaught of an attack on Magnus Hellberg, the American Hockey League’s number one goaltender. Hellberg stopped 30 out of the 31 shots the Comets took on him and improved his overall goals-against average to an un-real 1.68 and his save percentage to a .937.

The visitors from Wisconsin managed to put one up on the scoreboard first to take the early lead in the opening period. Richard Clune found himself to the left of Jacob Markstrom and before the Swedish goaltender could get a firm handle on the puck, Clune popped the puck between Markstrom and the goalpost at 12:11 with the help of his fellow comrades Ian White and Brendan Leipsic.

It was kind of an oddity for the Comets to have a no-goal second period, but they finally found one just past the halfway mark in the third period. At 13:15 Brandon DeFazio managed to get a point-blank shot off on net that rolled to the right of the net after Hellberg had made the save. Little to Hellberg’s knowledge, Hunter Shinkaruk grabbed the rebound and slid it across the crease for Jeffrey who netted the puck into the wide open right side of the net for the 1-1 equalizer and the Comets only goal of the game.

The game was looking remarkably better for the Comets as the clock winded down in the third period, but things took a turn for the worse with only 34 seconds remaining in the game.

After receiving a quick give and go pass from Viktor Arvidsson, Mark Van Guilder streaked down the right wing and as soon as he reached the circle, he snapped off a wrist shot to the far side which deflected off of Markstrom’s right pad and in to the net. Ian White was credited with the secondary assist on the play.

After finishing tonight’s three-game home stand, the Comets will head out on the road for an away stint that will take them right up until the AHL All-Star break. They will begin their road trip on Jan. 21 as they follow the Admirals back to Wisconsin for an 8 p.m. ET puck drop at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Three Stars: 1. MIL Magnus Hellberg (W, 30 Saves) 2. MIL Mark Van Guilder (goal) UTI Jacob Markstrom (19 Saves)

Find out about Goals and Fair Promise