Jan 8, 2022
Last Night’s Win: It was the first meeting of the season between the Utica Comets and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Comets came up with an overtime victory at home inside the Adirondack Bank Center by a 6-5 score.
In the early minutes of the game, the Comets took two penalties to put the Penguins on the 5-on-3. The Penguins were able to capitalize on the man advantage opportunity when Valtteri Puustinen scored off a pass from former Comet Mitch Reinke. The Comets answered back at 14:57 when Alexander Holtz hammered home a rebound in front of the net. Just two minutes later, the Comets took a 2-1 lead off a goal from Brian Flynn. Chase DeLeo fed a pass to Jeremy Groleau whose shot made its way through traffic before being redirected by Flynn. At 7:34 of the period, the Penguins tied the game up thanks to a goal from Jordy Bellerive. The action packed first period ended with the teams tied at 2-2.
The Comets got off to a strong start in the second period, scoring less than five minutes into the frame. It was Chase DeLeo with another nice pass, this time to Nate Schnarr who fired one past the Penguins goaltender to give the Comets a 3-2 lead. Then, Ryan Schmelzer intercepted a Penguins breakout pass and buried a goal to put his team up by two halfway through the period.
In the third period, it was the Penguins who found the back of the net first. At 16:09, Jan Drozg put home a rebound to make it a 4-3 game. Minutes later, Penguins forward Valtteri Puustinen scored his second goal of the night to tie the game. At 8:33, the Penguins took the lead thanks to a goal from former Comet defenseman Taylor Fedun. The Comets responded four minutes later with a goal that was set up by a highlight reel passing play. The puck went from the stick of DeLeo to Holtz, who then found Frederik Gauthier alone in front for the goal.
The teams were tied at five goals at the end of regulation, sending the game into overtime. Neither team scored in the extra frame, so a shootout was needed to decide the winner. In the first round, both Alexander Holtz and Anthony Angello scored. In the second round, Fabian Zetterlund scored a goal what would end up being the final goal of the shootout to give the Comets a 6-5 win.
Roster Movement: The New Jersey Devils announced this week that they have loaned forward Alexander Holtz and defenseman Kevin Bahl to the Utica Comets. In addition, the Devils have recalled forward AJ Greer and defenseman Colton White to the team’s taxi squad.
Holtz, 19, a first-round draft pick of the Devils taken seventh overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft skated in 11 games for the Comets this season. During that time, Holtz scored six goal and four assists for 10 points. Bahl, 21, has played 19 games for Utica registering two assists. Both men are expected to be in the lineup when the Comets battle the Penguins on Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center at 7:00 PM.
Comets Leading Scorers: The team’s leading scorer heading into the weekend is Chase DeLeo who has registered six goals and 17 assists for 23 points in 16 games played. Following him is defenseman Reilly Walsh who leads all d-men in scoring with four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in 24 games. Fabian Zetterlund is in third with nine goals and 8 assists for 17 points in 18 games played. Tyler Wotherspoon leads the team in plus/minus with a +18.
Hartford Leading Scorers: Anthony Greco leads the Pack in scoring with seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points in 26 games played. He is followed by Tanner Fritz with has four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 24 games. Currently, they are led on the blue line by Braden Schneider who has eight assists on the season in 23 games. The Wolfpack have three goals on the roster with Adam Huska leading in games played at nine with a record of 2-5-2 and a .915 save percentage with a 2.46 goals against average.