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Utica Comets Win at Home 3-2 in Shoot-out

Jensen-shootout
(Comets Photo by Lindsay A. Mogle)

The Utica Comets earned four of a possible six points this
weekend, as they got the best of the Lake Erie Monsters, 3-2 in a shootout
Sunday afternoon at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Comets earned the
first shootout win in franchise history as Alex Grenier scored the
game-winning goal in the fourth round to drown Lake Erie.

Listen to Don Laible’s report:

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Kellan Lain and Nicklas Jensen were the Utica goal-scorers as the Comets
have now won two in a row on home ice for the first time this season. Joacim
Eriksson turned aside 26 of 28 shots against, along with three of four in
the shootout. Jensen, Pascal Pelletier and Grenier beat Sami Aittokallio
during the shootout, as the Comets closed out the victory.

The Monsters struck first just 1:12 into the game as Mark Olver got to a
rebound first and slotted it past Joacim Eriksson.  The Swede was equal to
the task on J.T. Wyman’s original effort but could not stop Olver, who
picked up his sixth goal of the season. Winger Michael Schumacher also
picked up his first point of the season, an assist, on the play.

Lain drew the Comets even midway through the period after he unleashed a
howitzer from the top of the circles that got past Aittokallio’s glove.
Lain took a feed from Peter Andersson as he streaked through the neutral
zone, and his big shot was too much for the Lake Erie netminder. Defenseman
Alex Biega picked up the second assist on the play, his third of the season.
Lake Erie would regain the advantage on the power play as Stefan Elliot
danced through the Utica defense, and beat Eriksson blocker side from the
left circle.  Karl Stollery picked up the primary assist, while Garret Meurs
also picked up a point on the play.

The Comets took advantage of Meurs’ high sticking penalty midway through the
second period, which put his team shorthanded for four minutes. Cal O’Reilly
hit Jensen in front for his first goal in a Comets’ uniform, a big marker
that knotted the score at two. Grenier also added an assist on the play, his
ninth of the season, as the Comets scored their tenth power-play goal over
their last eleven games played.

Neither team was able to get the upper hand during the third period. The
Comets got the better of the shots on goal, with 11 as opposed to seven for
the Monsters, but could not put one home. Lake Erie had the best chance of
the final full period, but the right post bailed out Eriksson and the
Comets.

After a scoreless overtime period, the Comets were off to the shootout for
just the second time this season. After the Monsters led 1-0 following the
shootout’s first round, courtesy of a Colin Smith goal, the Comets scored
three consecutive times, including a beautiful one handed finish from Jensen
in the third round. Eriksson turned away Paul Carey, Bryan Lerg and Stefan
Elliott in consecutive fashion, before Grenier went low blocker for the game
winner.

The Comets are back in action on Wednesday when the Abbotsford Heat return
to the Mohawk Valley for the first of a two game set. The Comets are hosting
two-dollar beer night from 6-8 p.m., while offering 12-dollar tickets for
college students. The Comets and Heat will also faceoff on Friday night,
with both games set to start at 7:00 p.m.

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