The Utica Junior Comets NCDC Team played the second of their three-game series against the NCDC Connecticut Junior Rangers.
For the second time in two days, the NCDC Utica Junior Comets and NCDC Connecticut Junior Rangers met on Saturday at the Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut. On Friday night, Connecticut jumped out to a three-goal lead in the second period that resulted in a 4-2 victory for the home team. On Saturday, the Junior Rangers took a 3-1 lead in the third period before the Junior Comets roared back to tie the game, before ultimately losing in overtime in a game that featured forty total PIM between the two teams.
The first period saw a barrage of shots on goal, with Utica goaltender Alex Musielak facing fifteen and his Connecticut counterpart Alexander Bonrouhi facing twelve (Bonrouhi was making his second start in as many days). Despite a combined total of twenty-seven shots on goal, the only tally of the period belonged to Connecticut’s Jack Arizo – who notched his second goal of the season.
The Junior Comets had a golden opportunity to tie the game early in the second period when three consecutive minor penalties taken by the Junior Rangers gave the visitors over four minutes of power play time – including one minute and twenty-four seconds at five on three. Utica could not take advantage and despite a total of thirty-five shots on goal (twenty-two by Utica and thirteen by Connecticut), no goals were scored at the score remained 1-0 after forty minutes of play.
The scoring floodgates opened in the third period, starting with the Junior Comets tying the game at the 7:03 mark on a goal by Michael Herrera. The tie score would be shortlived, as one minute and thirty-four seconds later, Billy Shields scored his second goal of the season to give the Junior Rangers the lead back. They added to that lead just thirteen seconds later when Jextinian Sheffield scored to make the score 3-1. Just over three minutes later, however, Utica got a power play goal from Andrew Martino to cut the Connecticut lead to one and set up a comeback bid for his team.
The Junior Comets got another goal with just fifty-eight seconds left when Vladislav Pschenichnikov scored to send the game to overtime. In the extra period, Utica’s Mitchell Floccare took an interference penalty at the 1:39 mark to give Connecticut a power play. The Junior Rangers did not convert on that chance, but shortly after it ended, Sheffield scored on his team’s seventh shot of the overtime period to give Connecticut a 4-3 victory.
Notes: Connecticut outshot Utica 51-47…Utica was 1/5 on the power play while Connecticut was 0/5…Eight separate Junior Comets recorded a point, Jextinson Sheffield (two goals, Jack Arizo (one goal and one assist), and Billy Shields (one goal and one assist) led the Junior Rangers in scoring with two points each…Alex Musielak made forty-seven saves for Utica, Alexander Bonrouhi made forty-five saves for Connecticut…The teams play the third and final game of this series on Sunday at the Chelsea Piers at 11:30 am EDT.