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Cleveland Monsters defeat the Utica Comets

The first-place Cleveland Monsters defeated the Utica Comets 3-2 on Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.

The Utica Comets hosted the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday night in each team’s final game before the holiday break. After a wild contest that featured a combined fifty-seven shots on goal and fifty-two penalty minutes, the Monsters returned to Cleveland with a 3-2 win.

Graeme Clarke opened the scoring with 1:38 remaining in the first period with a power play goal. After gaining control of the puck, he curled and fired a wrist shot past Monsters goaltender Pavel Cajan and in. It was Clarke’s team-leading tenth goal of the season and the only tally of the period.

Utica Comets vs Cleveland Monsters Game Preview 12-23-23

The visitors tied the game early in the second period on a goal by Roman Achan. The Cleveland forward beat Comets netminder Nico Daws from the slot and he put back a rebound off the endboards. just over eight minutes later Achan set up Jake Gaudet for his second goal of the season. Achan forced a turnover in the Comets end and fed a cross-ice pass to Gaudet, who beat Daws from the bottom of the right circle.

The physicality began to ramp up in the closing five minutes of the middle frame. It boiled over with just under two minutes left after the Monsters made contact with Daws for the third time in the period. A brawl broke out, and when it was done it was Cleveland’s Carson Meyer who assessed an extra two minutes – putting the Comets on the power play.

It took Utica only eight seconds to capitalize on the opportunity. Kyle Criscuolo put a rebound off a Justin Dowling shot in the back of the net. The second period closed with the score tied at two.

The visitors responded by outshooting the home team 12-4 in the third period. Although his penalty allowed the Comets to tie the game, Meyer would get his revenge. His power-play goal with 6:38 remaining gave Cleveland a 3-2 lead they would through the remainder of the game. The Comets and Monsters will meet again on January 12th in Utica.

The Utica Comets are now off until December 27th, when they travel to Lehigh Valley to take on the Phantoms. For more information about the Comets, including schedules and ticketing, visit https://uticacomets.com.

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