For the second time in as many nights, overtime was necessary to settle the game between the Utica Comets and Oklahoma City Barons. This time, overtime wielded much better results for the home team after a tip-in goal gave the Comets a 2-1 victory over the Barons at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday night. The Comets have now evened up the series 1-1 with a win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) (pictured above) was the hero of tonight’s game with the game-winning overtime goal and an assist on Adam Clendening’s (1-1-2) equalizer in the third period. Jacob Markstrom kept the Barons quiet after letting in one during the first period. Markstron, the first star of the game, stopped 22 of the Barons’ 23 shots on goals and lowered his playoff goals against average to 1.62.
The Jones twins put the Comets behind early in the game after a first period goal that saw Kellen Jones receive an assist on Connor Jones’ rebound goal at the 8:10 mark. The twins added another tally to their identical point total (3) in the five games Oklahoma City has played thus far in the playoffs.
After a scoreless and evenly fought second period, Utica got the home crowd standing on their feet for the first time since the beginning stanza of Game 1. Clendening came to the rescue just 1:31 into the third period with a slapshot from the right point. With traffic in front, the puck slipped through Richard Bachman to give the Comets the equalizer. Alexandre Grenier was credited with the primary assist, and Cal O’Reilly grabbed the secondary assist.
Déjà vu blanketed The AUD as the clock winded down in regulation with a 1-1 tally remaining on the scoreboard.
Unlike Thursday, only one overtime period was necessary as Grenier tipped in a shot from Clendening between the left post and Bachman’s leg pad for the 2-1 overtime game-winning goal at 3:23. Cal O’Reilly also tallied an assist for his second of the game and his ninth of the playoffs.
After playing nine full periods of hockey (and then some) split between two games, the Comets and the Barons will continue the Western Conference Semifinals (Game 3) in Oklahoma City this coming Monday at the Cox Convention Center at 8 p.m. ET.