Utica Comets Lose to Bridgeport on Wednesday Night

It was one to forget for the Utica Comets as they drop a 4-1 decision to the Bridgeport Islanders at home on Wednesday night.

The Utica Comets (35-14-6-1, 77 points, 0.688 points percentage) have hit a rough patch as of late, losing two games in a row and three of their last four heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Bridgeport Islanders (25-25-6-4, 60 points, 0.500 points percentage).

Utica Comets vs Bridgeport Islanders Game Preview 03-23-2022

Make that three losses in a row and four of their last five as they fell to the Islanders at the Adirondack Bank Center on Wednesday night by a score of 4-1. Although they got Chase DeLeo back from injury, it was a dramatically different looking lineup for the Comets as they were still missing Nolan Foote, Ryan Schmelzer, and Jeremy Groleau (injuries), as well as AJ Greer and Kevin Bahl (NHL callups). To help alleviate the holes in the lineup, Tyler Irvine, Patrick Grasso, and Tim Theocharidis were recalled from the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL and drew into the lineup.

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The Islanders opened the scoring at the 4:56 mark of the first period when Mitchell Vande Sompel, took a pass from Simon Holmstrom and ripped a shot past Comets goaltender Akira Schmid to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Utica would get fifteen shots on goal on former New Jersey Devils and current Bridgeport Islanders goaltender Cory Schneider but only got one by him, as Aarne Talvitie scored a shorthanded goal at 13:52 by putting a rebound off of a Joe Gambardella breakaway attempt in the back of the Bridgeport goal. The Vande Sompel and Talvitie goals were the only markers of the first period.

Like they did in the first, the Islanders scored early in the second period as well. While on the tail end of a power play Arnaud Durandeau took a drop pass from Holmstrom and in turn sent a pass over to Grant Hutton who lasered a shot from the right circle off the post and in to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. The goal was the first power-play goal the Comets have surrendered in seven games. Less than three minutes later, Bridgeport scored again when Akira Schmid made a right pad save off a shot by Otto Koivula but Paul LaDue was able to take advantage of the rebound to score and make the score 3-1. That score held for the rest of the second period.

The Comets were down 3-1 to the Cleveland Monsters in the third period on Monday night and were able to score two goals in the last minute of regulation to tie the game and ultimately send the game to the shootout. There was no such magic on Wednesday night. Schneider stopped all seven of the shots he faced in the third period of this game and LaDue scored his second goal of the game to give Bridgeport a 4-1 victory and a much-needed two points in their chase to grab a playoff spot in the North Division.

Notes: Bridgeport and Utica tied in total shots on goal with 31 each…Bridgeport was 1 for 4 on the power play, Utica was 0 for 1…Aarne Talvitie and Joe Gambardella each had one point for Utica…Paul LaDue (two goals), Austin Czarnik, and Simon Holmstrom (two assists each) led Bridgeport in scoring…Fabian Zetterlund had his three-game point streak snapped…Bridgeport plays again on Saturday night in Toronto…Utica plays again on Friday night at home against Syracuse.

HE’S BACK!!!!! The always entertaining Neil Villapiano joins us for a special Thursday night edition of Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast starting at 7:30 pm EDT on the Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast YouTube channel and Facebook page! We’ve got a lot to talk about between the NHL Trade Deadline, the future of the NJ Devils (and by extension the Utica Comets), his latest shows for The Hockey Podcast Network, and much more!

Subscribe to Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast, the Devils State of Mind Podcast, and The Hockey Podcast Network on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts!

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