Oct 22, 2016
Despite climbing out of a 2-0 hole, the Utica Comets lost by the score of 3-2 to the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center on Saturday night.
The Comets record falls to 1-3-0-0, while the Devils improved to a perfect 4-0-0-0.
Off-season free agent signings Michael Chaput (1-0-1) and Derek Hulak (1-0-1) each netted their first goals as a member of the Comets, while David Shields (0-1-1), Marco Roy (0-1-1), Michael Zalewski (0-1-1), and Carter Bancks (0-1-1) all recorded an assist.
Goaltender Thatcher Demko, in his second professional start, made 24 saves in the loss.
The lone goal of the first period came with 2:54 left to play in the period and gave the home team a 1-0 lead. With Andrey Pedan in the penalty box for the Comets, Reece Scarlett snaked a shot through heavy slot traffic for his first tally of the season.
The Devils doubled down on their lead in the second period’s opening minutes when John Quenneville’s power-play goal slipped between Demko’s glove and the crossbar.
Midway through the second period Comets forward Joseph LaBate received a match penalty for checking to the head. A match penalty carries a mandatory suspension pending completion of a review by the American Hockey League.
During the Comets penalty-kill of the LaBate match penalty, Carter Bancks and Michael Chaput broke into the Devils zone on a two-on-one break. Bancks drew the defender to him, and sprung Chaput on a breakaway after he chipped the puck through the defender. Chaput quickly deked the goaltender and back-handed the puck up-and-over Wedgeweood’s outstretched leg pad for his first goal as a member of the Comets.
The short-handed goal was the Comets first such goal of the season, after they led the league with 17 short-handed goals during the 2015-16 season.
A Devils miscue in their defensive zone early in the third period afforded the Comets the opportunity they needed to knot the game at 2-2.
Michael Zalewski scooped up the fumbled puck, passed it to Marco Roy, who quickly found Derek Hulak alone on the doorstep. Hulak’s shot found its way through Wedgewood and into the net for his first goal with the Comets.
The Devils claimed their second lead of the night when Jan Mandat found his first career AHL goal with 10:23 to play in the third.
The Comets successfully killed off five of the Devils seven power-play opportunities, while the power play unit was 0-for-5 on the night.
The Comets wrapped up the season-opening four-game road trip with a 1-3-0-0 record.
The club’s home opener is Wednesday night against the Binghamton Senators. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.