Tag Archives: Brandon DeFazio

Utica Comets are still Hanging In There: Comeback Shootout Victory

Image

Some how, some way, the Utica Comets are still alive.

Down 2-0 with eight minutes to play, the Comets came back on goals by Jeremy Welsh and Cal O’Reilly (pictured above), played through a scoreless overtime, went into a shootout without their top scorer and got four saves from Joe Cannata and goals from Alex Friesen and Brandon DeFazio to down the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 Friday.

A crowd of 12,386 watched the game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. It was the 44th one-goal game for the Comets and 20th that has gone to overtime or beyond.

The Comets, who also defeated the Monsters 3-2 Thursday on Pascal Pelletier’s overtime goal – the teams have met eight times this season and have played seven consecutive 3-2 games, with the Comets winning five of them – stayed alive in the race for the eighth and final American Hockey League Western Conference playoff spot. The Comets are 33-30-5-4 for 75 points and can climb within two points of a berth depending on the outcome of the Oklahoma City at Abbotsford game late Friday.

The Comets, Rochester, Oklahoma City, Charlotte and Rockford all remained in the running for the final berth as of late Friday.

See more about the Utica Comets

Pelletier’s OT goal gives Comets win. Utica remains alive in playoff battle

Image

Pascal Pelletier scored a power play goal with assists from Henrik Tommernes and Cal O’Reilly just 24 seconds into overtime, and the Comets defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 Thursday in Cleveland.

The Comets have 73 points with five games to play in a desperate six-team battle for the last American Hockey League Western Conference playoff spot, currently held by the Charlotte Checkers with 77 points.

It was sixth 3-2 decision in seven games between the teams, with the Comets winning four times. Utica has a 4-3 edge overall in the series, with concludes with another game at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Pelletier, Utica’s scoring leader (19-40 – 59), connected from his favorite spot in the right faceoff circle as the Comets skated 4-on-3. They got the extra man when Lake Erie’s David van der Gulik was called for tripping as the final horn sounded in regulation. The Monsters had tied the game on Michael Schumacher’s goal at 15:42 of the third.

Brett Clark scored early in the second period to give Lake Erie the first lead, Brandon DeFazio tied it with his 17th goal at 14:17 with help from O’Reilly and Patrick Kennedy, and the Comets took the lead on Jeremy Welsh’s goal at 13:38 of the third. Kellan Lain and Alex Friesen assisted on that one.

Schumacher scored on the power play shortly after that, and then the teams headed to the overtime.

Joacim Eriksson made 19 saves for the Comets. Sami Aittokallio made 29 stops for Lake Erie.

After tonight’s (Friday’s) game, the Comets get a night off before traveling to play the Phantoms in Glens Falls at 5 p.m. Sunday, then return to the Utica Memorial Auditorium for games with Rochester Wednesday, Toronto Friday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday to finish the regular season.

Read more about the Comets victory.

In other news

Rob Esche knows Trevor Linden a bit.

They played against each other in their National Hockey League days, although the Utica Comets president and former goalie can’t recall if Linden, who collected 375 goals in a 22-year career, ever put the puck past him.

I can’t remember,” Esche said. “I’m sure he did.”

Esche also is sure Linden’s appointment as president of the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday morning is a good thing for the Comets, Vancouver’s American Hockey League affiliate. Linden, among British Columbia’s most popular athletes, past or present, was named to the position a day after the Canucks fired general manager Mike Gillis. Vancouver, coached by John Tortorella – briefly a member of the Mohawk Valley Stars during training camp in 1983 – bowed out of playoff contention earlier in the week.

It’s an exciting time to be in the Vancouver organization,” Esche said. “It’s been terrific working with them all season long.”

Read more about the new Vancouver president

2013-14 AHL All-Star Team

WOW! Utica Comets Take Down Toronto Marlies 5-1

Image

Pascal Pelletier (pictured above) got the first of 5 goals.

To some eyes, the Utica Comets were flat as a pancake.

They trailed the Toronto Marlies 1-0 after the first period, had been outshot 9-3 and had definitely gotten the worst of the territorial battle.

“We weren’t really flat, but we needed a little energy,” Pascal Pelletier said.

They got it early in the second period, when Darrren Archibald traded some big, heavyweight punches with Toronto’s Brad Staubitz, and Alex Mallet dropped the gloves with the Marlies’ Brad Ross just a couple of minutes apart.

“It got the boys going and it got the crowd going, and we got the train rolling,” said Pelletier, who played a large role in the whole thing.

The Comets suddenly ripped off five goals in 13 and half minutes, rumbling to a 5-1 victory over the Marlies before a nominal sell-out crowd of 3,815 – there were quite a few empty seats – Friday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, keeping their flickering American Hockey League playoff hopes alive.

It was the first game in a third straight three-in-three weekend for the Comets, who head up the road to Syracuse to play the Crunch today, then immediately leave for Toronto to play the Marlies again at 3 p.m. Sunday. Utica (31-29-4-4, 70 points) trails Charlotte, which holds the last Western Conference playoff berth, by five points, is four points back of Rochester and three behind Oklahoma City, and has a game in hand on all of those teams.

Pelletier scored on the power play and shorthanded to cap Utica’s explosive second period run, and Frankie Corrado, Brandon DeFazio and Alex Friesen scored the other goals. Kellan Lain had two assists for the Comets, Friesen, Henrik Tommernes, Alex Biega, Jeremy Welsh, Alexandre Grenier and Cal O’Reilly had the others, and Joacim Eriksson made 21 saves.

Friesen, the Comets’ small – he is listed at 5-foot-10, 186 pounds, which most would say is generous – and highly energetic forward, had another good night playing with Lain and Welsh. He thought the Comets did a much better job of managing the puck and keeping the Marlies in their end in the second period – Utica had a 14-6 shot bulge – but agreed that Archibald and Mallet played big parts as well.

See more about this great game

Upcoming 3-Game Weekend Critical for Utica Comets

Image

It’s another full weekend for the Utica Comets, this time with three games in a space of 44 hours.

And there is much hanging in the balance.

The Comets are still trying to somehow scratch and claw their way into the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs. They 30-29-4-4 for 68 points and are seven points out of the eighth and final berth in the Western Conference with nine games to play.

They seem eager to get after it.

The Comets play the Toronto Marlies tonight ( 7 p.m. FRIDAY) at the Utica Memorial Auditorium , head up the road to play the Syracuse Crunch at 7 p.m. Saturday, then head immediately to Toronto to play the Marlies again at 3 p.m. Sunday.

It’s obviously a grind, but it’s why you play the game,” said forward Brandon DeFazio, the only Comet to play all 66 games this season. “It’s an opportunity to play three big games in a weekend. … It’s exciting. It really is.”

Read more about this exciting weekend

Brandon DeFazio has been named the Utica Comets’ IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year Award winner.

DeFazio is being honored for his contributions to the Utica community during the 2013-14 American Hockey League season. It is the third consecutive time he has been named his team’s Man of the Year, after previous honors with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2011-12 and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2012-13.

DeFazio has been involved in a number of activities, including Utica’s Quality of Life Sweep with several teammates and preparing and serving meals at the Rescue Mission of Utica. The team later raised $32,000 for the Rescue Mission at its March 7 game. He also has volunteered at local schools, libraries and hospitals and has assisted at practices of the Utica Jr. Comets.

More on Brandon DeFazio

Utica Comets Working Hard at Playoff Spot: 4-3 Over Milwaukee Admirals

ImageImage

Pascal Pelletier (top picture) called it “Standard Comets Hockey”. Coach Travis Green (bottom picture)  called it:”Hockey where you grind it out, gut it out, get greasy”.

You do what needs to be done to win a game.

The Utica Comets did just that again Sunday, for the seventh time in the last nine games, completing a three-game weekend after a 4-3 shootout American Hockey League victory over the Milwaukee Admirals before a sellout crowd – their 12th of the season – at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The Comets picked up four points in the three days to climb within five points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and pushed past the .500 mark for the first time this season (29-28-3-4) in what has been a remarkable turnaround after an0-8-1-1 start.

Alexandre Grenier, Pelletier and Brandon DeFazio scored in regulation, Pelletier, DeFazio and David Marshall scored in the shootout, and Joacim Eriksson denied three of five Milwaukee attempts in the shootout to earn the victory, the Comets’ sixth by a single goal in their last seven wins.   🙂

Read more about this great game

Utica Comets keep drive alive, down Abbortsford Heat 3-1

ImageImage

Colin Stuart scored two goals, Brandon DeFazio added another, and Joacim Eriksson made 38 saves as the Utica Comets downed the Abbotsford Heat 3-1 Saturday night in British Columbia.

It was the ninth win in 13 games for the Comets (27-27-3-4, 61 points), who had a four-game win streak broken by the Heat Friday. The Heat, missing many of their top players for a variety of reasons, have just one win in their last 10 games.


Read more:
http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140316/Sports/140319413#ixzz2w7l0pYmK

The Comets will be off until next weekend, when they will be very busy – the Adirondack Phantoms visit the Utica Memorial Auditorium Friday, the Comets go to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday, and then play the Milwaukee Admirals Sunday at the Aud.

 

Calahan Patrick O’Reilly is Utica Comets Hero in Victory Over Penguins on Irish Night

ImageImage

The Utica Comets styled it “Irish Night,” and wore green, shamrock-decorated sweaters.

Naturally, Calahan Patrick O’Reilly took it all to heart.

O’Reilly set up Brandon DeFazio’s dramatic tying goal with just 7.2 seconds to play in regulation, then, after five minutes of scoreless overtime, scored the only goal of the shootout on the last attempt of the night, bringing down a roaring, sold-out house at the Utica Memorial Auditorium and giving his team a 2-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“Luck of the Irish for us tonight,” said O’Reilly, who has been a reliable and creative puck-possessor and playmaker (4 goals, 25 assists) since joining the team 15 games into the season. “It was a huge comeback for us, getting two points that we really need, in front of this crowd.”

DeFazio Wins It In Overtime for Utica Comets Hockey

ImageImage

Brandon DeFazio scored at 4:02 of overtime to give the Utica Comets a 2-1 American Hockey League victory over the Syracuse Crunch in front of a capacity crowd of 6,380 Friday at the Onondaga War Memorial in Syracuse.

Ferriero Does It Again, Utica Comets Nail Abbotford Heat

Image

Benn Ferriero scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the second straight night as the hot Utica Comets edged the Abbotsford Heat 4-3 Friday.

The goal, Ferriero’s 15th of the season, extended his point streak to eight games, and gave the Comets their fourth consecutive victory and sixth straight over the Heat, including three in overtime.

After winning both games of their out and back trip to British Columbia, the Comets are 15-20-2-3 for 35 points. They are 15-12-1-2 since starting the season 0-8-1-1.

Alexandre Grenier added two goals for Utica – his 14th and 15th, the second of which tied the game 3-3 at 11:13 of the third period – and Brandon DeFazio had the other. Pascal Pelletier had two assists, and Jordan Schroeder and Yann Sauve had the others, with Sauve passing ahead to Ferriero for the winning goal. Joacim Eriksson, playing his third straight game, made 23 saves.

Markus Granlund, Max Reinhart and Brett Olson scored the other goals for the Heat (26-15-2-1), and Joey MacDonald made 35 saves.

Schroeder, a former first round draft choice who broke his ankle playing for the Vancouver Canucks early in the season, played the two games in Abbotsford with the Comets and had five shots Friday and an assist Saturday. It’s unknown whether he’ll be with the team when the Lake Erie Monsters visit the Aud Tuesday.

The Comets trail the fourth-place Monsters by just two points in the North Division.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140126/SPORTS/140129481#ixzz2rWuZOVQ3