The Utica Comets fell into an early hole that they could not dig themselves out of en route to a 4-1 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday evening at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Comets record now sits at 2-8-1-0.
Captain Carter Bancks (1-0-1) (featuredimage) potted the Comets lone tally on the evening while Alexandre Grenier (0-1-1) picked up an assist to extend his point streak to four games. Richard Bachman recorded the loss with a 24-save performance in his third consecutive start.
The Comets fell behind just 2:19 into the game when Corban Knight collected his third goal of the year after he capitalized on a defensive zone turnover. The Comets had plenty of first period chances that they failed to convert on, highlighted by a Colby Robak breakaway that beat the Phantoms’ goaltender but rang off the goal post.
The second period gave the Comets plenty of chances to tie the game up with three early power-play opportunities to begin the third period. The Comets seemingly good fortunes backfired as they allowed a short-handed goal to Reece Willcox six minutes into the period. Less than four minutes later Colin McDonald added to the Phantoms tally when he capitalized on another Comets defensive zone turnover.
A penalty shot goal from Nicolas Aube-Kubel staked the Phantoms to a 4-0 lead before the Comets finally put a goal in of their own.
After he received a pass from Grenier, John Negrin fired a shot through traffic that Alex Lyon kicked to the side. However, Bancks pounced on the rebound and picked up his third goal of the season.
The Comets successfully killed off all three of the Phantoms’ power-play opportunities, and have successfully killed off seven of their last eight penalties.
The Comets six game homestand continues tomorrow night at The AUD. The Comets welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack to The AUD for the first time this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.