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Utica, NY. –  When the Utica Comets dropped the puck on Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center, there were only 11 games remaining in the regular season. As the team continued to battle for a playoff spot, they realized the game against the Laval Rocket had serious playoff implications considering the rocket were five points ahead of them in the standings. With the crowd roaring from the game’s onset, Utica did all they could to galvanize that energy to push them through a grueling hockey game. While the Comets tied the game in the third period, they needed a goal to achieve a lead. When they needed it most, the captain Ryan Schmelzer, capitalized and scored a massive goal that lifted the Comets to victory and helped their playoff chances significantly as they defeated their division rival, Rocket by a 3-1 score.

In the first period, the game went without a goal but the second period saw one happen almost immediately. Laval’s Jacob Perrault shot beat Comets goalie, Akira Schmid 31 seconds into the frame putting Utica down, 1-0. 

In the third, it was Chase Stillman who tied the game with his 14th goal of the season at 2:41. The goal was assisted by Topias Vilen and Timur Ibragimov bringing the game to a 1-1 score.

In the final period of regulation, at 15:57 the captain Ryan Schmelzer took advantage of a favorable bounce off the glass. He proceeded to hammer a shot that beat Jakub Dobes over the blocker and into the net giving his team a 2-1 lead. The goal was his 17th of the season and sent the crowd into a frenzy. Filip Engaras added an empty net with 29 seconds remaining for his fifth goal of the season assisted by Joe Gambardella and Tyler Wotherspoon.

The Comets are back and will return to the Adirondack Bank Center against the Providence Bruins on Friday, March 29 at 7:00 PM. Great seats are still available.

Single-game tickets are now available for the 2023-24 season. Visit for more information. Season Ticket Memberships are also available for the 2023-24 Season. Tickets are still available. Visit for more information.

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