Jan 11, 2023
Utica, NY. – Coming back to the Adirondack Bank Center after spending a few games on the road, the Utica Comets got back home continuing the hottest streak in the American Hockey League collecting points in eleven straight games. Stepping on the ice as the second placed team in the North Division, Utica battled the cellar dwelling Cleveland Monsters and on Wednesday night. Despite being down late in the third period, Graeme Clarke managed to tie the game late while Andreas Johnsson won the contest in overtime keeping the point streak alive and the win streak to four games.
In the first period, the Monsters struck first after a puck bounced in front of the net on a goal mouth scramble right to the stick of Robbie Payne who flipped it into the cage behind Utica goalie Akira Schmid at 16:22. There would be no further scoring in the first and the Comets left the period down 1-0.
The Comets tied the game in the second period and it was the captain Ryan Schmelzer who tied the contest as he planted himself right in front of the Cleveland goaltender, Pavel Cajan. As Schemlzer stood in front, Brian Halonen sent the puck directly to him and the captain deflected it into the net at 12:47. It was the third goal of the season for Schmelzer, Dylan Blujus added a secondary assist on the tally.
The Monsters re-took the lead in the final period when Jake Christiansen fired a one-timer on a cross ice pass from Cole Fonstad at 11:03. This gave Cleveland a 2-1 advantage in the game. With less than a minute left in the period, Graeme Clarke scored to tie the game at 2-2 after his shot found the back of net for his 13th goal of the season throwing the home crowd into a frenzy. The goal was assisted by Andreas Johnsson and Reilly Walsh.
As the game headed to overtime, it was Johnsson who capped off a comeback victory with his second point and first goal of the night after he wristed a shot into the net one minute into overtime. The goal was his sixth of the season for Johnsson and the crowd roared as the home team skated away with their fourth straight victory.
The Comets will make their way back on the road for three games starting on Friday in Providence followed by a Saturday game in Bridgeport. On Monday afternoon at 1:00 PM, the team will head to Syracuse for a game against their division rival, the Crunch. The team will find their way back home on the 20th of this month when they battle Syracuse yet again. Tickets are still available. Visit www.uticacomets.com for more information