Utica, NY – The Utica Comets fell to the Toronto Marlies by a score of 6-4 on Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Brendan Gaunce opened the scoring just 1:32 into the first period. Jordan Subban and Colby Robak picked up the assists on Gaunce’s first goal since April 17, 2016. Chad Billins would extend the lead to 2-0 on his second goal of the year at 9:30 of the first frame. Curtis Valk and Borna Rendulic notched the assists. With 8.4 seconds left in the period, Andreas Johnsson’s 11th of the year from Kerby Rychel and Byron Froese got the Marlies on the board.
The Marlies tied the game on a power play strike from Dymtro Timashov at 6:15 of the second period. Colin Smith and Frank Corrado had the assists on Timashov’s eighth of the year. At 12:48, Froese’s 21st of the season gave Toronto the lead on another power play goal from Trevor Moore and Seth Griffith. Griffith’s third of the year would make it 4-2 Marlies with a minute left in the second period.
The Comets stomred back as the third period began. Wacey Hamilton’s sixth of the year, scored unassisted, brought the Comets back to within one just 33 seconds into the final period. Two minutes later, Carter Bancks tied the game with his seventh goal of the year. Billins and Hamilton tallied the assists. Moore retook the lead for the Marlies with his seventh of the year just three minutes later from Smith and Corrado. Johnsson would get the empty netter to seal the 6-4 victory.
Thatcher Demko made 25 saves as his record falls to 9-9-4. Garret Sparks stopped 35 of 39 shots to improve his record 12-6-0.
The Comets power play went 0-2, while the penalty kill surrendered four goals in five attempts.
The Comets continue the weekend set of games with a 7:05 p.m. faceoff against the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
The Comets return home on Sunday for a 5 p.m. faceoff against the Syracuse Crunch. Following the game, is an open skate with the players for all fans in attendance. Fans must bring skates into the arena with them as no re-entry will be allowed.
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