Comets Win to Force Game 4
The Utica Comets just needed a little home cooking; and a little Reid Boucher helps, too.
Utica's leading goal scorer in the regular season, Boucher returned to the team Wednesday night and got the first Comets goal in a 5-2, Game 3 victory over the Toronto Marlies. Boucher's slap shot found the back of the net 7:55 into the first period, and just ten seconds into Utica's first power play opportunity of the game.
Wacey Hamilton would extend the lead to 2-0 less than two minutes later. Cole Cassels lit the lamp in the first as well, sending Marlies netminder Garret Sparks to the bench in favor of Calvin Pickard.
Vincent LoVerde of the Toronto Marlies is left bloodied by a Cam Darcy high-stick. This penalty and another soon after would give Toronto a two-man advantage for the final 2:30 of the first period.
While the Adirondack Bank Center erupted with each of Utica three first period goals, some of the loudest cheers of the night came during Utica's period ending penalty kill that saw the Marlies skating with a two-man advantage for approximately the final two-and-half-minutes of the period. But Thatcher Demko and the Comets' penalty kill didn't budge.
After a scoreless second, Calle Rosen would put Toronto on the board with a power play goal half way through the third. Tyler Motte, though, would push Utica's lead back to three goals with 5:25 remaining in regulation.
Colin Greening brought Toronto back to a 4-2 deficit with under four minutes to play, but again Utica would answer - this time an empty netter for Cassels' second goal of the night.
Demko finished the night with 34 saves on 36 shots faced.
The Comets will host Game 4 on Friday night, again in a do-or-die situation. A win for Utica would force a series deciding Game 5 in Toronto. A Marlies win would bring down the curtain on the Comets' season.