Tag Archives: Lake Erie Monsters

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


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

Utica Comets Win Third In A Row


Benn Ferriero’s overtime goal gave the Utica Comets a 1-0 American Hockey League victory over the Abbotsford Heat Friday.

Joacim Eriksson made 33 saves in posting his second shutout of the season as the Comets won for the third straight time. The Comets have allowed just three goals in those three victory.

The Comets and the Heat play again Saturday in Abbotsford, and Utica (14-20-2-3) returns home to play the Lake Erie Monsters Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140125/SPORTS/140129511/10889/SPORTS#ixzz2rPDcK23G

Jensen Breaks Ice, helps Utica Comets in Shootout Win


  • It’s taken a while for Nicklas Jensen.

    “A little bit too long,” he said.

    The Vancouver Canucks’ first-round draft choice in 2011 had played 17 games for the Utica Comets without scoring a goal.

    He broke the string Sunday, converting on a power play midway through the second period to tie the game, and scoring a critical goal in the shootout to help the Comets to a 3-2 American Hockey League victory over the Lake Erie Monsters at the Utica Memorial Auditorium and bring a grueling weekend to a successful conclusion.

    Kellan Lain scored the other goal for the Comets, Peter Andersson, Alex Biega, Cal O’Reilly and Alexandre Grenier had assists, and Joacim Eriksson made 26 saves – including one on Brian Lerg on a 2-on-1 in the final minute of regulation – as the Comets (8-15-1-1, fifth in the North Division) collected four points in three games in a matter of 48 hours.

    Mark Olver and Stefane Elliott scored and Sami Aittokallio made 28 saves for the Monsters (12-12-0-2, 4th in the North Division).

    The Comets defeated the Binghamton Senators 5-2 on Friday at the Aud, were edged 1-0 by the Penguins in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, and arrived home about 2:30 a.m. after a long drive through the snow before getting the best of the Monsters.

    “It’s really nice,” said Jensen, who is still just 20 years old and who head coach Travis Green suggested will get stronger and faster as he works on his game and will earn more and more ice time. “It’s huge for us. It’s something we really need. And we deserved a point last night, too.”

    Jensen’s power play goal, on passes from Grenier and O’Reilly, knotted the game, and neither team could score after that, with Eriksson and Aittokallio both doing good work. Both teams had some great looks in the last few minutes of regulation and overtime, too, without success.

    Colin Smith scored for Lake Erie on the first try of the shootout, but Eriksson he stopped the next three attempts. Aittokallio stopped Benn Ferriero, but Pascal Pelletier and Jensen connected for the Comets, then Grenier potted the winner, giving the Comets their first two-game home win streak of the season.

    “I’m real happy,” Green said. “Tonight was probably one of our better games of the year. All three games.”

    One key element was the Comets’ ability to keep the Monsters’ power play under control a bit. Lake Erie came in having scored on the power play nine times in their previous five games. The Monsters did take the lead on Elliott’s power play score at 13:27 of the first period, but the Comets did kill the other three man-ups and that was critical.

    Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20131215/SPORTS/131219559/1020/SPORTS#ixzz2ndBi0hRw