Cam Darcy provided the heroics for the Utica Comets, who earned a 3-2 overtime victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The opening period was a display of defensive, physical hockey, with both teams throwing their weight around and limiting their opponents’ chances. Michael Leighton came up with 11 first-period stops, while his counterpart Tristan Jarry made 10 of his own. The impressive display of goaltending sent the teams into the first intermission deadlocked in a scoreless tie.
After over 19 more minutes of goalless hockey in the second period, the Comets finally broke the stalemate with a quck-strike faceoff play. Wacey Hamilton tied up the draw, allowing Brendan Woods to pull the puck away from a web of bodies and snap a shot over the left leg of Jarry. The late marker was Woods’ third of the year.
Early in the third, the Comets doubled their lead after another faceoff win created a scoring opportunity. Hamilton tugged the draw back to Stefan LeBlanc, whose shot was stopped, but the rebound landed to the backhand of Vincent Arseneau for a top corner deposit.
The Penguins came to life down the stretch of the third period, cutting into Utica’s lead just minutes after Arseneau’s goal. Sam Militec made it 2-1 with his 7th of the season at 5:46, and the Penguins tied the game with 43 seconds left, courtesy of Ryan Haggerty. The late goal set up a sudden-death overtime session.
3:12 into the extra frame, Darcy sealed the Utica victory after he was set up by Jonathan Dahlen, and held onto the puck on his backhand before steering the game winning goal over the line.
The Comets are back at it tomorrow night as they host the Cleveland Monsters. Puck drop is at 5 p.m.