Binghamton, NY – The Utica Comets lost by a score of 4-3 in regulation against the Binghamton Senators on Friday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veteran Memorial Arena.
The Comets struck first with a tally from Curtis Valk at 5:26. Darren Archibald found the forward in the slot for his eighth goal of the season. Colby Robak continued his assist streak by collecting the secondary assist. Just under a minute later, the Senators tied the game at one. Chris Rumble fired a slap shot from the blue line that deflected off the helmet of Alex Krushelnyski. His second of the season was also assisted by Ben Harpur.
The early stages of the second period was controlled by the Comets as the team continued pressure in the offensive zone but could not solve the Senators goaltender, Matt O’Connor. With 5:02 left in the frame, Casey Bailey gave the Senators the first lead of the night. His eighth of the year was scored on a one-timer from Jason Akeson. Nick Paul also assisted on the goal. With 3.2 seconds left, Bailey extended the lead with his second of the night and ninth of the year. The rebound goal was assisted by Mike Blunden and Chad Nehring. Through two periods of play, the Senators led the game by a 3-1 score.
Borna Rendulic brought the game within one just 6:07 into the third period. The scoring play began with Darren Archibald playing the puck behind the net and off the end boards to David Shields. The defenseman quickly moved the puck to the opposite end of the crease for Rendulic’s second of the season. With the game favoring the Senators 3-2 late in the game, goaltender Thatcher Demko would begin to be pulled for the extra attacker. Max McCormick stole the puck in the Senators zone and fired it into the open net for his fifth of the season. Demko was caught close to the bench and the play was registered as a goal against him. A penalty against the Senators was drawn shortly after their goal. Demko was removed for the extra attacker and Jake Virtanen deflected a Jordan Subban shot for his third of the season. Alexandre Grenier collected the other assist. Despite keeping Demko on the bench in efforts to tie the game, the Comets could not find the back of the net and suffered a 4-3 loss.
Demko fell to a record of 7-5-1 with 24 saves. O’Connor improved 4-8-1 with a 30 save performance. Utica scored once on three power play chances and killed all five penalties.
The Comets returns to action Saturday night in Syracuse against the Crunch at 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on 94.9 KROCK or viewed on AHL Live.