The Utica Comets scored in bunches on Wednesday night and gave their fans thanks, the night before Thanksgiving, when they defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 7-1 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday night.
Alex Biega (1-1-2), Alex Friesen (1-1-2), Taylor Fedun (1-1-2), Carter Bancks (0-2-2), and Wacey Hamilton (1-1-2) all enjoyed two-point nights. Blair Jones (2-0-2) scored twice, and Joseph LaBate (1-0-1) potted his first professional goal, while Joe Cannata made 27 saves in the win.
The Comets jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead just 2:33 into the game when Alex Friesen won an offensive zone face-off clean, stepped around the opposing centerman, and rifled the puck past Anthony Stolarz. The unassisted goal was Friesen’s second of the season.
Fedun doubled the Comets lead to 2-0 just five minutes into the second period with his third goal of the season. On the power play, Fedun fired a wrist shot to the right of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Biega and Friesen assisted on Fedun’s goal.
The Comets then took a 3-0 lead 15:26 into the second, when Biega put a one-timer into the net off of a perfect pass from Linden Vey for his first goal of the season. Nicklas Jensen also assisted on the goal.
Wacey Hamilton would score just 1:50 later to give the Comets a 4-0 lead. Hamilton came down the right side of the ice, made a move to get past the goalkeeper, and backhanded the puck into the net for his second goal of the season. Bancks and Fedun collected assists on the tally.
The Comets completed their four goal third period when Blair Jones scored his fifth goal of the season. Jones fired a slap shot off the post, and in after he received a pass from Darren Archibald.
Jones tic-tac-toe goal 3:03 into the third period stretched the Comets lead to 6-0. Wacey Hamilton stole the puck away from a Phantom defenseman, quickly passed it to Carter Bancks who dished it off to Jones to finish off in front of the net for his second goal of the game and sixth of the season.
The Phantoms finally got on the board at the 9:11 mark of the third period with a goal from Aaron Palushaj.
Joseph LaBate capped off the Comets’ scoring with his first goal as a professional. LaBate received a pass from Ronalds Kenins, and finished it off with a wrist shot to give the Comets a 7-1 lead. Jordan Subban also assisted on the play.
The Comets outshot the Phantoms 33-28. The Comets power play went 1-for-6, while the penalty-killing unit was a perfect 3-for-3.
With the win, Utica improves to 7-8-1-1 on the season. The loss drops the Phantoms to 8-10-1-0. The Comets are now 3-0-0-0, and have outscored opponents 18-2 in their new green alternate sweaters.
The Comets will be on the road for their next game, as they will travel to Portland, ME to take on the Florida Panthers AHL affiliate, Portland Pirates on Friday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.