Gritty performance lifts Comets to first win of season

The Utica Comets topped the Belleville Senators 3-1 on Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center, marking the first win of the regular season.

Posted: Oct 6, 2018 11:44 PM

It was a back and forth first period with both teams trading chances but Richard Bachman and Senators netminder Mike McKenna held strong to keep things scoreless through 20 minutes.

Former Comet Joseph LaBate gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 3:35 into the second period, stuffing a rebound off the end wall past Bachman. The Comets responded 10 seconds later courtesy of a one-timer from Brendan Gaunce after a backhand saucer pass from Jonathan Dahlen. Reid Boucher gave the Comets their first lead of the night with a bullet over the shoulder of McKenna while Utica operated on its only power play of the night. An assist for Olli Juolevi on the play marked his first AHL point.

Taking momentum entirely, the Comets killed off a seven-minute penalty in the third period and completely smothered Belleville’s chances at a comeback. Darren Archibald sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 10 seconds to go in the game.

The Comets return to action Friday, October 12, when the Charlotte Checkers come to town. Puck drop is a 7 p.m.

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