ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Utica Comets extended their winning streak over the Abbotsford Heat to five games with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. The Comets have also won three in a row overall and improved to 14-20-2-3 with the win.
Benn Ferriero’s game winning goal 2:22 into overtime sent the Comets home victorious. Joacim Eriksson put in a standout performance, as he turned away all 36 shots he faced. Eriksson currently possesses a shutout streak of 123:18 against the Heat, spanning back to the third period of Utica’s 4-2 win on Dec. 18 at The AUD.
Eriksson stole the show during the first period after he turned aside each of the 13 shots that came his way. The Utica netminder’s performance featured a highlight reel glove save on Markus Granlund midway through the frame to keep things scoreless. Joni Ortio made seven saves for Abbotsford.
The goaltender’s duel continued through the second period as neither team was able to find the back of the net yet again. Eriksson continued to shine, as he made 11 more saves for a two-period total of 24. The Galve, Sweden native found the highlight reel yet again as he dove to his left to rob Sven Baertchi of an open net with a paddle save. Ortio once again matched his counterpart with a zero, with nine saves for a total of 16 through two periods.
Despite the lack of a noteworthy save for Eriksson as there had been in each of the first two periods, the Swede remained perfect during the third period with nine saves. Ortio also turned aside nine shots during the final stanza and for the first time in franchise history, the Utica Comets would head to overtime without a goal.
Ferriero ended the game as he scored his first overtime goal of the season to give Utica the 1-0 victory. The winger took the puck off the halfboards and fired a wristshot past Ortio’s blocker side to end the game. The goal extended Ferriero’s point streak to seven games, which is tied for the longest active scoring streak in the AHL.
Utica improved to 2-2 in games decided in overtime this season, with both victories coming in Abbotsford. Pascal Pelletier scored the franchise’s inaugural overtime game winner on Nov. 30, to complete a 4-3 victory over the Heat.
With the win, Eriksson evened his record for the season at 10-10-1-1. The Utica goaltender has now won two consecutive games and six of his past seven starts. Eriksson has saves 198 of 209 shots over the seven game span, good for a .947 save percentage.