Utica, NY – The Utica Comets suffered a 3-2 defeat against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Josh Archibald opened the scoring 12 minutes into the game. Kevin Porter and Cameron Gaunce were credited with the assists on Archibald’s ninth of the year. Tim Erixson extended the Penguins lead to 2-0 after blasting a slapshot past Richard Bachman for his third goal of the year. Sestito and Porter picked up the assists as the Penguins took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second period went scoreless but both teams had their share of chances. Bachman and Casey DeSmith were up to the task as Bachman stopped 11 shots and DeSmith made seven saves in the middle frame.
The Comets finally got on the board when Alexandre Grenier fired a shot from the point past DeSmith for his 14th goal of the year. Curtis Valk and Colby Robak had the assists. The Penguins struck back three minutes later as Derrick Pouliot punched home his second goal of the year. Gaunce was credited with the assist. With the goaltender pulled, Evan McEneny brought the Comets back to within one for his fourth goal of the year scored with 2:25 left in the final period. Valk and Grenier racked up the assists on the one-timer tally. Grenier’s assist was his 100th in the AHL. The Penguins withstood a late flurry from the Comets to preserve the 3-2 victory.
The Comets power play went 1-3, while the penalty kill was perfect, killing off two attempts.
Bachman finished the night with 27 saves as his record falls to 9-8-2. DeSmith stopped 27 shots to improve his record to 13-2-2.
The Comets are back in action Saturday night as they take on the Syracuse Crunch in game seven of the Galaxy Cup series. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
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