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COMETS SHOCK THE ROCKET LATE, WIN 4-3

Laval, PQ. — The Utica Comets entered Wednesday night’s game on the road against the Laval Rocket the winners of their previous two games. The separation between the two teams in the North Division was just three points with Laval sitting in the fourth spot of seven teams. The Comets, looking to maneuver out of the cellar of the division, stepped onto the ice at the Place Bell to play against a team that lost its previous two games. The Comets were down by a couple of goals during the game but managed to fight back and tied the contest in the final period before scoring a late powerplay goal with less than forty seconds left to stun the Rocket and skate away with a victory by a 4-3 score.

In the opening period, it was the home team that scored twice to put Utica down 2-0 in the period. The first goal was scored on a rebound chance against Comets goalie, Isaac Poulter at 4:42 by Emil Heinaman. The other goal was scored by Brandon Gignac after a defensive zone giveaway by Utica at 13:09. When the first stanza concluded, the Comets skated back into their dressing room down 2-0.

The Comets climbed within a goal after defenseman Santera Hatakka stormed down the left wing side and into the Laval zone as he blasted the puck through Rocket netminder, Jakub Dobes at 4:52. It was his third of the season and it was assisted by Brian Halonen and Robbie Russo. This brought the game to a 2-1 affair. While the Rocket took a fluke bounce of a Comets defenseman in front of Poulter to extend the lead by Jan Mysak at 11:24, Utica once again punched back. After the team entered the Laval zone with speed, Kyle Criscuolo sent the puck to the streaking Graeme Clarke. It didn’t take long for Clarke to score his team-leading 17th goal of the season at 13:56. As the period ended, the Comets were trailing only by a single goal, 3-2.

During the final period of regulation, the Comets used the powerplay to tie the game after Brian Halonen rifled a one-timer past Dubes at 1:33. The goal was assisted by Russo and Clarke and brought the contest to 3-3. The Comets went to a power late in the game and it was another Halonen goal that shocked the crowd as he scored his ninth of the second, second of the game, and the eventual game-winner at 19:21. Clarke and Russo assisted for their third points of the night. Isaac Poulter secured the victory in goal for the Comets turning aside 27 shots. 

The Comets are back in action at home for two games against the Toronto Marlies on Friday, February 2nd at 7:00 PM followed by a rematch at 5:00 on Saturday inside the Adirondack Bank Center. Tickets are available for both home games inside the Adirondack Bank Center. 

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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