In the last regular season game of the season, the Utica Comets fell to the Binghamton Senators 4-2 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Sunday afternoon.
Brandon Marino (1-0-1) and Brendan Gaunce (1-0-1) scored the Utica goals and Ronalds Kenins (0-1-1) and Carter Bancks (0-1-1) each finished with an assist. Joe Cannata made 25 saves in the loss.
Utica dominated out of the gates and kept the puck in the Senators zone for most of the first period. The Comets finished with an 18-5 shot advantage.
Marino got the Comets on the board first after a perfect setup by Kenins. Bancks zipped a pass up ice to Kenins, and he carried the puck down the left side of the ice. Kenins sent a perfect pass across to Marino as he streaked down the right side of the ice and found the back of the net with a one timer.
Ryan Rupert got the Senators first goal of the game to tie it at one. Rupert received a pass from Buddy Robinson and was able to put a shot past Cannata, 4:53 into the second.
Gaunce got Utica back on top, as he turned defense into instant offense, 1:33 after the Binghamton goal. Gaunce stole the puck away from a Binghamton defender in the Senators zone and sent a shot on goal as he was falling to his knees. Gaunces 17th goal of the season snuck past the glove side of the netminder for a 2-1 Comets lead.
The Senators didn’t go away easy, though. Binghamton was able to tie the game again when Casey Bailey put a pass in front of the net and Matt Puempel picked it up and was able to squeeze it past Cannata.
Bailey gave the Senators their first lead of the game late in the third. Cannata knocked down a shot from Puempel, but Bailey was waiting for the rebound and put it in for a 3-2 Senators lead.
The Senators closed it out with an empty net goal off the stick of Max McCormick to give Binghamton a 4-2 win.
Utica was able to get 40 shots on goal, while Binghamton finished with 29 shots. Joe Cannata made 25 saves for the Comets and Chris Driedger made 38 saves in net for the Senators.
Utica falls to 38-26-8-4 on the year and Binghamton improves to 31-38-6-1.
The Comets will now head to the playoffs where they will look to make another run to the Calder Cup Finals.