Utica, NY – The Adirondack Flames finally picked up their first win versus Utica this season, with a decisive 4-0 win over the Comets at the Utica Memorial Coliseum on Friday evening. The victory was the first for the Flames in ten meetings with the Comets.
Winger Bryce Van Brabant propelled the offense with a goal and an assist this evening. Goaltender Brad Thiessen held down the fort, as he stopped all 30 shots he saw and was rewarded with his second shutout on the season. Drew Shore, John Ramage and Mark Cundari had the other three goals for the Flames in the victory.
It took just four seconds for the animosity between these two teams to come to fruition, as Dustin Stevenson squared off for a fight with Andrey Pedan right off the opening faceoff to start the tenth meeting between the clubs this season. The opening frame finished just as it started, with two more fights before the horn sounded. Winger David Wolf disputed Carter Bancks followed by forward Ben Hanowski, who went toe-to-toe with Will Acton. The fight filled first period ended with a 13-12 shot advantage for Utica and no goals on the scoreboard.
Byrce Van Brabant scored the game’s opening goal 1:56 into the second period, as he collected a rebound off of a Sena Acolatse shot from the point and wristed the puck past Joacim Eriksson after a net mouth scrum. Van Brabant’s eighth of the season marked the first time that the Flames have held a lead in Utica, in now their fifth trip to the Auditorium. With the lone assist on the play, the Haywood, CA native Acolatse registered his ninth point over his last 10 games and increased his scoring streak to five games. Kenny Agostino also had an assist on the play.
The Flames earned their first multi-goal lead against Utica at the 6:06 mark courtesy of John Ramage’s third goal of the season. The defensemen and University of Wisconsin product pinched down to the top of the crease, where he found a loose puck in the middle of a scrum in front of the net and jammed it over a sprawling Eriksson. Turner Elson collected the primary assist, after he powered his way to the goal and started the chaos in front on the original shot. Van Brabant also collected an assist on the play, his second point on the evening and the second multi-point game of his AHL career.
Mark Cundari added to the second period lead for the Flames with a five-on-three power-play goal. Cundari got credit for his fourth goal of the campaign and first goal on the road since Dec. 17 with a big slap shot from the high point that beat Eriksson over the blocker. Baertschi got the only assist on the assistant captain’s goal at 16:23 of the second, which sent the Flames into the locker room with a 3-0 aevantage over the Comets.
Adirondack picked up right where it left off in the middle frame at the 5:12 mark of period number three, as Drew Shore tapped home a rebound off a Dustin Stevenson point shot. Shore’s 12th goal on the year and fourth as a Flame came on the power play, the second goal on the man advantage for the Flames this evening. The Flames matched their season total in power play goals against Utica, as they had only two power-play goals in the first nine games against the Comets. Baertschi notched his second helper of the evening with the secondary helper. The Flames would hold onto their 4-0 lead and cruise to the victory over the Comets as they improved to 59 points on the season.
The Flames look to make it two in a row as they are back in action tomorrow evening against the Toronto Marlies at home, the first game at the Civic Center since Feb. 10. The Flames will be wearing special Calgary Flames themed jerseys that will be auctioned off after game. The Flames will also announce the 2015 class of the Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame. Puck drop for the North Division battle is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Adirondack Flames Hockey • Fired Up