Tag Archives: Utica Comets

Comets Handled by the Devils

The Utica Comets fell behind early and could not mount a comeback in a 5-1 loss to the Albany Devils on Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. It was the Comets first regulation loss at home in 11 games, dating back to Jan. 13.

Alex Friesen (1-0-1) scored halfway into the second period to stop his scoreless drought at 21 games, while Richard Bachman turned aside 27 of the Devils 32 shots on goal in the loss.

The Devils capitalized on two first period Comets miscues to jump out to a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of play. Matt Lorito and Jim O’Brien provided the first period goals for the visiting team at 7:58 and 16:12 respectively.

With under seven minutes to play in the middle frame, Alex Friesen cleaned up a rebound and batted the puck past Wedgewood for his ninth goal of the season. Ronalds Kenins and Jordan Subban assisted on the goal.

Four minutes later Nick Lappin re-established the Devils two-goal lead with a power-play goal.

O’Brien and Blake Pietila of the Devils accounted for all the third period goals for Albany’s 5-1 win.

With the loss the Comets fell to 31-22-6-3.

The Comets wrap up their fourth straight three-in-three weekend when the Binghamton Senators come to town. Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm at The AUD.

Comets Set Franchise Mark In Defeat

The Utica Comets set a new franchise high for consecutive home games with a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday night, at The AUD. The Comets have collected a 7-0-3-1 record during their streak of 11 consecutive home games with a point that dates back to Jan. 13.

Carter Bancks (1-0-1) scored the Comets’ lone goal, while Mike Pereira (0-1-1) and Taylor Fedun (0-1-1) each recorded a point with assists. Joe Cannata made 19 saves en route to his 10th loss of the season. The Comets’ league-best home penalty-kill unit was a perfect 3-for-3 and have successfully killed off 50 of their last 52 opportunites at home (96.2%).

After the Comets could not convert on several chances to start the game, the IceCaps capitalized on a defensive lapse just 2:25 into the first period. A wide open Jeremy Gregoire one-timed Mark MacMillan’s pass from the corner off of Bachman’s chest protector and in to give the visiting team a 1-0 lead.

The game remained 1-0 in the IceCaps’ favor until Bancks tied it with 10:07 left in the third period. After taking a pass from Pereira on the half wall, Bancks stepped around a defender, and beat Fucale’s glove to knot the game at 1-1. The goal was his 10th of the season and gave the sixth year forward his first 30-point season.

In overtime, the IceCaps’ Max Friberg scored 1:19 into the extra frame to give the IceCaps a 2-1 win over Utica.

The Comet fell to 31-21-6-3 with the loss, and the IceCaps improved to 28-25-8-3 with the win.

The Comets season-high five-game home stand continues Saturday night at The AUD when the Albany Devils make their final regular season visit at 7pm.

Higgins Hat Tricks Powers Comets

Chris Higgins first American Hockey League hat trick powered the Utica Comets to a 5-3 win over the Providence Bruins Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Comets regulation win snapped the Bruins 23-game point streak on home ice just two games shy of the American Hockey League’s record.

Chris Higgins (3-0-3), Taylor Fedun (0-2-2), T.J. Hensick (0-2-2), and Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) collected multi-point nights, while Kellen Jones (1-0-1) picked up the game-winning goal with his first goal with the Comets. Richard Bachman made 32 saves for his 13th win of the season. The Comets special teams were a factor in this game as the power-play converted twice on four opportunities against the third best penalty-killing team in the league. The Comets penalty-killing unit was a perfect 2-for-2 against the league’s top ranked power play unit.

Just like yesterday’s game in Albany, the due of Chris Higgins and Alexandre Grenier staked the Comets to 1-0 lead. After he received a pass from Ehrhardt, Grenier appeared to be headed around the back of the net. Before he entered the area of the ice known as “Gretzky’s Office”, Grenier slid a behind-the-back, backhand pass to the slot to Chris Higgins, who one-timed the shot past the Bruins’ goaltender for his third goal in as many games.

The Comets doubled down on their lead when they converted on their first power-play attempt of the game in the opening period’s waning minutes. With the power play unit set-up in the Bruins’ zone, Higgins passed the puck across the blue line to defenseman Taylor Fedun. From there Fedun faked a shot, and instead connected on a pass with Hensick, who was stationed in the far corner. Without missing a beat, Hensick set-up Higgins for a one-time blast from the top of the circle for Higgins’ second goal of the game, and eighth as a Comet.

The Comets appeared to be heading to the break with a 2-0 lead, however, a familiar face had other plans. Former Comets forward, Brandon DeFazio, swept a loose puck past Richard Bachman for his 14th goal of the season with 1.2 seconds remaining in the period.

The Comets power play unit rinsed, washed, and then repeated their efforts from their first power play attempt. The same three players, in the same exact order, factored into the Comets second power-play goal of the evening.  After Fedun found Hensick alone on the half wall, Hensick quickly slid the puck to Higgins in the slot for the one-timer goal to complete the Higgins Hat Trick.

As the second period came to a close the Bruins climbed back to within one once again when Frank Vatrano scored his league-leading 31st goal of the season with a wrist shot from just above the face-off dot to Bachman’s right.

After trailing since the 16 minute mark of the first period, the Bruins finally found the equalizer 5:52 into the third period. Alexander Khokhlachev took a pass from Vatrano and squeaked a shot through the legs of Bachman to tie the game at 3-3.

The Comets once again took the lead, this time for good, a little over halfway through the final period. An incredible individual effort from newcomer, Kellen Jones, ended with the puck sitting nicely in the back of the Bruins net. After Jones gained the Bruins zone, he cut across the crease and wristed a shot to the far side of the net as Jeremy Smith defended the short side.

Grenier scored his team-leading fourth empty-net goal of the season to seal the deal with 1:08 left.

With the win the Comets record improved to 31-21-5-3.

The Comets march to the playoffs takes a few days off before kicking back into high gear on Friday night at The AUD. The St. John’s IceCaps and NHL All-Star Game MVP, John Scott, kick off the Comets season-high five game home stand when they make their final trip to the Mohawk Valley for a 7pm puck drop.

Comets Drop to Albany Devils at Times-Union Center

The Utica Comets rolled into Saturday night’s game versus the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center with an all-time record of 72-0-4-0 when leading after two periods. They left with 72-1-4-0 record in such games when the Albany Devils scored three times in the third period to erase a 2-1 deficit entering the third period.

Chris Higgins (1-0-1), Taylor Fedun (1-0-1), and Darren Archibald (1-0-1) handled the scoring for the Comets, while Joe Cannata made 27 saves in the loss. The Comets penalty-killing unit was a perfect 3-for-3, including killing off a 5-on-3 power play in the first period.

With a large contingent of loud supporters in enemy territory, the Comets kicked the game off on the right foot with a goal on their first shot of the game. On a two-on-one, Alexandre Grenier slipped a cross-slot pass through a defender to Chris Higgins. Devils’ goaltender, Scott Wedgewood, was late getting to the other side of the net, and Higgins deposited his sixth goal into the gaping net. T.J. Hensick was credited with the secondary assist as his breakout pass set the stage for game’s first marker.

After the Devils tied the game at 1-1 13 minutes into the second period, the Comets regained the lead four minutes when Taylor Fedun scored his sixth goal of the season. Fedun received a pass from Alex Friesen and flipped an innocent looking shot on net from the point. The puck fought its way through traffic and snuck its way past Wedgwood’s leg pad for the 2-1 lead.

The Comets took the 2-1 lead into the third period, where before tonight, guaranteed the Comets a point. Entering tonight’s game the Comets were 72-0-4-0 as a franchise when leading after two periods, and a perfect 21-0-0-0 this season. That changed.

The Devils struck three times in a span of five minutes in the first 10 minutes of the third period. In his second game with the Devils, Nick Lappin scored his first career American Hockey League goal 4:45 into the period, and then Jim O’Brien collected his second of the evening at the 6:38 mark. Under five minutes later, Ben Thomson scored his fifth of the season, the goal served as the eventual game-winner.

With Cannata pulled for the extra attacker the Darren Archibald jammed home a rebound with 1:22 to play to claw the Comets to within one. The Comets pressured again late with the empty-net, but could not find the equalizer.

With the loss, the Comets record dropped to 30-21-5-3.

The Comets three-in-three weekend concludes Sunday afternoon with the Comets lone trip to Providence this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. With at least a point in 23 straight home games, the Providence Bruins are just two games shy of tying the AHL’s record for consecutive home games without a regulation loss.

Comets (1) UPENDED By Rochester Amerks (3)

After winning three straight games, the Utica Comets were cooled off to the tune of 3-1 by the Rochester Americans Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester. It was the just the second time this season, and the first since the American Hockey League’s opening night, that the Amerks defeated the Comets.

Chris Higgins (1-0-1) and Andrey Pedan (0-1-1) accounted for all the Comets points, while Richard Bachman made 27 saves in the loss.

The Amerks new guys once again wasted no time making a mark on the game. After scoring twice in his Amerks debut last week, Eric O’Dell staked his new team to a 1-0 lead when he flipped a rebound over the glove of Bachman, from his knees, 7:55 into the game. Cole Schneider, also acquired in the same Senators-Sabres trade, picked up an assist on the goal after grabbing three assists in his Amerks debut.

The Amerks struck again and doubled their lead just 55 seconds into the second period when Justin Bailey converted on a perfect back door feed from William Carrier.

The Comets clawed to within one in the third period when Chris Higgins redirected an Andrey Pedan shot past Ullmark at the 5:03 mark of the third period.

The Amerks added an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left to account for the final tally.

With the win, the Comets record dropped to 30-20-5-3.

The Comets three-in-three weekend continues in Albany tomorrow night at 5pm. The Albany Devils are just eight points up on the Comets for second place in the North Division.

Comets Sweep Weekend in Dramatic Fashion

Despite holding a 4-1 lead entering the third period, the Utica Comets needed Darren Archibald’s goal with 63 seconds left in the game to edge the league-leading Toronto Marlies by the score of 5-4 at the Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. With the win the Comets ended their season series with a 3-3-0-2 record, and eight out of a possible 16 points, against the Marlies.

Travis Ehrhardt (1-1-2), Jordan Subban (1-1-2), Darren Archibald (1-1-2), Brandon Prust (0-2-2), and Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) posted multi-point games, while Joe Cannata turned aside 32 of the Marlies 36 shots for his second win of the weekend.

For the third time in as many days the Comets scored the game’s first goal, kind of. The goal-scorer was Josh Leivo, forward for the Toronto Marlies, but the goal went to the Comets. While short-handed, Andrey Pedan entered the Marlies zone and looked to connect on a cross-ice saucer pass with Carter Bancks. Leivo attempted to intercept the pass put ended up deflecting it over his own goaltender’s blocker. Brandon Prust picked up an assist on the Pedan goal. The short-handed goal was the team’s 12th of the season, good for second in the American Hockey League.

After the Comets killed off a penalty to start the second period, they got right to work extending their lead. Upon entering the Marlies zone, Alexandre Grenier sliced his way through two Marlies defenders before he slipped a pass to Jordan Subban. Subban spun his way off of a defender draped on his back and beat Bibeau with a wrist shot that screamed past the goaltender’s leg pad. Carter Bancks picked up the secondary assist.

Just three-and-a-half minutes later that very same line struck again. Prust, form the half wall, found Grenier with a pass as the forward cut to the slot. Grenier quickly sidestepped a defender and rifled a wrist shot past Bibeau’s blocker to stake the Comets to a 3-0 lead. Ehrhardt collected the secondary assist on the goal.

After 95 minutes and 28 seconds of keeping the Marlies off the board, Joe Cannata finally let a Marlies shot in. Seconds after forcing a turnover in the Comets zone, Sam Carrick walked in on Cannata before he wristed a shot that kissed off of the crossbar and into the net with 4:32 left in the second period.

As the second period wound down, the Comets got the goal back. With 9.5 seconds left on the clock, Travis Ehrhardt received a pass from Jordan Subban and then hammered home a slapshot from the point for a power-play goal.

With two goals in the first 6:11 of the third period, the Marlies mounted their comeback and cut the Comets lead to 4-3. Tobias Lindberg scored the first one on the power play, and Carrick scored his second of the night with a controversial goal of his own. The refs appeared to have whistled the play dead after Cannata covered the puck with his glove. The red light went on behind Cannata after Carrick jammed the puck through Cannata’s legs and into the net. After a brief video review, the referees determined it was a good goal.

The Marlies comeback was complete when they tied the game at 4-4 with 4:13 left in the game. Colin Smith squeezed a rebound past Cannata after Viktor Loov’s first two shots were turned aside.

Cue the dramatics.

With overtime appearing imminent, Darren Archibald cleaned up a rebound with 1:03 left in the game to win it. Cole Cassels assisted on the goal as he took the first shot on net that Bibeau turned aside.

With the win, the Comets record improves to 30-19-5-3.

The Comets four-game road trip continues as the boys in blue head to Rochester to take on the newly retooled Americans on Friday night. Puck drop from the Blue Cross Arena is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Comets 2 vs. Falcons 1

The Utica Comets jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then held off the Springfield Falcons onslaught Saturday night to win 2-1 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The game came down to a matter of inches, as the Falcons had a goal waved off due to a high with 24 seconds remaining on the clock.

Taylor Fedun (0-2-2) and Alex Friesen (0-2-2) recorded multi-point nights for the Comets, while Chris Higgins (1-0-1) and Ronalds Kenins (1-0-1) handled all the scoring for Utica. Richard Bachman made 21 saves on 22 Falcons shots to secure the Comets victory.

The Comets started the game’s scoring and struck 6:55 into the first period. From the point and on the power play, Fedun let loose a shot on net that was saved by Niklas Treutle, but Chris Higgins collected the rebound and jammed the puck trickling past Treutle to give the Comets a 1-0 lead.

Utica extended its lead to 2-0, 7:46 into the second period. Ronalds Kenins ripped a shot from the left slot, and put the puck over the glove of Treutle for his third goal of the season and second in as many nights. With the goal the Latvian Olympian now has collected 14 points in his last 10 games.

The Falcons cut into the Comets lead five minutes later when Michael Bunting received a pass from Jordan Szwarz, and slipped it past Bachman to get Springfield on the board.

Springfield looked to have tied it with 24 seconds to go in regulation, but it was called off due to a high stick, sealing the Comets the 2-1 victory.

The Comets finished with 32 shots on goal, while the Falcons had 22 shots. Niklas Treutle had 30 saves for Springfield.

Utica improves to 29-19-5-3 with the win, while the loss drops Springfield to 21-29-3-4.

The Comets will look to go a perfect three for three on the weekend, as they hit the road tomorrow, traveling to Toronto to take on the first place Marlies for the second time in three days. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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.

COMETS 1 @ BEARS 5

The Utica Comets could not complete the weekend three-in-three sweep and were dropped by the Hershey Bears 5-1 on at the GIANT Center Sunday night.

Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) scored on the power-play, for the Comets only goal of the evening, while Richard Bachman made 29  saves in the loss. Ronalds Kenins collected an assist on the Comets goal to extend his point-scoring streak to five games, and has run his point total to 11 points in his last nine games.

It took almost 19 minutes, 18 combined shots, and several highlight-reel worthy saves from Richard Bachman before the game’s first goal to be scored. The Bears were the ones to strike first when Nathan Walker scored his 13th goal of the year after he emerged from the corner with the puck.

The Bears doubled down on their lead when Travis Boyd tapped in a back door, cross-crease pass, from Jakub Vrana just 52 seconds into the second period. Chris Bourque picked up a secondary assist to become the first player to 60 points this season.

A little over the halfway mark of the game Grenier found his 10th goal of the season, and second goal in as many nights. Kenins streaked across the top of circles and ripped a wrist shot on net after he received a pass from Taylor Fedun. Grenier, as he battled with two Bears defenders, redirected the shot under the arm of Dan Ellis for the power-play goal.

51 seconds later the Bears re-established their two goal lead thanks to Riley Barber. For the third time this evening, a Bears forward capitalized on a back door pass after Walker connected with Barber. The lead was stretched to 4-1 when the American Hockey League’s leading point-scorer slipped a shot past Bachman for his 24th goal of the season.

Zach Sill scored 10:45 into the third period for the Bears to cap off the game’s scoring.

With the loss the Comets record drops to 27-19-5-3 on the season, and 0-3-0-0 against the Hershey Bears.

The Comets are off until Friday night when the league-leading Toronto Marlies visit The AUD. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm.

Comets 2 @ Phantoms 1

Backed by goals from Alexandre Grenier and Jordan Subban, the Utica Comets defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the third time this season with a 2-1 win at the PPL Center on Saturday night.

Joe Cannata made 20 saves in the win, while Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1), and Jordan Subban (1-0-1) accounted for all the scoring.

After a scoreless first period the Comets wasted little time in the second period to get on the board. Just 2:28 into the middle frame Ronalds Kenins received a pass as he stepped out of the penalty box, which sprung the boys in blue on a three-on-one odd man rush. After gaining the zone, the former Latvian Olympian slipped a pass through the defender and over to Grenier who one-timed a shot past Stolarz for his ninth goal of the season. With the assist, Kenins now has a point in four straight games, and 10 points (1-9-10) in the team’s last eight games.

For 40 minutes and 33 seconds the Comets kept the Phantoms off the scoreboard entirely. That changed about halfway through the third period when Phil DeSimone one-timed a shot over the glove of Cannata to knot the game at 1-1.

The Comets restored the lead a little over eight minutes later when Jordan Subban came up clutch with a rocket of a slap shot from the point to beat Stolarz. The goal was his ninth of the season, and was assisted by Brandon Prust and Andrey Pedan.

The Comets improve to 27-18-5-3 on the season, and 69-0-4-0 all-time when leading after two periods.

The Comets wrap up their three-in-three weekend in Chocolatetown, USA against the Hershey Bears tomorrow evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 5pm from the GIANT Center in Hershey, PA.