After being scratched for two games, Brendan Gaunce returned to the lineup on Saturday night and helped punch the Utica Comets into Round 2.
The 2012 first-rounder scored twice on Saturday night as the Comets skated to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Wolves in front of a boisterous sold out crowd in Utica, ending what was a very closely-contested best-of-five series, that saw three games go into overtime and four of the five games decided by one goal.
The Comets will now take on Oklahoma City in a best-of-seven second round series.
Game 1 – Wednesday, April 22th – Utica 3 – Chicago 2 (2OT)Click here for a recap of Game 1 and 2.
Game 2 – Friday, April 24th – Chicago 2 – Utica 1
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 29th – Utica 2 – Chicago 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Friday, May 1st – Chicago 4 – Utica 3 (OT)
Game 5 – Saturday, May 2nd – Utica 4 – Chicago 2
Game 3: Comets 2 – Wolves 1 (OT)
•The Wolves opened the scoring late in the first period and were able to hang onto their lead until Adam Clendening (1) netted his first of the post-season with a shot from the point on the man-advantage.
•Darren Archibald (1) scored the game winner just past the midway mark of first overtime period, wiring home a wrist shot from the top of the circles.
•Jacob Markstrom stopped 26-of-27 shots fired his way in the Utica crease.
•Travis Ehrhardt, Alex Friesen and Cal O’Reilly each finishing the night with one helper.
•The Comets held a decisive advantage in the shots department, outshooting the Wolves by a count of 52-27 on the night, including a 44-19 advantage in regulation.
Game 4: Wolves 4 – Comets 3 (OT)
•Adam Clendening (2), Cory Conacher (1) and Bobby Sanguinetti (2) all tallied for the Comets.
•With the Comets shorthanded after being whistled for too many men just 1:02 into overtime, Joel Edmundson found the back of the net to give the Wolves the victory and force a Game 5.
•Sven Baertschi had a big night, finishing with three helpers, while Cal O’Reilly had two assists.
•Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves off 32 shots, marking the first time since January 1st that he has allowed more than three goals in a game, a span of 23 games.
•The Comets held a 38-32 lead in shots.
Game 5: Comets 4 – Wolves 2
•Brandon DeFazio (1) opened the scoring 18 seconds into the middle stanza.
•Just over five minutes after the Wolves got on the board, Brendan Gaunce (1) restored the Comets lead.
•A little over two minutes after the Wolves found the equalizer again, Gaunce (2) added his second of the night to give Utica the lead for good.
•Sven Baertschi (1) added an empty-netter with 44 seconds remaining. Baertschi also had an assist in the game, which brings his post-season totals up to five points in three contests.
•Cal O’Reilly finished the night with three assists, giving him seven assists in the series.
•Bobby Sanguinetti setup two goals on the night, while Alex Friesen finished with one helper.
•Jacob Markstrom stopped 17-of-19 shots between the barber poles for the Comets.