Friday wrap: Comets rally past Isles

Photo: Jeff Pexton

📝 With files from Patrick Williams

Here is a look at Friday night around the AHL:

The Comets broke out with four third-period goals and snapped a three-game home losing streak with a victory over the Islanders. Trailing 2-1, Utica (9-9-3-1) tied the game on Joe Gambardella’s goal 1:51 into the third before Ryan Schmelzer gave the Comets the lead at 9:04. Nolan Foote scored twice for Utica; Tyce Thompson, son of Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson, had a goal and an assist; and Mackenzie Blackwood made 31 saves in his second conditioning start down from New Jersey. Ruslan Iskhakov and Jeff Kubiak scored for Bridgeport (14-7-5-0), which suffered its first regulation loss on the road since opening night, ending a 6-0-4-0 run.

Texas (15-7-2-2) won its sixth consecutive game and moved into first place in the Central Division, doubling up the Wild. Oskar Back broke a 34-game drought with his first goal since Apr. 3, and Marian Studenic scored the Stars’ league-leading seventh shorthanded goal of the season. Rhett Gardner and Fredrik Karlstrom also scored for Texas, and Anton Khudobin made 27 saves. Kevin Conley and Mike O’Leary scored for Iowa (11-10-2-2)

The Firebirds (14-5-3-0) completed their two-month stretch of games away from home with a resounding win over the Gulls. Jesper Froden recorded Coachella Valley’s third hat trick of the season, and defensemen Ryker Evans and former Gull Brogan Rafferty each had three assists. Justin Kirkland’s goal nine seconds into the game would prove to be the only San Diego shot to get past Joey Daccord (16 saves). The Gulls (6-20-0-0) have lost 10 straight. The Firebirds make their Palm Desert debut on Sunday against Tucson with points in 13 of their last 15 games (10-2-3-0).

The Eagles (16-7-2-0) moved back atop the Pacific Division with a win over the visiting Barracuda. Spencer Smallman had a shorthanded goal and an assist for Colorado, and Justus Annunen made 28 saves to improve to 7-0-2 in his last nine decisions. Danil Gushchin picked up a goal and an assist for San Jose (13-12-0-1), giving him 10 points in his last seven games.

Malcolm Subban made 45 saves and the Amerks (13-9-1-1) used three early goals to power past the Checkers in Charlotte. Brett Murray scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season and assisted on goals by Jiri Kulich and Lukas Rousek as Rochester raced out to a 3-0 lead just 6:31 into the contest. Subban took a shutout bid into the third period before the Checkers (12-10-2-1) got goals from Riley Nash and Patrick Giles.

Artem Anisimov scored his second goal of the night on an overtime power play to give the Phantoms (12-9-1-1) their third win of the season at Providence’s Amica Mutual Pavilion. Kieffer Bellows and Elliot Desnoyers scored early for Lehigh Valley, and Anisimov and Adam Ginning (his first AHL goal) tallied in the third period to erase a 4-2 deficit. Fabian Lysell notched a goal and an assist for the Bruins (15-4-4-2), who visit the Phantoms tonight.

The Wolf Pack (9-10-1-4) scored a season-high six goals and secured their first three-game winning streak of the season with a victory in Grand Rapids. Former Griffins forward Turner Elson broke a 3-3 tie at 6:32 of the third period to put Hartford on top to stay, and Ryan Carpenter notched two goals and an assist for his first three points since being assigned to Hartford by the New York Rangers last week. Lauri Pajuniemi, Gustav Rydahl and Zac Jones also scored for the Wolf Pack. Taro Hirose and Kyle Criscuolo tallied a goal and an assist apiece for Grand Rapids (10-13-1-0).

Joseph Blandisi and Mikhail Abramov scored 29 seconds apart midway through the third period to send Toronto to a 4-3 win in Rockford… Simon Ryfors scored the go-ahead goal with 9:01 remaining as Syracuse rallied for a 4-2 win over visiting Springfield… Dustin Tokarski made 29 saves to backstop Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 3-1 win over division-leading Hershey… Linus Karlsson recorded a goal and an assist and Abbotsford improved to 9-2-1-0 in its last 12 games with a 3-2 win in Henderson… The Ontario-Bakersfield game was postponed due to unsafe rink conditions in Bakersfield; no make-up information was announced.