Comets cap off AHL season with shootout win

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The Utica Comets overcame two two-goal deficits to top the Syracuse Crunch 4-3 in a shootout Sunday night at the Utica, a memorable send-off for retiring defenseman Jaime Sifers.

Brendan Woods, Vincent Arseneau, and Zack MacEwen scored for Utica. Marek Mazanec made 15 saves on 18 shots to earn his third straight win.

Sifers was named the game’s first star, and was joined on the ice post-game by all his teammates for a final send-off for the 13-year veteran.

Alexander Volkov put Syracuse up 1-0 early with a power play goal 3:49 into the game. Otto Somppi doubled the lead for Syracuse on a breakaway four minutes into the second period.

Woods brought the Comets to within one when he buried a loose puck on the power play at the 7:50 mark of the period. Lukas Jasek and Jesse Graham picked up the assists. After Syracuse has restored its two-goal lead, Arseneau scored on his own rebound to cut the deficit to one again two minutes later. Woods and Jasek tallied the assists.

MacEwen tied the game at three 32 seconds into the third period, on the power play. Tanner Kero and Graham had the assists.

No one found the net in overtime and the game would require a shootout. Jasek and Nick Bligh traded goals in the second round of the shootout then Kole Lind netted the winner in the third round to give Utica the win.

On Saturday, the Comets lost 4-1 to the Hershey Bears in their last road game of the season.

Nathan Walker scored on Utica goalie Ty Reichenbach for the only goal of the first period.

Lind’s second goal in two games tied it in the second period. He waited at the left circle before firing the puck into an open window past Vitek Vanecek. Less than two minutes later, the Bears retook the lead lead on a power play strike from Jayson Megna.

The Bears scored in the third period to push the lead to two, then closed it out with an empty netter late.

The Comets finished the season 34-34-6-2, missing the playoffs.

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