UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica Comets will be seeing red for quite some time, after they dropped their most lopsided decision of the season, an 8-3 defeat against the Albany Devils on Friday night.
Despite a sold out Utica Memorial Auditorium, the Comets were unable to put together a complete performance and lost their sixth consecutive game in a row.
Benn Ferriero, Alexandre Grenier and Brandon DeFazio scored for Utica in a losing effort. Goaltenders Mathieu Corbeil and Joe Cannata each surrendered four goals for the Comets, who fell to 11-20-2-3 with the defeat.
The Devils struck first 11:04 into the opening stanza as Mike Sislo put a loose puck in front past Corbeil, who made his first career AHL start. Rome, NY native Tim Sestito had the final touch on the puck to get it into the crease, before Sislo found it and slotted it home. Reece Scarlett had the secondary assist on the play, his ninth of the season.
The Comets drew level just over four minutes later, however as Ferriero took an outlet pass from Frank Corrado, went the length of the ice and fired a wrist shot over Keith Kinkaid’s blocker. The goal was Ferriero’s 11th of the season. Utica center Pascal Pelletier also picked up an assist on the play, his team high 23rd of the season.
Albany took a lead into an intermission with a goal just 1:08 before the conclusion of the period. Mattias Tedenby put a shot from the right circle past Corbeil for his sixth goal in eight games to put the Devils on top. Artem Demkov and Corbin McPherson picked up assists on the play for the Devils.
Albany extended its lead to 3-1 as Joe Whitney beat Corbeil with a wrist shot at the 4:49 mark of the second stanza, an unassisted marker. The Devils lengthened their lead further with their fourth of the evening, as Mike Hoeffel put another one past Corbeil, which would spell the end of his evening. The Montreal, PQ native finished with 16 saves on 20 shots and was replaced by Joe Cannata.
Harri Pesonen extended Albany’s lead 14:58 into the second as he buried a feed from Chris McKelvie, the first goal past Cannata. The Devils made it 6-1 almost four minutes leader as team captain Rod Pelley found his way onto the scoresheet for the first time.
The Devils tacked on another one as Joe Whitney added his second of the evening and his fifth in three games against Utica this season. Winger Stefan Matteau picked up an assist on the play. Whitney’s goal extended his team high point total to 36 (16-20-36).
Grenier pulled one back for the Comets just past the halfway mark of the third period as he converted on a nifty breakaway move to cut the score to 7-2. Pelletier picked up his second assist of the evening and Darren Archibald dded a helper as well.
Kelly Zajac potted Albany’s eighth and final goal with just 2:54 to play in the contest. Demkov hit the Albany center with a great feed, who converted past Cannata. Cannata finished the contest with nine saves on 13 shots.
The Comets found the final goal of the evening from Brandon DeFazio to bring Utica within five. The winger banked a shot off of Kinkaid and into the net, off of an assist from Patrick Kennedy. The helper was the first of Kennedy’s AHL career, during his AHL debut. Defenseman Kent Huskins also picked up an assist, his third of the season.
The Comets will have little time to dwell on tonight’s loss, as they travel to Hamilton for a matchup with the Bulldogs tomorrow evening. Puck drop is set from Copps Coliseum at 7:00 p.m.