HAMILTON, O.N. - The Utica Comets finally made their way back to the win column as they ended a six game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs. With the win, Utica claimed the season series from Hamilton, with five points over the quartet of games, as opposed to four points for the Bulldogs.
Joe Cannata bounced back in a big way after a rough two game stretch with 32 saves on 33 shots, en route to a first star nomination. Benn Ferriero scored twice for the Comets, while Pascal Pelletier netted assists on all three Utica goals. Winger Alexandre Grenier also scored for Utica, which moved to 12-20-2-3 on the season.
Ferriero got Utica on the board first, as he redirected a shot home to open the scoring. Peter Andersson’s wrist shot from the point found its way through heavy traffic, off Pascal Pelletier’s stick and onto Ferriero’s stick, which jolted past Dustin Tokarski to make it 1-0 Comets. Ferriero’s goal extended his point streak to five games.
The Comets doubled their margin 13:43 into the first as Grenier tipped a rocket of a slapshot from Henrik Tommernes past Tokarski, for the games only power-play goal. Pascal Pelletier and Henrik Tommernes picked up points for the Comets, which extended Ferriero’s point streak to five games. Grenier leads all Utica skaters with three goals against their divisional rivals this season.
Hamilton peppered Cannata with 12 shots during the middle stanza, but was only able to beat the Wakefield, MA native once, as Maxime Macenauer scored 2:07 into the period. The Bulldog winger came straight out of the penalty box and found himself in alone on Cannata shorthanded and finished shortside to cut the Utica lead in half.
A tightly contested third period went back and forth with few whistles for much of the frame. With Tokarski on the bench, winger Benn Ferriero found loads of open ice off of a pass from Pelletier and buried it into the gaping net to ice the game. Brandon DeFazio also picked up an assist on the play.
With the victory, the Comets once again move into a tie with the Hartford Wolf Pack in an effort to get out of the league’s basement. Both teams now sit with 29 points. Cannata earned his fourth victory of the season and moved to 1-0-0-1 against Hamilton. Ferriero finished as the leading scorer during the four game series between Utica and Hamilton, as his two goals gave him a total of seven points (2-5-7).
The Comets have two days off, before they return to the ice on Tuesday with the Chicago Wolves coming to the Mohawk Valley for the first ever meeting between the two teams. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday is both College Night and Winning Tuesday at The AUD! College students can get a $12 dollar ticket with a valid student ID and fans can enjoy beer specials at all concession stands. If the Comets defeat the Wolves, all fans in attendance will also receive a free ticket to the following Tuesday’s game against Lake Erie.