For the first time this season the Utica Comets have strung together three straight wins with a 4-1 win over the Portland Pirates at the Cross Insurance Arena, on Friday night.
Richard Bachman made 29-saves in his second victory as a member of the Comets, while Carter Bancks (2-0-2), Taylor Fedun (1-0-1), and Blair Jones (1-1-2) provided the goals for the visiting team.
A Pirates turnover in their defensive zone led to Bancks’ third goal of the season. Defenseman Ashton Sautner collected the loose puck just inside the blue line, and flicked a shot on net. Bancks, from just below the hashmarks, deflected the puck past Mike McKenna to open the game’s scoring.
After a scoreless second period, Fedun gave the Comets some breathing room with a power-play goal late in the third period. With less than seven minutes left in the game, Fedun lasered a one-time slap shot through traffic and past McKenna. Hunter Shinkaruk and Linden Vey recorded assists on the goal.
The 2-1 game received an inflated score when the teams combined for three goals in the game’s final two minutes. In between empty-net goals for Bancks and Jones, the Pirates managed to break-up Bachman’s shutout bid with just 1:10 remaining when Chase Balisy redirected a shot up-and-over the Comets’ goaltender.
With the win the Comets’ record improved to 8-8-1-1 on the season, while the win dropped the Pirates’ record to 7-9-0-0 this season. The Comets power play converted on one of their three power-play attempts, while the penalty-killing unit successfully killed all five of the Pirates power plays.
The Comets and Pirates get right back at it tomorrow night in Portland for the final game of a two-game series. Puck drop from Cross Insurance Arena, in Portland, ME, is scheduled for 7pm. The Comets return home on Wednesday for a rematch with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm, and a limited amount of tickets are available for purchase.