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IBRAGIMOV LIFTS COMETS OVER BEARS IN 4-3 SHOOTOUT WIN

Utica, NY. – Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center was the last time during the regular season the Utica Comets would lock up with the defending Calder Cup champions, the Hershey Bears. Currently, the leaders of the Atlantic Division, the Bears are the only team in the league that clinched a playoff berth. The Comets are hoping over the final weeks, they can also find their way into the tournament. In front of a home crowd, the Comets went to work looking for a similar outcome from the game these two teams played previously on March 2nd when Utica skated away with two points. On this night, despite the Comets giving up a two-goal lead, the Comets found their way back into the contest and won the game in the shootout by a 4-3 score. 

In the opening period, the Comets stormed out of the gate, and it was forward Fil Engaras who drove the net after he created a rebound. Lifting the puck over the pads of goaltender Hunter Shephard at 2:43. The goal was Engaras’ fourth of the season and it was assisted by TJ Friedmann. Later, the Comets added to their tally in similar fashion after Graeme Clarke fired a puck off the pad of Shephard it was slammed home by Xavier Parent at 6:15 giving the Comets a 2-0 lead on Parent’s 11th of the year. Late in the period, the Bears received a goal from a deflection off the stick of Riley Sutter from a Matt Strome shot at 19:13. As the Comets skated off after the first period, they were up 2-1.

Two quick goals by the Bears in the middle frame, both by Alex Limoges at 8:04 and then another goal 24 seconds later gave the Bears a 3-2 advantage. The period concluded and the Comets entered the last frame of regulation down a goal. 

In the third, the Comets tied the game after Brian Halonen drove the goal causing a loose puck to rest in front of Shephard. Kyle Criscuolo found the puck and blasted it home at 3:31 for a 3-3 game. It was Crisculo’s 12th of the year. The game headed to overtime but no one scored so the shootout decided the ending with the lone goal scored by Timur Ibragimov to lift the Comets to a 4-3 win and two more points in the standings.

The Comets are back in action tomorrow night against the Hartford Wolf Pack tomorrow night on the road at 6:00 PM. They return home next week on Friday when they step back onto the ice against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:00 PM. Great seats are still available. 

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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