Comets 4 @ Albany 3 (OT)

Propelled by Michael Zalewski’s two-goal performance in his first game back in the line-up, the Utica Comets defeated the Albany Devils 4-3 in overtime at the Times Union Center on Friday night. Zalewski, fresh off of his first call-up to the Vancouver Canucks, scored the Comets first goal and then the game-winning overtime goal just 46 seconds into the extra frame.

Jordan Subban (1-1-2), and Chris Higgins (0-2-2) joined Zalewski (0-2-2) as multi-point scorers. Andrey Pedan (1-0-1) also scored for the Comets. Richard Bachman turned aside 22 of the Devils shots en route to his eighth win of the season.

One of the league’s premier power play units struck the very first chance they got 12:27 into the game. From one knee, Reid Boucher one-timed a cross rink pass past Bachman from the top of the face-off circle to stake the Devils to a 1-0 lead.

After the first period ended, a mini-melee ensued in Bachman’s crease after Tropp barreled into the Comets goaltender as he tried to stuff a rebound into the net. The end result gave the Comets a power play opportunity a minute into the second period.

With the man advantage, Michael Zalewski stuffed home a rebound to tie the game at 1-1. Jon Landry fired the initial shot that set up the Comets tying goal.

The Comets power play unit struck again early on in the third period when Jordan Subban sniped a wrist shot over the glove of Danis from the top of the face-off circle. Ronalds Kenins and Chris Higgins tag-teamed added assists on the goal.

The lead was short-lived as Reid Boucher scored his second of the night for the Devils just a 80 seconds later.

The Comets re-established the lead when Andrey Pedan’s slap shot fought its way through a screen set by Carter Bancks and through the legs of Danis. The goal, scored at the 7:31 mark of the third period, was Pedan’s third of the year for the Comets.

Last season’s Most Valuable Player, as a member of the Manchester Monarchs, came back to continue to haunt the Comets. Brian O’Neill crashed the net hard and somehow found a way to force the puck across the goal line with just 1:59 left in regulation. Travis Green challenged the call, but after a quick review by the officials the call on the ice stood.

Just 46 seconds into overtime Zalewski struck again. The New Hartford, NY native stripped Marc-Andre Gragnani from behind, and walked in all alone on the Devils goaltender. Uncontested, Zalewski darted to Danis left and quickly beat the goaltender stick side for the game-winning goal.

With the win the Comets record improves to 18-17-3-3.

The Comets finally return home to The AUD on Saturday night to take on the Rochester Americans at 7 pm.

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