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Comets Fall at Home Friday Night

The Utica Comets connected twice on the power play but could
not quiet the Sound Tigers in a 5-3 defeat at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
The Comets fell to 1-8-1-1 on home ice this season as their struggles at The
AUD continued.

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Patrick Mullen, Benn Ferriero and Yannick Weber were the goal scorers for
the Comets in a game that marked just the third regulation loss when Utica
scored three or more goals.  Ferriero had a three-point night with points on
each of the Comet goals, while Cal O’Reilly had a two-point night with a
pair of helpers and Weber picked up an assist for his first multi-point game
of the season.  Joacim Eriksson made 27 saves on 32 shots and was handed his
ninth loss of the season in regulation.

The Sound Tigers struck first midway through the first period as Alan Quine
beat Eriksson for his second of the season.  After an extended shift in the
offensive zone by Bridgeport, a tired Utica defensive group turned the puck
over in front of their own net and Quine capitalized, going to his forehand
to beat a sprawling goaltender.

Bridgeport doubled its advantage with less than three minutes to play in the
stanza as Jon Sim snuck one past Eriksson on the short side.  Sim took an
outlet pass from Riley Wetmore and fired one in stride from the left hand
circle which Eriksson could not keep out. The goal was the first of the
season for Sim, while Wetmore picked up his seventh career point, his sixth
this year.

The Comets cut the deficit in half off of a nice play from Brandon DeFazio,
who led a 2-on-1 rush and dished off a beautiful feed to Mullen, who buried
it past Milner. Mullen’s goal, his fourth of the season, moved him past
Henrik Tommernes for the team lead amongst defensemen.  DeFazio and Ferriero
each picked up their sixth assists on the season on the play.

Bridgeport extended its lead to two goals for the second time on a marker
from Mike Halmo. Halmo’s goal, his team leading ninth of the season, came
from an outside shot that got past a screened Eriksson. Ryan Strome and
Andres Lee picked up assists on the play.

The Comets once again responded as they scored for sixth time in seven games
on the power play.  For the second time in as many games, Ferriero unleashed
a one timer from the left hand circle off of a feed from Cal O’Reilly and
the shot beat Milner near post. Yannick Weber extended his scoring streak to
six games with the second assist on the play.

Bridgeport struck just before the end of the middle frame to make it 4-2 on
a Matt Donovan goal.  Lee put the puck through Eriksson’s legs and into the
crease where Donovan was on hand to bang it home.  The goal was the second
of the season for the Bridgeport defenseman, who has now recorded five
points in five games played since being loaned from New York. Strome also
picked up an assist on the play, his 21st of the season, which leads the
AHL.

Bridgeport extended its lead to 5-2 on a nice individual effort from Strome,
who recorded a three-point night of his own.  The Mississauga, ON native
took the puck at center ice and was able to separate space from the Utica
defense before he unleashed a wrist shot past Eriksson. The goal capped off
a three-point night for Strome and moved the young center into a tie for the
AHL lead in points at 29.

The Comets got one back on the power play with 9:25 on the clock courtesy of
a blast from the point by Weber, who picked up his second point of the
evening. The Swiss defenseman collected a pass from Ferriero and unloaded a
slapshot past Milner.  O’Reilly also picked up his second point of the
evening with the secondary assist.

Milner held his own down the stretch and was able to deny all Utica chances
to secure his first career AHL win. The Boston College product turned aside
28 of 31 shots he faced as he was victorious in just his third appearance in
the league.

The Comets are right back in action tomorrow as they travel to Glens Falls
for their first regular season meeting with the Adirondack Phantoms.  The
Comets defeated the Phantoms during a pre-season meeting in Rome, NY as Alex
Friesen led the way with two goals.  Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. from the
Glens Falls Civic Center.

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