Utica, NY – The Utica Comets suffered a 7-4 defeat to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Sunday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Jordan Subban struck first for the Comets, burying a wrister past goaltender Alex Lyon. Borna Rendulic and Michael Carcone tallied the assists on Subban’s 11th of the year. The goal was the only score of the period.
Andrey Pedan extended the lead to a 2-0 score 4:30 into the middle frame with a slap shot goal. Pedan’s fourth of the season was assisted by Jake Virtanen and Cody Kunyk. Shortly after the goal, Chris Conner cut into the Comets’ lead, depositing a rebound on the power play for his 16th of the year. Corban Knight and Andy Miele were credited with the assists. The Phantoms tied the game a minute later when Robert Hagg unloaded a slapshot from the point that beat Thatcher Demko. Samuel Morin and Radel Fazleev picked up the assists on Hagg’s sixth of the year. Kunyk returned the Comets to a one-goal lead with a shorthanded tally at 17:51 of the second. Pascal Pelletier and David Shields picked up the assists on Kunyk’s eighth of the year. TJ Brennan tied the game again just 26 seconds later, netting his 15th of the year. Travis Sanheim and Danick Martel notched the assists as the Comets and Phantoms remained tied at three through 40 minutes.
At 5:34 of the third period, Hagg gave the Phantoms their first lead of the afternoon with his second of the game and sixth of the season. Scott Laughton tallied the assist. A minute later, Brennan netted his second of the game to give the Phantoms a 5-3 lead. Conner and Greg Carey were credited with the assist. Alexandre Grenier brought the Comets back to within one with a blistering shot off the pipe past Lyon on the power play. Evan McEneny and Demko had the assists on Grenier’s 15th of the year. It was Grenier’s first goal in eight games. Brennan and Cole Bardreau picked up empty netters to seal the victory.
The Comets power play went 1-6, while the penalty kill surrendered two goals in six attempts. Demko stopped 26 shots and his record falls to 9 -11-4. Lyon stopped 43 of 47 shots to improve his record to 21-10-2.
The Comets are back in action Monday afternoon against the Albany Devils. Puck drop at the Times Union Center is scheduled for 1 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
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