November 11, 2022
For the first time this season, the Utica Comets faced off against the Laval Rocket on Friday night at a sold-out Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY. As the crowd roared to salute the Veterans Day heroes throughout the night, the Comets gave them more to stand up and shout as they scored four goals on the night. Despite the goals scored, it wasn’t enough to hold off Laval who skated with a 5-4 decision in overtime.
In the first period, Laval went first on the scoresheet after Gabriel Bourque fired a shot that just went past rookie goaltender Isaac Poulter at 8:19, giving Laval a 1-0 lead. The Rock wasted no time scoring a second goal of the game and this time it was Anthony Richard who pounced on a rebound from Poulter’s pad at 12:43. The Comets, now down 2-0, recorded their first tally of the game and it was on the power play. While Brian Halonen placed a pass directly on forward Zach Senyshyn’s blade, it deflected perfectly off Laval goalkeeper Kevin Poulin and into the net at 16:03. It took just over two minutes to tie the game and it was Sam Laberge who made a diving play to slice the puck off a sprawling Poulin at 18:15. The goal, making it 2-0, was assisted by Nikita Okhotiuk and Aarne Talvitie. The Comets, fired up by the roaring crowd, took 16 seconds to take the lead. Andreas Johnsson tossed the puck into the cage at 18:31 from Ryan Schmelzer and Michael Vukojevic. Twenty minutes into the game, the Comets skated into intermission with a 3-2 lead.
In the second period, the Comets allowed a shorthanded goal to Laval when Danick Martel fired a puck off the crossbar and over Poulter’s blocker at 3:51. This goal tied the match 3-3. The Comets proved they had more attack left in the tank and it was a perfectly executed two-man advantage by Brian Pinho at 12:22 that put Utica up, 4-3. Andreas Johnsson’s through pass helped Pinho score his fourth goal in as many games. As the period continued, it was Xavier Simoneau who completed the perfect pass and fired a one-timer into the Comets net at 18:57. After two periods, the Comets and Rocket were tied at 4-4.
In the last regulation period the stars of the stanza were the goalkeepers who were stellar throughout the period and forced the game to an extra session where Anthony Richard scored the winning goal on a breakaway with a minute left in the period to win the game. Game.
Poulter made 30 saves of 35 shots while Kevin Poulin stopped 30 of 34 on the night. The Comets scored two power-play goals from six chances while Laval went 0-2. The Comets are back on the ice tomorrow night to take on the Syracuse Crunch on the road at 7:00 p.m. The team returns to the Adirondack Bank Center at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night against the Rochester Americans.