COMETS HOST PHANTOMS ON NEW YEARS EVE

comets-host-phantoms-on-new-years-eve

Dec 31, 2021

Against the Phantoms: The last time the Comets took to the ice was way back on December 17th in an overtime victory against the Cleveland Monsters. Since then, the Christmas break, coupled with covid related issues, sidelined the Comets and their schedule. Now, the team is raring to go again and will meet a team they defeated previously inside the Adirondack Bank Center back on October 29th. It was a 5-2 victory for Utica with goals coming from Nate Schnarr, Nikita Okhotiuk, Fabian Zetterlund and Alex Holtz (2). During that night, the Comets were down 2-0 but roared back for the victory. Chase DeLeo potted three assists and Nico Daws was victorious making 31 saves on 33 shots.

The Previous Game: The Comets met the same team they defeated at home back on December 10th in their last game, the Cleveland Monsters and this time, on the road in Cleveland, the Comets skated away with another win, this time in dramatic overtime fashion back on December 17th.

After a scoreless first period that saw Utica goalie Mareks Mittens make 11 saves on 11 shots, the Comets got the on board and it was the captain who struck first. At 16:22, Ryan Schmelzer deflected a point shot from Tyler Wotherspoon and beat Monsters netminder Daniil Tarasov. Reilly Walsh was credited for the secondary assist and the Comets were up 1-0. But, on the ensuing shift, the Monsters Kevin Stenlund knocked in a loose puck off the right pad of Mittens and shoveled it into the net at 16:55. This tied the game at 1-1. This came as Mittens made several great saves in close. With teddy bear toss night at the Rocket Mortgage Field House, the teams went to their respective dressing rooms as the bears were collected.

In the final period of regulation, with just 1:28 remaining, the former Utica Comet forward Brendan Gaunce scored on a wrist shot to beat Mittens and put his team up 2-1. The Comets pulled the netminder for a six on four advantage, Fabian Zetterlund struck after a Chase DeLeo shot bounced off traffic in front, Zetterlund located the puck and immediately fired it past Tarasov at 19:22 tying the game at 2-2.

As overtime started, the Comets started with a power-play and it didn’t take long. Just one minute in, Zetterlund scored his second goal of the game after taking the perfect pass from Reilly Walsh. Zetterlund ended the game and silenced the stunned crowd as the Comets skated away with their 18th win of the season.

Reinforcements on the Way:  The General Manager of the Utica Comets, Dan MacKinnon, announced the team has recalled two players from the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL including forwards Tyler Irvine and Samuel Laberge and signed goaltender David Tomeo to an amateur tryout contract.

Laberge, 24, 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward skated in eight games with the Comets this season scoring two goals and two assists for four points. For the Adirondack Thunder this year, Laberge is averaging a point-per-game pace with two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 11 games played. Last season, Laberge played 50 for the Allen Americans in the ECHL where he scored 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points placing him tied for fourth in team scoring.

Irvine, 25, currently leads the Thunder in scoring with 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 21 games played. Irvine, a forward, spent last season with Binghamton registering one goal and three assists for four points in 25 games. Irvine, 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, spent four seasons at Merrimack College where he captained the club in his senior season leading the team in points (27) and goals scored (13). In four years at Merrimack, the Livonia, Michigan native skated 139 games tallying 30 goals and 33 assists for 63 points. Irvine scored his first professional goal last season against the Hershey Bears on April 3rd.

Tomeo, 22, hails from West Caldwell, New Jersey stands 6-foot-1, 190-pounds was most recently rostered at Sacred Heart University. During the 2019-20 season, Tomeo spent time in the North American Hockey League playing for Minnesota and Johnstown.

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