For the first time this season, the Utica Comets locked up against the Laval Rocket on Friday night inside a sold-out Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY. As the crowd roared to salute the Veteran’s Day Heroes throughout the night, the Comets gave them more to stand up and shout as they scored four goals on the night. Despite the goals scored, it wasn’t enough to hold off Laval who skated away with a 5-4 decision in overtime.
In the first period, Laval got onto the scoresheet first after Gabriel Bourque snuck a shot that just got passed rookie netminder Isaac Poulter at 8:19 putting Laval up 1-0. The Rock didn’t waste time scoring a second goal of the game and this time it was Anthony Richard who pounced on a rebound off the pad of Poulter at 12:43. The Comets, now down 2-0, registered their first tally of the game and it was on the power-play. As Brian Halonen placed a pass directly on the blade of forward Zach Senyshyn, it deflected perfectly over Laval goalie Kevin Poulin and into the net at 16:03. It only took just over two minutes to tie the game and it was Sam Laberge who made a diving play to slice the puck over a sprawling Poulin at 18:15. The goal, making it 2-0 was assisted by Nikita Okhotiuk and Aarne Talvitie. The Comets, pumped up from the roaring crowd took 16 seconds to grab a lead. Andreas Johnsson fired the puck into the cage at 18:31 from Ryan Schmelzer and Michael Vukojevic. After twenty minutes of play, the Comets skated into intermission with a 3-2 lead.
In the second frame, the Comets allowed a shorthanded goal to Laval when Danick Martel rifled a puck off the crossbar and in over the blocker of Poulter at 3:51. This goal tied the contest 3-3. The Comets proved they had more offense left in the tank and it was a perfectly executed two-man advantage goal by Brian Pinho at 12:22 that put Utica up, 4-3. The cross-ice pass by Andreas Johnsson helped Pinho score his fourth goal in as many games. As the period continued, it was Xavier Simoneau who took the perfect pass and blasted a one-timer into the Comets net at 18:57. At the end of two periods, the Comets and Rocket were tied at 4-4.
In the final period of regulation, the stars of the stanza were the goaltenders who were stellar all period long and forced the game to an extra session where Anthony Richard scored the game winning goal on a breakaway with one minute left in the period to win the game.
Poulter made 30 saves on 35 shots while Kevin Poulin stopped 30 of 34 on the night. The Comets scored two power-play goals on six opportunities while Laval went 0-2. The Comets are back on the ice tomorrow night to take on the Syracuse Crunch on the road at 7:00 PM. The team makes their way back into the Adirondack Bank Center at 7:00 PM on Saturday night against the Rochester Americans.