The Utica Comets scored 4:31 into the game, and could not find the back of the net again in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Brendan Gaunce (1-0-1) scored for the third time in three games, and Richard Bachman turned in yet another stellar performance and stopped 33 of the Wolf Pack’s 34 saves including several high-quality chances late in the third period.
As previously stated, the Comets scored 4:31 into the first when David Shields slipped a pass across the front of the net for Gaunce who finished it off for his ninth goal of the season. Blair Jones picked up the secondary assist.
Hartford came back to tie it at one, 15:29 into the first with a goal from Adam Tambellini. Chad Nehring assisted on the goal.
The game remained scoreless through the duration of regulation, and overtime, forcing the Comets third shoot out of the season.
After Hunter Shinkaruk and Brian Gibbons both missed on their attempts.
In Round 2, Alexandre Grenier could not convert, while Tambellini found a way to slip one past Bachman for the 1-0 advantage.
In the third round, Nicklas Jensen connected on his now patented one-handed deke to tie the shootout. Luke Adam missed to extend the shootout to the sudden death round.
After Gaunce missed in the fourth round, Marek Hrivik scored to give the Wolf Pack the 2-1 win.
The Comets finished with 26 shots on goal, while the Wolf Pack had 32 shots on the night. Jeff Malcom made 25 saves for Hartford.
The loss drops the Comets to 14-10-2-2 on the season, and the Wolf Pack improve to 12-15-2-0 with the win.
The Comets will try to extend their road-winning streak to eight games, as they travel to Rochester to take on the Rochester Americans the day after Christmas. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.