The Utica Comets scored a franchise record five goals in the second-period on Friday to beat-up on the Toronto Marlies, 5-1, in front of a sell-out crowd at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.   With the victory the Comets keep their playoff hopes alive and move to within five points of eighth place in the Western Conference.  Utica is now at a season best two games over .500, at 31-29-4-4.

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Pascal Pelletier once again led the way with two goals, while Alex Friesen
(1-1-2) and Kellan Lain (0-2-2) also had multi-point evenings.  Winger
Brandon DeFazio and defenseman Frank Corrado also scored for Utica, which
evened its series against the Marlies at two games apiece. Joacim Eriksson
turned aside 21 of 22 shots, as he earned his 22nd victory of the season.

Toronto struck first at the 9:36 mark of the opening stanza as Peter Holland
redirected a point shot past Eriksson to make it 1-0.  Defenseman TJ Brennan
uncorked a shot from the blueline and Holland, camped out in front, tipped
home.  The point was Brennan’s 64th of the season, the most amongst all
defenseman in the AHL.  For Holland, the goal was his tenth of the season
over just 18 games.  Kevin Marshall had the secondary assist on the play.

Read about Comets Playoff hopes here.

The Comets evened things up at the 5:05 mark of the second period, as
Corrado let a point shot go that snuck through Toronto goaltender Garrett
Sparks’ legs and knotted the score at one.  Friesen and Lain picked up the
assists on the play, which gave Corrado his second marker of the season.

Utica took their first lead of the evening just over two minutes later as it
capitalized on a 4-on-3 man advantage to make it 2-1.  Henrik Tommernes
unleashed a shot wide of the net that hit the back wall and came to DeFazio,
who banked it off of Sparks and into the net.  For DeFazio, the goal was his
16th of the season, with Alex Biega collecting the secondary assist.

It took only 4:25 for the home team to strike again, as Friesen buried a
feed from Jeremy Welsh at the left post to make it 3-1.  For Friesen, the
point was his 11th over his past 12 games, with Welsh now riding a four game
point streak.  Lain also picked up his second assist of the evening on the

The Pascal Pelletier show took over at the 15:40 mark of the second period,
as the center redirected a bid from Alex Grenier to make it 4-1.  The goal
was Pelletier’s 16th of the season and Utica’s second of the evening with
the man advantage.  Grenier and Cal O’Reilly had the two assists on the
play, which chased Sparks from the net after 12 saves on 16 shots.

Pelletier added his second of the night just 2:58 later with the Comets
shorthanded. The Labrador City, NFLD native took the puck from his own zone
and went the length of the ice, blowing past his defender in the process,
before he beat new netminder Christopher Gibson on a forehand, backhand move
for the goal.  The tally marked the 15th multi-point effort from Pelletier
this season.

Utica takes to the road tomorrow for the first of five straight away from
The AUD.  The Comets travel west for the final edition of the Thruway
Throwdown this season against the Syracuse Crunch. Puck drop is set for 7:00