ALBANY, N.Y. (SENDTONEWS) - After two games in the American Hockey League, the Utica Comets are still in search of the franchise’s first victory, after falling to the Albany Devils 3-2 on Saturday night.
Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) and Benn Ferriero (1-0-1) scored for the Comets, as Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 23 saves to record the win.
Eric Gelinas (0-2-2) and Scott Timmins (0-2-2) led the Devils with two points apiece.
Despite the 0-0 score, the first period was anything but dull as the teams combined for three fights, and 66 penalty minutes. The feistiness began at the 10:21 mark, after the Devils Darcy Zajac leveled Comets forward Pascal Pelletier deep in the Devils zone. Grenier took exception to the hit and immediately dropped the gloves with Zajac, and drew the extra two minutes for roughing. Just a few minutes later, Alex Biega dealt out a big hit on Joe Whitney, which started a dust up in front of the Comets bench, eventually leading to another fight between Kellan Lain and Seth Helgeson. Both Lain and Helgeson would receive a game misconduct for their efforts. Brandon DeFazio and Chris McKelvie squared off with 8:31 remaining in the period as well.
The Comets killed off all four Albany Devils powerplays in the period. The Devils held a 13-5 lead in shots for the period.
The second period looked like a completely different game, as the teams combined for three goals and zero penalty minutes. The Devils broke the scoreless tie less than four minutes into the period on a goal by Reid Boucher. Scott Timmins wrestled the puck away from a Comets defenseman behind Eriksson’s net and hit Boucher in the slot with a backhand pass. Boucher walked it in from the hash marks and beat Eriksson through the five hole. A little over eight minutes later the Devils would extend their lead to 2-0. Eric Gelinas and Mike Sislo skated past the red line on a 2-1 against the Comets Henrik Tommernes, Gelinas dumped it off to Sislo who streaked down the right boards past Tommernes, and beat Eriksson high glove side. The Comets would get one back at the 14:55 mark, to cut the Devils lead in half. Pelletier cleanly won the faceoff to the left of Devils goaltender, back to defenseman Yann Sauve who fired a shot on goal. Right Winger Alexandre Grenier would bury home the reboud to put the Comets on the board.
Both the Comets and Devils had 9 shots on goal in the period.
The #Comets got off to a quick start in the third, as they peppered Kinkaid with 5 shots in a three minute stretch as they tried to score the equalizer. Despite the Comets increased pressure, the Devils Joe Whitney ultimately put the game out of reach, scoring the game winner at the 7:25 mark, with assists from Gelinas and Timmins. The Comets would make things interesting with 7.6 seconds to play, as Ferriero fired a one-time slap shot past Kinkaid, on the feed from Stuart and Grenier.
Joacim Eriksson saved 26 of the Devils 29 shots.
The Comets penalty kill killed off all four Albany powerplays. The Comets failed to go on the powerplay.