Feb 9, 2022
Home and Home Part 1: The Comets stepped onto the ice against the Springfield Thunderbirds for the first time this season and left the game with a victory by a 5-1 score at home last Saturday night.
In the first period, it took the Comets just thirty-eight seconds to get on the board. Defenseman Kevin Bahl sent a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and into the back of the Springfield net for his second goal of the season. Bahl’s tally was assisted by A.J. Greer and Frederick Gauthier. With under three minutes to go in the frame, the Comets extended their lead to two when Brian Flynn jammed in a rebound on the edge of the crease for his 100th AHL point. Bahl and Nolan Foote recorded assists on the goal.
In the second period, the Comets got off to another strong start. At 5:06 of the period, Fabian Zetterlund sent a pass across the offensive zone and into the wheelhouse of Aarne Talvitie, who hammered a one-timer in to put the Comets ahead by three. Just three minutes later, Joe Gambardella extended the Comets lead to four. Reilly Walsh’s one timer went wide of the net and ricocheted out to Gambardella who sent a backhand shot through two Thunderbird defensemen and in. At 13:37, Springfield forward Nathan Walker scored off a pass from Sam Anas to make it a 4-1 game heading into the second intermission.
In the third period, Comets goaltender Akira Schmid made some spectacular saves to prevent Springfield from cutting into the Comets lead. At 14:19, A.J. Greer added an empty net goal that was assisted by Alexander Holtz and Walsh. The Comets skated away with the 5-1 victory.
Comets Leading Scorers: The team’s leading scorer heading into the week is Chase DeLeo who has registered 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 points in 27 games played. Following him is Fabian Zetterlund with a team leading 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points in 34 games played. Reilly Walsh leads all d-men in scoring with six goals and 24 assists for 30 points in 38 games. Alex Holtz is the team’s leading rookie scorer with 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points in 24 games. Tyler Wotherspoon leads the team in plus/minus with a +21 rating but is off the represent Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Forward AJ Greer is currently on a six game point streak scoring four goals and five assists in that time.
The Standings: The Comets remain atop the North Division with 37 games played and 27 victories. Holding a record of 27-6-5 gives Utica 59 points which is 14 points ahead of the next team, the Toronto Marlies. The Marlies have played two fewer games that Utica as of today. The Comets winning percentage of .776 ranks them at the very top of the entire league. In their last 10 games played, the Comets are 7-2-1.
The Weekend: The Comets will be back in action at home on Friday and Saturday when they take on their divisional opponent, the Cleveland Monsters. Both games take place at the Adirondack Bank Center with a 7:00 PM puck drop.