Comets Rewind - Mar 10, 2014
The Utica Comets (26-26-3-4) have gone streaking and now sit at .500 for the first time this season. The Comets won all three games this past week and are winners of four in a row, which puts them only seven points back of a playoff spot with 17 games to go.
Wednesday, March 5: Utica Comets 4 – Oklahoma City Barons 3 (SO)
-Nicklas Jensen scored the shootout winner as the Comets were able to pick up the two points despite giving up a late third period lead.
-Jensen also finished with a helper on the night along with a team-high five shots on goal.
-Alex Friesen bagged his first goal of the season, while Pascal Pelletier (11) and Colin Stuart (13) also found the back of the net.
-Frank Corrado, Patrick Kennedy, Kellan Lain, Cal O’Reilly and Jeremy Welsh all had one assist on the evening.
-Joacim Eriksson made 32 saves, five of those coming in overtime before stopping four of the five Barons shootout attempts.
Friday, March 7: Utica Comets 2 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1 (SO)
-Brandon DeFazio (10) got the Comets on the board with eight seconds remaining in the third period to send the game to overtime, while Cal O’Reilly scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the Comets to their third straight victory.
-After a scoreless first period, the Penguins got on the board just 1:12 into the middle stanza to make it 1-0, which remained that way until DeFazio’s goal in the dying seconds.
-Joacim Eriksson turned aside 32 shots for the second consecutive night, before stopping all five Penguins shootout attempts, including one from former Canucks forward Andrew Ebbett.
-DeFazio led all Comets skaters with four shots on goal.
-Alex Mallet dropped the mitts for the second time this season, taking on Penguins forward Bobby Farnham. Mallet landed some big bombs to earn the victory.
-Eriksson was named the game’s first star, while O’Reilly was named second star and DeFazio was third star.
-3815 were on hand for Irish Night. The Comets wore special green jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. Eriksson’s went for $4000, which was the most out of all players.
Saturday, March 8: Utica Comets 6 – Binghamton Senators 5 (SO)
-Despite trailing 4-0 early in the second period, the Comets never gave up on Saturday, coming all the way back to win 6-5 in a shootout in one of their grittiest efforts of the season.
-For the second straight night, Brandon DeFazio (11) sent the game to overtime for the Comets, this time on a shorthanded effort midway through the third period.
-Alex Biega (2), Alex Friesen (2), Ray Kaunisto (2) and Pascal Pelletier (12) also tallied for the Comets.
-Kellan Lain and Cal O’Reilly both finished with two helpers on the night, while Biega, Friesen, Pelletier, Kent Huskins and John Negrin all had one.
-Fatigue may have played a factor for Joacim Eriksson, who was replaced early in the second period after giving up four goals on 16 shots. Joe Cannata came on in relief and turned aside 27 of the 28 shots he faced and then four of the five shootout attempts he saw.
-DeFazio and Pelletier were the Comets goal-scorers in the shootout.
-Biega had a team-high four shots on goal, while David Marshall led all skaters with a plus-2 rating.
Comet of the Week
This one was tight. If it wasn’t for 24 minutes on Saturday, Joacim Eriksson would probably take the nod, but we can’t go wrong with Brandon DeFazio this week, who was clutch for the Comets in two of their three games. The product of Oakville, Ontario had a quiet game on Wednesday, but responding with the tying goal on both Friday and Saturday night for the Comets, while also scoring the shootout winner on Saturday. DeFazio finished the week with eight shots on goal and now has 23 points (11-12-23) and 73 penalty-minutes in 59 games.
The Comets make their third and final trip out to Abbotsford this coming weekend as they get set for a pair of games against the Heat (33-21-5-2). Utica is 6-1-1 against the Heat this season, including a perfect 4-0-0 in Abbotsford.