Joacim Eriksson made 27 saves and the Utica penalty kill came up big again as the Comets hung on to defeat the Binghamton Senators 3-2 Wednesday in an American Hockey League game at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Comets, 6-1-1-0 in the young season and in first place in the North Division.
and defensemen Peter Andersson
and Bobby Sanguinetti
scored for the Comets, with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Chris Wideman getting the goals for the Senators, who dropped to 2-4-2-0.
Once again, the game came down to the Comets’ ability to kill penalties. They stopped all four Binghamton power plays, all after taking that 3-2 lead, including one in the last 97 seconds of the game, when Brandon DeFazio was called for high-sticking. Eriksson, with Wacey Hamilton, Bancks, Alex Biega and Andersson in front of him, had to hold up against a 6-on-4 over the last 58 seconds after Binghamton pulled goalie Andrew Hammond.
The Comets have killed 30 of 31 penalties this season, 97 percent and tops in the AHL.
Utica got off to a quick start on Bancks’ goal midway through the first period, but the Senators pulled even on Pageau’s score a little over a minute later. Andersson, who had scored three goals in 107 previous AHL games, then put the Comets ahead at 3:22 of the second period. Sanguinetti, set up by Cal O’Reilly, made it 3-1 at 7:42, but Wideman scored 39 seconds later, and it was a nailbiter the rest of the way.
Senators will visit the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Friday, and the Comets go to Glens Falls to play the Adirondack Flames on Saturday.