Nov 14, 2021
The Best Start In Franchise History: When the Comets defeated the Laval Rocket on road last night with a dramatic third period comeback, they set the record for the best start in franchise history winning their ninth straight game. The best start to ever begin an AHL season belongs to the historic Rochester Americans franchise when they won their first 11 games to start the 1984-1985 season.
Last Night: The Utica Comets continued their early season dominance as they rolled past Laval with a 5-3 victory and continued to win every single game they’ve played in the 2021-22 season. The team set a franchise record for best start with their ninth straight victory.
In the first period, after a flurry of chances for the Comets, it was the captain Ryan Schmelzer who started the scoring after he deflected a Tyler Wotherspoon point shot past Laval goalie at 15:05. The first ended with 13 shots for the Comets while they only gave up five and left the first 20 minutes up 1-0.
During the second period, the Comets extended their lead after Joe Gambardella potted his fifth goal of the season after a great pass from Frederik Gauthier at 15:16. The primary assist by Gauthier was his first point as a Comet this season. The Rocket pushed back later in the period after Jean-Sebastien Dea was the recipient of a good bounce when the puck kicked out in front of the Comets’ net. Dea shot it past an unsuspecting Utica netminder Nico Daws at 12.22. With the Comets up by one, Laval struck a second time to tie the contest after Cole Caufield shot the puck from a sharp angle that bounced off Daws and into the net at 15:19. After forty minutes of play, the game ended 2-2.
In the final period of play, the Rocket took the lead after a power-play goal from Jesse Ylönen after he blasted a one-timer in at :43 seconds to give his team their first lead of the contest. But, it was all Utica after that when they tied the game after the second goal of the night from Joe Gambardella at 11:36 made the game 3-3. With only 1:43 left in regulation time, it was the eventual game winning goal potted by Graeme Clarke at 18:17 putting the Comets up for good. Marian Studenic added an empty net goal at 18:50 the Comets skated away with a 5-3 road win.
Gambardella Continues to Score: After registering a hattrick earlier this month, the goal scoring has continued for Comets winger, Joe Gambardella. The Staten Island, New York native scored another goal last night against the Laval Rocket in route to a franchise record ninth straight win to start the season. Playing with Nolan Foote and captain Ryan Schmelzer, Garmbardella now has five goals scored in his last 4 games played.
The New Guys Factor into Victory: Being sent down from the New Jersey Devils, forwards Frederik Gauthier and Marian Studenic both had assists on game winning goals in the last two games. Studenic assisted on the game winner which was scored by Fabian Zetterlund against Syracuse on Thursday afternoon and Gauthier had the primary assist on the goal scored by Graeme Clarke versus Laval on Saturday afternoon.