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Comets Calder Cup Run: Western Conference semis shifts to Oklahoma after Barons and Comets split first two in Utica.

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Game 3 of the Calder Cup Western Conference semifinals will be played at the Cox Convention Centre in Oklahoma where the Comets and Barons will square off tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven matchup. The Comets won Game 2 2-1 in overtime thanks to Alex Grenier's first of the playoffs. Grenier, Cal O'Reilly and Adam Clendening lead the way with two points each in Utica's first win of the series.

Courtesy of the UticaComets.com

Courtesy of the UticaComets.com

The Utica Comets arrived safely in Oklahoma after the state was under tornado warning on Sunday afternoon and experiencing severe storms throughout the weekend.

Darren Archibald, WIll Acton and Ludwig Blomstrand did not travel with the team to Oklahoma City, according to a report on the Comets' website.

After a marathon of a match in a 2-1 Game 1 seven period overtime loss on, the Comets rebounded with a 2-1 OT victory of their own on Friday night at The Aud when Alexandre Grenier (1-4-5) redirected Adam Clendening's (3-1-4) point shot for his first goal of the Calder Cup playoffs. Jacob Markstrom remained steady in the Utica crease stopping 22 of 23 shots faced after setting aside 65 saves just 19 hours before in Game 1.

Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen was inserted back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 1. Jensen started the game skating in place of Hunter Shinkaruk on the Comets top line, but was later demoted to play with Alex Friesen and Cory Conacher on the second line after head coach Travis Green promoted Sven Baertschi. Shinkaruk found himself lined up alongside Mike Zalewski and Brandon DeFazio on Utica's third forward group. Defenseman Peter Andersson made his playoff debut in favour of veteran Kent Huskins and finished with 3 SOG on the night.

Utica came out like gangbusters in the first period outshooting OKC 12-6, but the Barons were able to strike first thanks to the Camrose, British Coliumbia's Kellen and Connor Jones -- the 25-year-old twin brothers who played collegiately at Qunnipac University before signing with Oklahoma in April of 2014. The Jones twins came into the Comets zone on a 2-on-2 with Kellen firing a shot on net that redirected off Comets defenseman Travis Ehrhardt and then hopped right on to the blade of Connor who capitalized on his second whack of the bouncing pack beating Jacob Markstrom. The unfortunate bounce would bring Connor (3-0-3) and Kellen (2-1-3) to three identical points each in the Barons playoff run.

The middle stanza was almost an equivalent flashback  of the overtime sessions in Game 1 with both goaltenders stranding tall stopping 11 shots a piece. Richard Bachman and Jacob Markstrom have been sensational through Games 1 and 2 combining to stop 179 of 185 shots on goal (.968 SV %). The Comets had a glorious opportunity on a 2-on-0 between Cal O'Reilly and Grenier, but Bachman robbed O'Reilly with the stick of his shaft on a cross crease pass.

Utica would eventually snap Bachman's shutout streak of over 141 minutes 1:31 into the 3rd period. Adam Clendening made every minor hockey league coach proud when he simply threw the puck on net through a sea of players hoping for a rebound or screen. Bachman was unable to track the Clendening shot and the capacity filled crowd at the Utica Memorial Auditorium dawning the #WhiteoutTheAud t-shirts could cheer for a goal again in over 8 periods of hockey. Alexandre Grenier and Cal O'Reilly drew the helpers.

Brendan Gaunce had a chance to put it home in the final seconds of the 3rd period, but elected to shoot on a 2-on-0 next to centre Wacey Hamilton. Hamilton was hooked down by Barons' Ryan Hamilton which gave the Comets a 1:58 man advantage to start overtime. Gaunce has been playing some of his best hockey of the year after being a healthy scratch in Game 3 of Round 1 versus the Chicago Wolves. Gaunce finished Game 2 with a game high of 7 SOG.

And for the second straight night, the Comets and Barons would head into extra time to solve the outcome of the game. Although the Comets couldn't convert on the penalty Hamilton drew, Utica wasted no time finishing the game 3:32 into overtime. Adam Clendening threw a shot on net -- much like his 3rd period goal -- after Cal O'Reilly fed him at the point was tipped in by Alexandre Grenier to seal the deal.

SCORESHEET

AHL Game #K-2
Oklahoma City 1 at  Utica 2
Utica Memorial Auditorium
May 8, 2015
Referee: Garrett Rank (48)
Dave Lewis (46)
Linesmen: Brian Oliver (74)
Jud Ritter (34)
Three Stars:
1. UTI - J. Markstrom
2. UTI - A. Grenier
3. OKC - R. Bachman
Game Start: 7:02 PM EDT
Game End: 9:49 PM
Game Length: 2:47
Attendance: 3835


SCORING 1 2 3 OT T
Oklahoma City 1 0 0 0 1
Utica 0 0 1 1 2
SHOTS 1 2 3 OT T
Oklahoma City 6 11 6 0 23
Utica 12 11 13 2 38
PP PIM PTS
Oklahoma City 0 / 2 6 min / 3 inf 1 G + 2 A = 3 Pts
Utica 0 / 2 6 min / 3 inf 2 G + 4 A = 6 Pts


V-H # Per Team Time Goals Assists Type On Ice (+/-)
1 - 0 1 1st OKC 8:50 C. Jones (3) K. Jones, M. Ford V 3 11 20 29 36 H 2 6 8 47 89
1 - 1 2 3rd UTI 1:31 A. Clendening (3) A. Grenier, C. O'Reilly V 6 11 18 20 36 H 16 26 28 44 47
1 - 2 3 OT UTI 3:32 A. Grenier (1) A. Clendening, C. O'Reilly V 6 14 17 18 37 H 2 16 28 44 47


OKLAHOMA CITY ROSTER
No Name G A +/- Sh PIM
G 31 L. Brossoit 0 0 0 0 0
G 32 R. Bachman 0 0 0 0 0
D 3 B. Davidson 0 0 +1 3 0
D 6 D. Musil 0 0 -2 0 0
C 7 J. Khaira 0 0 0 1 0
LW 8 B. Winchester 0 0 0 2 0
LW 10 C. Hamilton 0 0 0 1 0
RW 11 M. Ford 0 1 0 0 0
LW 12 R. Hamilton 0 0 0 2 2
C 14 C. Stretch 0 0 -1 2 0
D 15 J. Oesterle 0 0 0 0 4
RW 17 A. Miller 0 0 -1 2 0
D 18 D. Simpson 0 0 -2 1 0
C 19 J. Williams 0 0 0 1 0
C 20 C. Jones 1 0 0 1 0
LW 27 M. Moroz 0 0 0 1 0
D 28 M. Marincin 0 0 0 0 0
D 29 B. Hunt 0 0 +1 2 0
LW 36 K. Jones 0 1 0 4 0
LW 37 J. Winquist 0 0 -1 0 0
Team:
Totals: 1 2 -5 23 6
OKLAHOMA CITY GOALIES
No Name Min SH SVS GA
32 R. Bachman (L) 63:32 38 36 2
Totals: 63:32 38 36 2
UTICA ROSTER
No Name G A +/- Sh PIM
G 30 J. Eriksson 0 0 0 0 0
G 33 J. Markstrom 0 0 0 0 0
D 2 T. Ehrhardt 0 0 0 2 0
D 3 A. Biega 0 0 0 0 0
D 6 B. Sanguinetti 0 0 -1 3 0
C 8 A. Friesen 0 0 -1 1 0
LW 9 H. Shinkaruk 0 0 0 3 0
LW 10 B. Gaunce 0 0 0 7 0
C 14 M. Zalewski 0 0 0 0 0
C 16 C. O'Reilly 0 2 +2 2 0
RW 17 N. Jensen 0 0 0 2 2
RW 24 B. DeFazio 0 0 0 0 2
D 26 F. Corrado 0 0 +1 2 0
RW 28 A. Grenier 1 1 +2 2 2
RW 34 C. Bancks 0 0 0 2 0
C 36 W. Hamilton 0 0 0 3 0
D 40 P. Andersson 0 0 0 3 0
D 44 A. Clendening 1 1 +2 3 0
LW 47 S. Baertschi 0 0 +1 1 0
LW 89 C. Conacher 0 0 -1 2 0
Team:
Totals: 2 4 5 38 6
UTICA GOALIES
No Name Min SH SVS GA
33 J. Markstrom (W) 63:32 23 22 1
Totals: 63:32 23 22 1
PENALTIES
P T Player M Offense Time
1st H B. DeFazio 2.00 Interference 12:28
2nd V J. Oesterle 2.00 High-sticking 11:24
2nd H A. Grenier 2.00 Roughing 11:24
3rd H N. Jensen 2.00 Delay of game 10:02
3rd V J. Oesterle 2.00 Slashing 11:39
3rd V R. Hamilton 2.00 Holding 19:58

GAME HIGHLIGHTS