Mar 11, 2023
Wilkes-Barre, PA. – The Comets took to the road for a five-game swing which started in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins on Saturday night. As Utica stepped outside the North Division to battle an Atlantic Division foe, the Comets were riding high on a six straight games. When the smoke cleared after three periods of hockey, the Comets took two points in a point streak that reached seven games after the team used an explosive third period to propel their victory against the Penguins, 4-1.
In the opening period, the Comets started the scoring, and it was defenseman Simon Nemec that wristed a shot through traffic and into the net passed Penguins goalie Taylor Gauthier at 2:37. The goal was the eighth of the year for Nemec and it was assisted by Aarne Talvitie. The Pens tied the game in similar fashion after a faceoff win in the Comets zone and a shot by defenseman Taylor Fedun found its way through a screen at 3:46 on the glove side of Comets netminder Isaac Poulter. After twenty minutes, the game was locked up at 1-1.
The second period didn’t bring any scoring and the game remained tied at 1-1. In the final period of regulation, Brian Halonen put the Comets ahead 2-1 after his shot beat Gauthier after the nice feed from Ryan Schmelzer. The goal at 13:27 was Halonen’s 15th of the season. Graeme Clarke added a goal on a giveaway by the Penguins in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone. Clarke’s wrist shot struck at 16:08 was his 21st of the season which leads the team and it was unassisted. This put the Comets up 3-1. Joe Gambardella added an empty net goal at 18:45 for his ninth of the season slammed the door on the Penguins for a 4-1 Utica lead.
The Comets next four games after tonight will also take place on the road when the team battles Lehigh Valley on Sunday afternoon to take on the Phantoms. They will follow up with road games in Belleville and Laval to finish off the road trip before heading home on March 24th against the Syracuse Crunch at 7PM. Tickets are still available. Visit uticacomets.com for more information.