Three power play goals lift Laval over Utica

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LAVAL, Quebec — The Laval Rocket beat the Utica Comets 4-3 at home Wednesday on the strength of three power play goals.

The home team struck first in the opening period on the man advantage when Jesse Ylonen scored on a wrist shot through traffic that beat Comets goalie Nico Daws at 4:29.

Utica tied the contest at 1-1 in the second period. Aarne Talvitie carried the puck into the Rocket zone, then dished to Alexander Holtz who fired a shot low on the glove side against Laval goalie Kevin Poulin at 6:05.

The Rocket grabbed the lead back with another power play goal by Ylonen just over halfway through the game. Laval made it a 3-1 game when a point shot by Louie Belpedio went through traffic, off the crossbar and into the net blocker side of Daws at 10:55. Nate Scharr drove the goal and shot the puck over the left pad and under the glove of Poulin and into the cage at 18:50 to get the Comets back to within one after two periods.

In the final period, Utica tied the contest at 3-3. Defenseman Michael Vukojevic took a pass by Nolan Foote and tied the game at 5:30. But the Laval power play struck for the third time in the game to take another one-goal lead, this time with 4:20 left in the game. Peter Abbandonato’s shot from 15 feet away got through traffic and into the net for what would prove to be the game winning tally.

The Comets are 20-5-4 and remain four points ahead of Rochester for first in the North Division. Utica is back in action Friday night on the road against the Syracuse Crunch before heading home to battle to Syracuse again on Saturday night at 7.

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