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Lowly Comets shock league-leading Heat

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The Canadian Press
11/30/2013 12:52:48 AM
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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Joe Cannata made 35 saves as the Utica Comets beat the Abbotsford Heat 3-2 in American Hockey League play Friday.

The 23-year-old picked up his first win of the season in the upset. Abbotsford currently sits first in the AHL while Utica is last.

The Heat scored two late goals to get within one, but couldn't come all the way back.

Pascal Pelletier had a goal and an assist, while Cal O'Reilly and Yannick Weber also scored for Utica (5-11-2).

The Comets have now won three of their past four games and four straight on the road.

Abbotsford (17-6-1) lost for just the second time in 15 games, snapping a four-game winning streak. Joni Ortio made 14 saves in his first loss this season.

Michael Ferland and Greg Nemisz had the Heat goals.

The Comets got the game's first goal thanks to a fortuitous ricochet. O'Reilly's centring pass deflected off of Abbotsford forward Ben Street's foot and in, giving O'Reilly his first of the year at 12:54 of the first. It was just his fourth game since signing with the Comets after leaving Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the KHL.

Then, at 7:36 of the second, the Comets doubled their lead. Brandon DeFazio drove hard to the net, squeaking the puck under Ortio and Pelletier promptly helped it across the goal-line for his fourth of the season.

Darren Archibald had a great chance to increase the Comets' lead during a power play late in the second. He got behind the Heat defence but his shot found the post

The Comets made it 3-0 on the power play at 3:15, with Weber being the benefactor of another bounce off a Heat player. His point shot ricocheted twice on the way to the goal, including off a defender's skate in the low slot, making it impossible for Ortio to stop.

The Heat broke Cannata's shutout bid with six minutes to go when Ferland wired a wrist shot from the top of the circle for his fifth of the year.

They cut the deficit to one less than two minutes later. Nemisz was the last to touch the puck during a goalmouth scramble, giving him four goals on the season.

The two teams face each other again Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Abbotsford Heat (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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