BY DON SCOTT
The Utica Comets made the long trip to Hershey Saturday with a 6-0-0-0 record, averaging six goals a game, and despite scoring just twice became the only AHL team to remain undefeated, following a 2-1 shootout victory. Hershey finished October with a 4-3-1-1 record.
With the teams playing 4-on-4, Adam Gaudette scored Utica’s only goal in regulation at the 9:36 mark of the first period, beating Hershey goalie Vitek Vanecek with a quick shot. Shots after 20 minutes were 10-7 Utica.
The Bears controlled the play most of the second period but were unable to get anything past Comets goaltender Michael DiPietro who stopped all 14 shots he faced to keep it a 1-0 Utica lead.
In the third, Philippe Maillet pulled Hershey even with his first goal in a Bears uniform. Maillet sent a wrist shot past DiPietro at 6:09 to break the shutout bid and Alex Alexeyev earned the secondary assist for his fifth helper of the season.
The 1-1 deadlock carried into overtime and eventually the first shootout of the season for the Bears. In the skills competition, Reid Boucher connected for Utica with the shootout’s only goal in the bottom of the third round.
“For probably 50 minutes we carried the play and had several good chances on the power play where we had possession for about two minutes, but couldn’t get anything past the goaltender,” Bears coach Spencer Carberry pointed out.
“We’re playing the way we want to play and the way the organization wants us to play with quick transition and speed on the forecheck, but you have to look at the fact they played Friday night, then had to travel 5 1/2 hours so the ice was tilted a bit,” Carberry continued.
The Bears return to action on Friday, Nov. 1 on the road against the Springfield Thunderbirds to start a three-games in three nights weekend.