Wednesday, October 28, 2020
P.A.L Junior Islanders (0-5-0) – 4
Utica Jr Comets (1-3-0) – 5
The Jr. Comets picked up their first win of the season Wednesday afternoon in Wayne, New Jersey after starting the season 0-3-0. The Comets were last in action October 3rd, 4th, and 5th where they lost to Rockets Hockey Club and Jersey Hitmen (twice) by a combined score of 18-0.
After almost 200 minutes without scoring a goal, Tyler Morin (Charleston, SC) broke the ice for Utica at 17:23 of the first period. Corey Popowcer (Parkland, FL) and John Gutt (Middletown, NJ) assisted. After allowing a short-handed goal early in the second, Gutt tallied his first of the season putting the Comets back up by one goal. Morin and Luke French (Olathe, KS) assisted on the goal. PAL tied things at two with 4:50 left in the middle stanza.
The back and forth battled continued in the third right down to the final minute. Michael Giampapa (Ridley Park, PA) assisted on a Ben Kuzma (Sewickley, PA) goal only 1:26 into the third giving Utica another one goal lead. The lead lasted for just about five minutes until the Junior Islanders tied the game once again. Kuzma answered back 33 seconds later giving Utica a 4-3 lead on his second goal of the game. Donald Borgula (Canton, MI) and Riley Brennan (Manorville, NY) assisted on the power-play goal.
The game was tied once again at the 8:17 mark setting the stage for an exciting final ten minutes. With only 46.2 seconds remaining Sam Techel (Wausau, WI) moved the puck from the point to Kuzma who fed the puck into the slot where Giampapa one-timed it home. The goal the Comets a 5-4 lead and ultimately their first victory of the season.
Cameron Whitehead (Orleans, Ontario) stopped 29 of 33 shots in his third start of the season.
Utica is back in action this weekend against Rockets Hockey Club at Bridgewater Sports Arena in New Jersey. The 7-0-1 Rockets beat the Junior Comets 6-0 on October 3rd.