FINAL: Comets 4 vs Marlies 0

The Utica Comets came out of the gates firing on all cylinders Friday night, striking twice in the first period, on their way to defeating the Toronto Marlies 4-0 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Joe Cannata stopped all 33 Marlies shots to send the American Hockey League’s top offensive team off with their first shutout loss of the season.

Darren Archibald (2-0-2), Ronalds Kenins (1-1-2), Alex Friesen (0-2-2) and Andrey Pedan (0-2-2) lit up the scorer’s sheet with multi-point efforts, and Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) scored his 11th of the season in the win. The Comets league-leading home penalty-killing unit went a perfect 4-for-4 to improve their success rate to 91.7% at The AUD.

Utica got on the board early with a goal just 3:09 into the first period. Friesen carried the puck down the left side of the ice and sent a perfect pass to Grenier who rifled a one-timer into the back of the net for his 11th goal of the season.

The Comets scored again a little over eight minutes later to double their lead to 2-0. After taking a pass from Carter Bancks, John Negrin skated the puck behind the Marlies net, and sent a pass to Ronalds Kenins who was parked in the crease. Kenins initial shot was turned aside by Antoine Bibeau, but Kenins gathered his own rebound and finished it off for his second goal of the season.

The Comets extended their lead 14:46 into the second when Archibald brought the puck down the left side of the ice, cut across the slot, and fired a rocket over the glove of Bibeau to make it 3-0.

Archibald connected for his second of the game in the third to cap off the scoring. Pedan sent the puck towards the net, Archibald fought off a couple of Marlies defenders in a scrum and poked the puck past Bibeau, making it 4-0.

Utica finished with 28 shots on goal and Toronto had 33 shots on the night. Bibeau made 24 saves for the Marlies. With the win, the Comets improve to 28-19-5-3, while the loss drops the Marlies to 43-11-4-0.

The Comets will stay at home on Saturday as they welcome the Springfield Falcons to the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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