Springfield, MA – The Utica Comets fell to the Springfield Thunderbirds by a score of 5-2 on Friday night at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to an early lead with a goal from Mackenzie Weegar 5:30 into the game. The defenseman scored his team leading 11th goal with assists from Ian McCoshen and Ryan Horvat. Borna Rendulic scored the first Comets goal for the third straight game with a wrist shot that was reviewed by the officials. After the video replay was watched, the goal stood to tie the game at 9:05. Cody Kunyk and Evan McEneny tallied the assists to tie the game at one through one period of play.
The Thunderbirds exploded for three goals in the second period. Chase Bailsy tallied his ninth of the year at 7:42 with a power play score. Jayce Hawryluk and Weegar assisted on the goal. 3:03 later, Shane Harper extended the lead with his seventh of the year. Horvat assisted on the goal to move the game to a 3-1 score. The final goal of the period was a shorthanded tally by Juho Lammikko at 17:20 with an assist from Kyle Rau.
Richard Bachman was pulled in favor of Thatcher Demko to begin the third period. The Comets closed the gap with a goal from Chad Billins at 4:38. The defenseman received a pass in the slot from Wacey Hamilton and scored his third of the year. Michael Carcone also assisted on the goal. Paul Thompson scored his eighth of the year to finish the scoring with 48 seconds left on a rebound. Denis Malgin and Horvat assisted on the goal.
Bachman finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots and fell to a record of 11-11-2. Demko made 10 saves on 11 shots in the third period. Mike McKenna stopped 32 of 24 shots to improve his record to 7-10-7. The Comets power play couldn’t score a goal in six opportunities, including a double-minor man advantage late in the game. The penalty kill stopped one of two Thunderbirds power plays.
The Comets return to the AUD Sunday for a 3 p.m. faceoff against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!.
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