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COMETS FLY PAST THUNDERBIRDS, 6-3

Utica, NY. — Fewer than twenty-four hours after stunning the Cleveland Monsters in the last minute of regulation to capture victory for the second straight game, the Utica Comets hit the ice against an Atlantic Division opponent, the Springfield Thunderbirds. The home team rode onto the ice inside the Adirondack Bank Center with a capacity crowd fully behind them as they searched for points in their sixth game in a row. Although the Comets gave up a goal fairly early into the contest, they managed to hold on and keep things rolling with yet another victory en route to two more points in the standings, three straight wins and points garnered in their sixth game in a row with a 6-3 victory.

During the first period, the Thunderbirds scored first after a rebound opportunity was sent passed Isaac Poulter by Nikita Alexandrov at 49 seconds. The Comets found themselves down 1-0 after the tally. After the Comets settled in, they tied the game with a phenomenal pass by Arnaud Durandeau as he found the streaking Filip Engaras who blasted the puck off the post and in. The goal was Engaras’ third of the season and it came at 9:50 making it a 1-1 game. Michael Vukojevic scored the next goal and put his team up 2-1 as he rifled a slapshot through Springfield goalie Vadim Zherenko. It was the second of the season by Vukojevic and assisted by Justin Dowling and Joe Gamabrdella. Utica wasn’t finished with the captain Ryan Schmelzer putting his team up by two after his slapshot rolled through the goalie. Sam Laberge and Durandeau got the assists as they skated away after twenty minutes up, 3-1.

Chase Stillman scored on a penalty shot to start the middle frame after a nice move. The goal at 1:21 put the fans on their feet and the Comets up by a 4-1 score. The Thunderbirds capitalized on a chance in front of Poulter at 9:25. The goal by Zach Bolduc gave Springfield their second goal of the contest but the Comets still lead the game, 4-2.

In the final period of regulation, Alexandrov tipped the wrist shot from the point and scored to bring the game closer at 7:13. The Utica lead was cut to one by a 4-3 score. The Comets didn’t sweat the goals by Springfield, they pushed back. It was Graeme Clarke who skated into Thunderbirds territory and wired a puck through a screen and over the glove of Zherenko at 10:02. The goal was his team-leading 13th of the season and extended the Comets lead to 5-3. Justin Dowling added an empty net tally for his seventh of the season at 19:07. Isaac Poulter ended the contest with 23 saves on 26 shots.

The Comets are back in action in a rare afternoon game on Monday afternoon at 1:00 PM against the Syracuse Crunch. This will be followed by a Wednesday night game against the Belleville Senators on Wednesday night at home for a 7:00 PM puck drop. 

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

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