A three-goal third period propelled the Utica Comets to a 4-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch Saturday night at the War Memorial at OnCenter.
The new guys were the story for the Comets as Sven Baertschi (2-0-2) continued his torrid better than a point-per-game pace with the Comets, and Cory Conacher (1-0-1) scored his first goal with Utica. Goaltender Joe Cannata made 29 saves in his second American Hockey League start, and first AHL win of the year.
After a scoreless first period, the Crunch started the game’s scoring 5:41 into the second period. Bobby Sanguinetti blocked a shot from Jake Dotchin to the side of the net. Sanguinetti went to bat the rebound away, but got tangled up with goaltender Joe Cannata. Tanner Richard beat Sanguinetti to the puck and poked it past the sprawled out Cannata. Dylan Blujus recorded the secondary assist.
However, the Crunch’s lead would be brief. Jeremie Blain (pictured at top) rifled a shot on net that Allen York denied, but Baertschi was there for the rebound and golfed it into the Crunch’s net. Alex Friesen also picked up an assist on the play.
Just two minutes into the third period the Comets took the lead for good. Conacher broke into the Crunch’s zone, dropped a pass to Alex Friesen, who returned the pass right away. A flick of the wrist later gave the Comets the 2-1 lead.
After Frank Corrado rang a shot off the post, Cal O’Reilly gathered up the puck and slid a pass to Hunter Shinkaruk who was all alone in front. After he faked a pass to a Comet on the back door, Shinkaruk extended the Comets lead to 3-1 with a quick backhand shot.
Jonathan Marchessault cut the Comets lead in half with a power-play goal with just 4:33 to play in the third period. Richard and Blujus picked up their second points of the night with assists.
With just 45 seconds left the Comets emphatically slammed the door on this one. Alex Grenier broke Friesen out of the Comets zone, and into a two-on-one rush. After taking the pass, Baertschi fired the puck into the gaping net for exclamation point.
The Comets have won four straight games, and have now recorded points in five straight games.
The Comets wrap up their three-in-three weekend tomorrow afternoon in Rochester to take on the Amerks. Puck drop is set for 3:05pm from the Blue Cross Arena.