Four straight wins, including three this past week, have the Utica Comets (15-20-2-3) just nine points out of a playoff spot with 36 games to go. Thanks to great goaltending from Joacim Eriksson, the Comets downed the Wolves on Tuesday before skating to a pair of overtime victories over the Heat on the weekend. Utica is 15-12-1-2 since dropping their first 10 games of the season.Weekly Results Tuesday, January 21: Utica Comets 2 – Chicago Wolves 1
-Frank Corrado’s game-winner with 5:46 remaining in the third period helped the Comets prevail to a 2-1 victory over the Canucks former AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.
-Corrado’s goal, his third of the season, broke a 25-game goalless drought for the AHL rookie.
-Nicklas Jensen got the Comets on the board in the middle stanza with his fifth goal in six games.
-Benn Ferriero grabbed two helpers on the night, extending his point streak to six games. Cal O’Reilly finished the game with one assist.
-Joacim Eriksson turned aside 22 shots to earn his ninth win of the season. Eriksson gave up an early goal, just 1:26 into the game, but was a rock between the pipes the rest of the way.
-Ferriero and Jensen led all Utica players with plus-2 ratings, while defensemen Alex Biega and Kent Huskins both had a team-high four shots on goal as the Comets outshot the Wolves 30-23 on the night, including 15-5 in the first 20 minutes.
-Three Stars: 1. Corrado, 2. Eriksson, 3. Ferriero.
Friday, January 24: Utica Comets 1 – Abbotsford Heat 0 (OT)
-Joacim Eriksson made 36 saves while Benn Ferriero netted the game-winner 2:22 into overtime as the Comets blanked the Heat 1-0 on Friday night in Abbotsford.
-Peter Andersson and Alex Biega picked up the assists on Ferriero’s goal.
-Ferriero extended his point streak to seven games with the goal.
-Eriksson was named the First Star with his 36 save performance, which included 13 saves in the first 20 minutes. A highlight reel glove save in the first period and a sprawling stick save in the middle stanza brought the crowd to their feet.
-Jordan Schroeder led all Comets skaters with five shots on goal, while Nicklas Jensen finished the night with four.
Saturday, January 25: Utica Comets 4 – Abbotsford Heat 3 (OT)
-Benn Ferriero scored the overtime-winner for the second consecutive game as the Comets skated to their fourth straight win, defeating the Heat 4-3 on Saturday night.
-The Comets have now won six in a row against the Heat and are 6-1-1 against them this season, including a perfect 4-0-0 in Abbotsford.
-Alexandre Grenier scored twice to give him 15 goals on the season, which puts him in fourth spot in rookie goal scoring.
-Brandon DeFazio scored the other Comets goal, just 2:05 into the first period.
-Ferriero, who was named the Second Star of the game, is now riding an eight-game point streak.
-Pascal Pelletier led the way with two assists, while Peter Andersson, Yann Sauve and Jordan Schroeder all had one helper apiece.
-Joacim Eriksson made 23 saves to pick up his 11th win of the season and seventh in his last eight starts.
-With the win, the Comets are now 6-1-0 when playing in Canada.
Comet of the Week
Joacim Eriksson takes the nod this week after posting a stellar 3-0-0 record with a 1.31 goals-against average, .953 save-percentage and one shutout. Eriksson was also awarded the AHL Player of the Week honours for his stellar play, which was on full display on Friday night as the product of Gavle, Sweden made three or four tremendous saves, including a diving stick save in the second period. Through 24 games this season, Eriksson is 11-11-1 with a 2.63 GAA, .911 SV% and three shutouts. In his last eight starts, the 6-foot-2, 196-pounder is 7-1-0 with a 1.73 GAA, .940 SV% and two shutouts.Coming Up…
The Comets return home on Tuesday for a matchup against the Lake Erie Monsters (17-20-0-4) before hosting the Syracuse Crunch (17-18-2-4) on Friday and the Rockford IceHogs (20-20-4-2) on Saturday night.