( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26

The Utica Comets (37-14-6-1) scored late goals in the first and second periods and don’t look back as they won 4-1 over the Providence Bruins (30-18-53-6) on Star Wars Weekend at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Sunday evening. Providence failed to capitalize on four power play chances and heavily outshot the Comet’s 47-39. Utica goaltender Mareks Mitens made 46 stops against Providence for his seventh victory of the season.

Late in the opening stanza, Providence took two penalties with Victor Berglund and Josiah Didier in the box. On the ensuing 5-on-3 man advantage, Troy Grosenick made a remarkable stop sliding to his right to rob Utica forward Fabian Zatterlund of a sure goal. Unfortunately, Utica would get the game’s first goal moments after Grosenick’s save as Alexander Holtz scored his 22nd of the season. The sniper received the puck at the top of the right circle and wired a wrist shot over the blocker of Grosenick. 

Providence nearly scored the equalizer three minutes into the second stanza after Eduards Tralmaks was left wide open in the high slot. Tralmaks looked to go glove side on Mitens, but the Utica goaltender denied him the chance of tying the game. 

Providence seemed to be in the offensive zone for the majority of the second period. Still, the Comet’s defense denied any high danger scoring opportunities in front of Mitens. Utica would double their lead with 5:35 remaining in the middle frame. The goal came off the stick of Samuel Laberge, who beat a sprawling Grosenick for a 2-0 lead. 

Up until the five-minute mark in the third period, Providence outshot Utica 15-8 in the period and put a ton of pressure in the Comet’s zone. The P-Bruins finally solved Mitens off of Eduards Tralmaks’s 12th goal of the year. Tralmaks’s tally came off a nifty no-look pass from Justin Brazeau behind the net, and Tralmaks was able to tuck the pass on the near side post past Mitens.

With two minutes remaining in regulation, Ryan Mougenel elected to pull Grosenick for the extra attacker. Both Steven Fogarty and Jack Ahcan took undisciplined penalties and prevented any chance for a potential comeback. Utica would add two empty net goals from Tyler Wotherspoon and Brian Flynn for a 4-1 final at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Troy Grosenick stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced against the Comets and played well despite the score. Providence is back in action on Friday, April 1st, against the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7:05 PM EST.