Hitting the road.
The Utica Comets knew they were in for a fight in their third round series against the Grand Rapids Griffins. So far, it has been just that. After splitting the first two games, the series now shifts to Grand Rapids for the next three.
The Comets have played just five times on the road so far during their post-season run, winning three times. Meanwhile, the Griffins are a perfect 5-0 on home ice.
One thing the Comets have going for them, they have yet to lose back-to-back games during the playoffs, and after dropping Game 2, they will look for that trend to continue.
Game 1 – Sunday, May 24th – Utica 2 – Griffins 1
Game 2 – Monday, May 25th – Griffins 4 – Comets 2
Game 3 – Thursday, May 28th – 4pm PT @ Grand Rapids
Game 4 – Friday, May 29th – 4pm PT @ Grand Rapids
**Game 5 – Sunday, May 21st – 2pm PT @ Grand Rapids
**Game 6 – Tuesday, June 2nd – 4pm PT @ Utica
**Game 7 – Wednesday, June 3rd – 4pm PT @ Utica
** If necessary
Game 1: Comets 2 – Griffins 1
-Nicklas Jensen opened the scoring just 35 seconds into the game, sniping the puck over the shoulder of Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum from the goal line for his second of the post-season.
-Brandon DeFazio made it 2-0 just past the midway mark of the first period on an awkward looking shot that trickled past McCollum.
-The Griffins would get on the board with a power-play marker later in the first period as Mark Zengerle tipped a point shot by Markstrom. That would be all the scoring this game would see.
-Jacob Markstrom stopped 25-of-26 shots while being named the first star of the game.
-The Comets held a 31-26 advantage in the shots department, giving up just six shots to the Griffins in the final 20 minutes of play.
Game 2: Griffins 4 – Comets 2
-It was a rare off night for Jacob Markstrom, who allowed four goals on 16 shots in 40 minutes of work.
-Brendan Gaunce got the Comets on the board with a power-play marker with 5:40 remaining in the third period. The 2012 first-rounder one-timed a slap shot home from the slot for his fourth goal of the post-season.
-Sven Baertschi made it interesting with 2:30 remaining, as he took a nifty pass off Gaunce’s skate and put the puck in the back of the net to make it a 4-2 game.
-Joacim Eriksson played goal in the third period, stopping both shots he faced.
-The Comets held a 34-18 advantage in shots in the game, including 12-2 in the final 20 minutes.
-Alexandre Grenier (6-foot-4, 210-pounds) dropped the mitts with Griffins defenceman Brennan Evans (6-foot-4, 230-pounds) in a third period scrap.