Utica, NY – The Utica Comets continued their early season dominance as they rolled past Laval with a 5-3 victory and continued to win every single game they’ve played in the 2021-22 season. The team set a franchise record for best start with their ninth straight victory.
In the first period, after a flurry of chances for the Comets, it was the captain Ryan Schmelzer who started the scoring after he deflected a Tyler Wotherspoon point shot past Laval goalie at 15:05. The first ended with 13 shots for the Comets while they only gave up five and left the first 20 minutes up 1-0.
During the second period, the Comets extended their lead after Joe Gambardella potted his fifth goal of the season after a great pass from Frederik Gauthier at 15:16. The primary assist by Gauthier was his first point as a Comet this season. The Rocket pushed back later in the period after Jean-Sebastien Dea was the recipient of a good bounce when the puck kicked out in front of the Comets’ net. Dea shot it past an unsuspecting Utica netminder Nico Daws at 12.22. With the Comets up by one, Laval struck a second time to tie the contest after Cole Caufield shot the puck from a sharp angle that bounced off Daws and into the net at 15:19. After forty minutes of play, the game ended 2-2.
In the final period of play, the Rocket took the lead after a power-play goal from Jesse Ylönen after he blasted a one-timer in at :43 seconds to give his team their first lead of the contest. But, it was all Utica after that when they tied the game after the second goal of the night from Joe Gambardella at 11:36 made the game 3-3. With only 1:43 left in regulation time, it was the eventual game winning goal potted by Graeme Clarke at 18:17 putting the Comets up for good. Marian Studenic added an empty net goal at 18:50 a the Comets skated away with a 5-3 road win.
The Comets were scoreless on the power-play on four chances while Laval struck once on two tries. The shots on goal were even at 36 each.
Tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM, the team heads to Belleville to play the Senators in their first matchup against one another this season. They will step onto the ice in Rochester on Wednesday afternoon before coming back to the Adirondack Bank Center on Friday, November 19th against the Charlotte Checkers. For ticket information, please visit www.uticacomets.com/tickets.