UTICA, N.Y. - After a 7-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch the last time out, the Utica Comets bounced back with a better effort and came away with a 2-1 overtime win over their Galaxy Cup rival at the Adirondack Bank Center, Wednesday.
The teams traded chances in the first period to no avail, but the Comets were forced to make a goalie change a few minutes in after starter Jake Kielly went down with an injury. Kielly was run into by Crunch forward Jimmy Huntington, who was pushed into the crease, and remained on the ice for several minutes before leaving the ice slowly under his own power.
He did not return to the game, and his status is unknown at this time, though Comets head coach Trent Cull said after the game it didn't look promising.
Joel Hofer came in to replace and was solid, making 25 saves in the game, after Kielly stopped all six shots he faced before exiting.
There was no score after two periods of play, but less than two minute into the third, Jonah Gadjovich deflected a Jett Woo shot in front of the net for his 13th of the year to put the Comets on the board. Sam Anas also assisted on the play.
It remained 1-0 Utica until the 17:14 mark of the third when Chase Priskie beat Hofer to tie the game. Taylor Raddysh and Peter Abbandonato notched the assists.
The game would require extra time, and after timely saves from Hofer in an early OT push from the Crunch, the Comets were able to convert as Gadjovich crashed the net and had a centering feed from Carson Focht hit off his skate and go in for the game-winner.
With the pair of goals in the game, Gadjovich now has 14 in 17 games this season. That eclipses his total from last year of 13, which he recorded in 38 games.
Spencer Martin had a strong game for the Crunch making 28 saves as Syracuse narrowly outshot Utica 32-30.
The Comets, who improve to 11-7-0-1, next host the Rochester Americans on Friday before these same two teams meet again in Syracuse on Sunday.