The Comets remain unbeaten after Friday night’s win
If Sunday’s win over the Rochester Americans was all about offense for the Utica Comets, the script was certainly flipped for Friday nights opponent, the Providence Bruins. In this game, defense would rule the night.
The Utica Comets controlled the pace of play for most of the opening period, recording eleven shots on goal to only three for the Bruins. Providence goalie Kyle Keyser stonewalled the home team and did not allow any goals. Although he faced only three shots in the first period, Utica goalie Akira Schmid had to make a save off of a point blank chance after a turnover in the Comets end. The first period ended with the score 0-0.
The start of the second period looked like a continuation of the first stanza, with the Comets continuing to control play with Keyser holding the fort for the Bruins. Providence did not get a shot on goal in the second period until the 5:33 mark, and then a couple of minutes later, the game began to shift. A loose puck to the right Utica’s net was scooped up by Oskar Steen, who put it by Schmid to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. From there, Providence controlled the game and frustrated several Comets offensive efforts with staunch defensive play in the neutral zone and in front of their own net.
The third period would start off with a flurry and bring the crowd of nearly 4,000 at the Adirondack Bank Center to its feet. Twenty-four seconds into the period, Brian Flynn would finally solve Keyser by beating him up high with a deflection and tying the game at one. While the crowd was still buzzing, twenty-five seconds after the Flynn goal the Comets found themselves shorthanded, as Ryan Schmelzer took minor penalty for slashing. A cross checking penalty taken by Kevin ball at the 2:37 mark gave the Bruins a five on three advantage for twelve seconds, but much to the home crowds delight, Utica killed both penalties.
Both teams traded scoring chances throughout the third period, and both goaltenders stood tall. It appeared the Comets had taken the lead with 2:30 left, as Joe Gambradella beat a sprawling Ryan Keyser with a top-shelf backhand shot. Almost immediately, the referees waived the goal off. They lost sight of the puck and had blown the play dead before the puck crossed the line.
Despite the disappointment of the disallowed goal, the Comets would get one more chance to win the game in regulation. Jesper Boqvist found himself all alone in Keyser with twenty-five seconds left, but Keyser once again thwarted the Comets and got his team to overtime.
The three on three overtime period consisted of both teams having opportunities to win the game. With less than a minute left, the Comet’s Tyler Wotherspoon and Aarne Talvitie found themselves on a two on one in the Bruins end. Talvitie fired the puck past Keyser to give Utica the 2-1 overtime win.
Notes: Utica’s record is now 2-0-0, while Providence is now 1-0-1-1….This was the third straight game to go to at least overtime for the Bruins….Alexander Holtz led the Comets in shots on goal with six, while Brady Lyle and Matt Filipe each had three shots on goal to pace the Bruins….This was the first of four regular season meetings between the Comets and the Bruins, they will meet again in Providence on Sunday, December 5th. The Comets next game is on Saturday October 23rd at Syracuse, while the Bruins next game is on Saturday, October 23rd at home against the Laval Rocket.
Power Play: 0/1
Penalty Kill: 3/3
Power Play: 0/3
Penalty Kill: 1/1
#1: Aarne Talvitie (Utica)
#2: Akira Schmid (Utica)
#3: Kyle Keyser (Providence)