Comets rally to beat Monsters in overtime, 3-2 – News-Herald
Understaffed by COVID and on the road, the Utica Comets are still by far the best team in the American Hockey League.
The Monsters, after falling 1-0 in the second period on December 17, tied the score before the end of the middle period and took a 2-1 lead on a Brendan Gaunce shot with 1:28 to go. , but that was not enough in a 3-2 loss.
The Comets, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils’ farm team, ousted goaltender Mitens Mareks with one minute left and tied with 38 seconds left on a Fabian Zetterlund goal. Zetterlund, standing in the left circle, was set up with a perfect cross pass from Chase De Leo. Monsters goalie Daniil Tarasov hugged the right post, anticipating a shot from De Leo. He didn’t slip into the crease in time to stop the shot on Zetterlund’s reception.
Zetterlund scored again a minute into extra time on a power-play goal that was almost a carbon copy of the goal that tied the game, 2-2. And so, despite a valiant effort by the Monsters at the Teddy Bear Toss night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Comets returned to New York with a dazzling 18-1-2-0 record despite two forwards and several appeals. -ups of the East Coast Hockey League.
– Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) December 18, 2021
Like many teams in all sports, the Comets have been hit hard by COVID-19. The Monsters and Comets were scheduled to play on December 16 in Cleveland, but the game had to be postponed due to Utica’s COVID situation.
âI really enjoyed our first and third periods,â said coach Mike Eaves. âI thought in the second we got away from playing the way we needed to in terms of having the space around the puck and being strong in the zones.
âI thought our third period was even better than our first. We worked hard and found a way to get ahead. Sadly, sometimes that doesn’t work, and tonight was one of those nights.
The Monsters are 10-8-3-3. They have won only once in their last eight games.
The Monsters had several high-quality scoring opportunities in the first half and the opening 16 minutes of the second. At least four or five were two-on-one chances near Utica’s crease, but each time Mitens thwarted the home team – nothing better than the save he made by sliding to the right post for spoil a perfect pass from Tyler Sikura to Dillon Simpson’s stick blade with 13:30 to go in the first period.
Kevin Stenlund finally broke through for the Monsters with 3:05 left in the second period on a shot that won’t bring out the highlights at the end of the season, but it was good enough to tie the game 1-1.
A close range shot from Liam Foudy hit Mitens’ right pad just above the goalkeeper’s skate. The puck was momentarily uncovered and Stenlund trapped it just inside the left post.
The goal was the signal for the 7,931 fans in attendance to start throwing stuffed animals of all colors, sizes and varieties onto the ice.
In the middle of the third period, the Monsters announced that 10,168 stuffed animals had been donated. They will be given to needy children as gifts during the holiday season.