UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica Comets dropped a nail biter on home ice, a 3-2 decision to the Adirondack Phantoms. Despite a 29-23 shots on goal advantage, the Comets surrendered a late goal to drop their third contest in a row. With the defeat, Utica fell to 22-26-3-4 on the season.
David Marshall and Benn Ferriero each scored for the Comets, while netminder Joacim Eriksson turned aside 20 of the 23 shots he faced. Tye McGinn potted two goals for Adirondack, who defeated the Comets for the second time this season.
Adirondack struck first at the 8:13 mark of the opening period as Tye McGinn buried a rebound past Eriksson. Following a point shot from Brandon Manning, McGinn picked up a loose puck in the left hand circle and slotted it home for his 15th goal of the season. The assist was Manning’s 16th of the season, a team high for Phantom blueliners, while defenseman Bruno Gervais picked up the secondary assist on the play.
The Comets knotted the score nearly five minutes into the second stanza, as Marshall got his own rebound off of an Adirondack defenseman’s skate and slotted it past Yann Denis. The goal was the first of the season from Marshall and the 17th of his AHL career. Defenseman Patrick Mullen picked up the lone assist on the play, his 13th helper as a Comet.
Adirondack opened the scoring in the third period just 3:50 in as Rob Boardson picked up his tenth goal of the season on an unassisted tally. The winger picked off an errant pass and fired a wrist shot from the right hand circle past Eriksson to give Adirondack the lead.
Utica would once again answer back, however, as Ferriero re-directed home a feed from Cal O’Reilly to electrify the Auditorium and knot the score at two. In just his second game back from injury, Ferriero drove hard to the net where O’Reilly put a saucer pass right on his stick for the tally. The goal, which was scored on the power play, was a team high 18th of the season for Ferriero. Center Pascal Pelletier also picked up an assist, his 33rd.
Despite a solid third period effort, it was not meant to be for the Comets, with Adirondack finding the game winner just 2:58 from the conclusion of the contest. After a turnover in the neutral zone led to a 2-on-1 for the Phantoms, McGinn put home a pass from VandeVelde, who collected his tenth assist of 2013-14. Leading scorer Jason Akeson also picked up a helper on the play, his 31st of the season.
Utica is back in action on Sunday, when they cross state lines en route to Connecticut, where they will take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Sunday afternoon’s game is a 3:00 p.m. puck drop and is the final time that Utica and Bridgeport will meet this season. The Comets return home the following week, for tilts with Oklahoma City on Wednesday and Wilkes/Barre-Scranton on Friday for Irish Night at The AUD. Both games are set for 7:00 p.m. puck drops.