The Utica Comets snapped their five-game losing streak after defeating the Toronto Marlies 3-2 in overtime Saturday afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum.
Joacim Eriksson earned first star of the game honors after saving 35 shots on the 37 he faced and tallied an assist on the Comets second goal of the game. Eriksson’s assist was the first point to be recorded by a Comets goaltender in franchise history. Dustin Jeffrey (1-0-1), Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) and Andrey Pedan (1-0-1) helped push the Comets towards their overdue victory.
Even though the Comets dominated the beginning half of the first period, the Marlies started to find their feet at 12:39 when Troy Brodie received the puck in the center slot from Connor Brown. Brodie released the puck and popped it past Eriksson for the first goal of the game and the 1-0 lead.
The Marlies didn’t let the Comets penalty kill statistic (90.8 percent on the road) get into their heads because the Toronto based club found their second of the game just four seconds after a holding penalty was called on the Comets rookie forward, Hunter Shinkaruk. Brendan Mikkelson received the puck directly off the face-off from William Nylander and blasted the one-timer in to the mesh for the power-play goal and the 2-0 lead.
Jeffrey and the Comets wasted no time getting on the board once the second period began. Barley two minutes in to the period, Jeffrey rushed into the right of the slot and fed one to the front of the net but Antoine Bibeau failed to cover the puck. The re-bound was left for the taking and once Jeffrey retrieved the puck he was left alone in front and sniped it over Bibeau’s right shoulder to get the Comets within one.
It wasn’t until the end of the second, but the Comets finally found the equalizer at 16:50. Grenier found his ninth of the season after releasing the puck directly from the left dot which ended up blazing through Bibeau’s short side to make it 2-2. Kent Huskins was credited with the secondary assist for his first of the season.
The two teams couldn’t come agree on a score after three periods, so an overtime period was necessary to determine the winner.
Fortunately for the Comets, just before play was pushed to 3-on-3 play in the overtime period, they found themselves in a 3-on-1 situation in the attacking zone and after a quick feed from Alex Friesen, Pedan knocked in his first of the season for the game-winning goal to make it a 3-2 final decision.
After Saturday night’s win, the Comets will head to Glens Falls next Friday for back-to-back games against the Adirondack Flames. The Comets are undefeated through seven games this season against the Flames.
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