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Comets Rewind - Mar 31, 2014

by Tyson Giuriato / Vancouver Canucks
Crunch time.

The Utica Comets (30-29-4-4) picked up three of a possible six points this past weekend but now find themselves seven points out of a playoff spot with just nine games remaining. The Comets do have two games in-hand on eighth place Charlotte but a tough five-game road trip is on the horizon.

Weekly Results

Friday, March 28: Abbotsford Heat 2 – Utica Comets 1 (OT)

-Alex Friesen’s shorthanded marker in the first period proved to be all the offence the Comets could muster on Friday night as they dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Heat.

-The Comets fired a club record 44 shots on Heat goaltender Joni Ortio, with 10 of those shots coming off the stick of Brandon DeFazio.

-Jeremy Welsh grabbed the lone assist on Friesen’s goal and was the only Comet to finish with a plus-1 rating.

-Joacim Eriksson turned aside 28 shots in the Comets crease.

-Alex Mallet took on Carter Bancks in a third period scrap. This was a rematch of a last season’s memorable fight between the two:

Saturday, March 29: Abbotsford Heat 7 – Utica Comets 2

-A second period meltdown by the Comets resulted in five goals for the Heat en route to a 7-2 win over Utica on Saturday night.

-Alex Biega (3) and Jeremy Welsh (3) scored the goals for the Comets.

-Alex Friesen grabbed two assists in the game, while Peter Andersson and Brandon DeFazio both had one helper apiece.

-Joacim Eriksson allowed five goals on 24 shots before being replaced by Joe Cannata, who turned aside 12 shots in relief.

-Biega and Welsh led all Comets skaters with five shots on goal as the Heat outshot Utica 38-34 on the night.

-DeFazio was the lone Comets skater to finish with a positive plus/minus, finishing plus-1.

-There were a pair of scraps in the game as Yann Sauve took on Tim Miller, while Darren Archibald dropped the mitts with Heat captain Dean Arsene.

Sunday, March 30: Utica Comets 3 – Iowa Wild 2

-Trailing 2-0 to start the second period, the Comets mounted the comeback to take a 3-2 win over the Wild on Sunday afternoon, capping off a three-game in three-day weekend.

-Brandon DeFazio (15) scored the game-winner early in the third period, while Pascal Pelletier (15) and Jeremy Welsh (4) added second period goals.

-Frank Corrado, who arrived at the rink just prior to warm-up after being reassigned by the Canucks late Saturday night, picked up two assists in the game, giving him four helpers in his last two games.

-Pelletier also had two assists in the game, giving him three points on the afternoon, while Cal O’Reilly added one assist.

-Alex Biega led all Comets players in the shot department for the second straight game, getting five pucks on Wild goaltender Johan Gustafsson.

-Joe Cannata turned aside 32 shots between the barber poles for the Comets.

-Kellan Lain took on Iowa defenseman, and former Spokane Chief, Corbin Baldwin in a first period dust-up.

Comet of the Week

Brandon DeFazio is the latest Comet of the Week after netting one goal, one assist and 15 shots on goal in three games this past weekend. The 25-year-old didn’t pick up a point on Friday night, but did post a career-high 10 shots on goal. After grabbing an assist and 12 penalty-minutes on Saturday, DeFazio netted the game-winner for the Comets in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Iowa. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound forward who signed with the Canucks back in July, has 29 points (15-14-29) and 90 penalty-minutes in 67 games this season. DeFazio’s 175 shots on goal this season lead all Comets skaters by 30.

Coming Up…

For the third straight weekend, the Comets will play three games in less than three days as they host the Toronto Marlies (41-20-2-4) on Friday night before embarking on a five-game road trip that will see them in Syracuse to take on the Crunch (27-29-4-7) on Saturday night before heading north of the border to take on the Marlies on Sunday afternoon. You can catch the Comets in Toronto on Sunday afternoon live on Sportsnet 360 starting at 12:00pm PST.

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