Utica Wins 4 Straight, Another OT Win
The Utica Comets seem to have the Abbotsford Heat's number this season winning their sixth straight last night and their fourth in a row overall. It was another 4-3 OT win and the second straight night that Benn Ferriero scored the winning goal in overtime, this time just 1:10 into the extra period.
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Forward Alexandre Grenier scored two goals for the Comets and Brandon DeFazio also added a goal of his own. Pascal Pelletier collected two assists in the victory. Joacim Eriksson made 23 saves on 26 shots, as he won for the eighth time in nine starts.
The Comets picked up right where they left off in overtime last evening, as
they opened the scoring just 2:05 into the first period. DeFazio fought his
way to the front of the net and buried a feed from Jordan Schroeder, who was
set up in Gretzky’s office behind the cage. The goal was the fifth of the
season for DeFazio and the assist marked Schroeder’s first point as a Comet,
in just his second game played.
Markus Granlund evened things up 5:37 later, as he walked in from the right
circle and beat Eriksson for his seventeenth goal of the season. Max
Reinhart and Evan Trupp picked up the helpers on the play. The goal ended
Eriksson’s shutout streak against the Heat at 131 minutes even.
The Comets once again pulled ahead as Grenier collected a loose puck in the
slot and fired a quick wristshot past MacDonald to make it 2-1. Center
Pascal Pelletier picked up an assist on the play, his team leading 28th,
while Grenier’s goal was his 14th this season.
Abbotsford once again tied things up with a special teams tally, this a
shorthanded goal from Reinhart. The Heat centerman drove the front of the
net and deflected home a feed from Granlund, giving both players two points
on the evening. Reinhart’s tally was just the third shorthanded goal
surrendered this season by the Comets.
Abbotsford took a 3-2 lead 7:18 into the third period on a superb individual
effort from forward Brett Olson. After forcing a turnover from Utica
blueliner Yann Sauve, Olson picked up the puck, moved into the slot and
fired a wrist shot just under the crossbar and past Eriksson. Olson’s goal,
which came unassisted, was his seventh of the season.
The Comets knotted things up just under four minutes later as Grenier scored
for the second time tonight. MacDonald misplayed a dump in from Pelletier
and the puck came out to Grenier, who tapped it into an open net. The
marker moved Grenier into a tie for fourth amongst all AHL rookies with 15
goals on the season. Pelletier is now tied for third in the league with 29
In a déjà vu moment for the Comets, Ferriero finished off the Heat for the
second night in a row with an overtime winner. The winger carried the puck
down the right wing and put a twisted wrister past MacDonald to end the game
and give Utica the two points. Ferriero’s goal tied him with Grenier for the
team lead this season. Sauve picked up the lone assist on the play.
The Comets return to the Mohawk Valley for a three game homestand, which
begins Tuesday at The AUD against the Lake Erie Monsters. Utica will also
host the Syracuse Crunch on Friday night and the Rockford IceHogs on
Saturday evening. All three games are slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Utica is now 15-20-2-3 this season.