Utica, NY – The Utica Comets defeated the Toronto Marlies by a score of 5-2 on Wednesday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. It was the first home win for the Comets since January 11.
Andreas Johnsson gave the Marlies a 1-0 lead with three minutes to go in the opening period, capitalizing on a turnover in the Comets’ defensive zone. The unassisted goal was Johnsson’s 14th of the year.
Borna Rendulic tied the game with a backhand shot on the power play just two minutes into the middle frame. Cody Kunyk and Joseph LaBate tallied the assists on Rendulic’s sixth of the year. Andrew Nielson put the Marlies back on top with a blast from the point finding its way past Richard Bachman. Frank Corrado and Richard Clune were credited with the assists on Nielson’s 10th of the season. Wacey Hamilton tied the game with his seventh of the year just 48 seconds later. Carter Bancks and David Shields notched the assists on the shorthanded goal. The Comets struck again three minutes later when Kunyk tipped home a shot from Andrey Pedan. Jake Virtanen also picked up an assist as the Comets took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
Evan McEneny’s sixth of the year extended the Comets’ lead to 4-2 with 6:29 to go in the third period. Bancks and Kunyk tallied the assists. Curtis Valk put the game out of reach with his 14th of the year on the power play from McEneny and Alexandre Grenier.
The Comets power play went 2-5, while the penalty kill did not surrender a goal in six attempts. Bachman finished the night with 22 saves to improve his record to 11-10-2. Garret Sparks stopped 28 shots as his record falls to 13-7-0.
The Comets are back in action Friday night as they hit the road to take on the Springfield Thunderbirds. Faceoff from the MassMutual Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
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