BRIDGEPORT, CT. — The Utica Comets snapped a three game losing streak as
they quieted the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with a 2-1 victory at Webster Bank
Arena in Connecticut Sunday afternoon. The Comets used a perfect
eight-for-eight penalty kill performance to split the season series against
Bridgeport at a game apiece.
Nicklas Jensen and Benn Ferriero each scored for Utica, which improved to
23-26-3-4 with the win. Cal O’Reilly picked up two assists and the center
now has ten helpers over his past ten games played. Joacim Eriksson was
stout between the pipes, with 29 saves on 30 shots as he earned his 17th
victory of the 2013-14 campaign.
Jensen opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the game to put the Comets in
front 1-0. The Denmark native took a feed from teammate Brandon DeFazio in
the neutral zone and did the rest on his own, as he slotted a wrist shot
past the blocker hand of Bridgeport netminder Kevin Poulin for his 15th goal
of the season. The goal was the fastest in team history, surpassing Pascal
Pelletier’s mark of 28 seconds on Feb. 1 against Rockford. O’Reilly also
picked up an assist for Utica.
Bridgeport evened up the score as Alan Quine redirected a Marc Cantin shot
from the point past Eriksson. Quine’s goal, his sixth of the season, was
one of twelve Bridgeport shots during the second period. Center Joey Martin
also picked up an assist on the play, the first of his AHL career.
Utica scored what would go down as the game winner, as Benn Ferriero scored
a power-play goal for the second straight game. From nearly the goal line
beneath the left hand circle, Ferriero took a Pelletier feed right in the
wheelhouse and buried it past Poulin. The goal was the 19th of the season
for Ferriero, which tied his AHL career high set in 2009-10 with the
Worcester Sharks. O’Reilly also picked up an assist for his fifth
multi-point game of the season.
For the twentieth time this season, Eriksson held his opposition to two
goals or less and the Galve, Sweden native improved to 16-2-2 in those
scenarios. Eriksson’s performance lowered his goals against average to 2.53
and raised his save percentage to .914. The Utica goaltender was named the
game’s first star for his efforts.
The Comets also played in their 32nd one-goal game of the season, the third
most in the AHL. Utica is 15-10-3-4 in games decided by one goal, which
accounts for nearly 70 percent of their 53 total points for the season.