UTICA – Through all the injuries and roster fluctuations, the Utica Comets closed a hectic regular season on a high note Sunday afternoon.

One of the newest players to the playoff-bound Comets' roster helped make it happen against the Binghamton Devils.

Rookie forward Lukas Jasek scored with 1:31 left in overtime and the Comets edged the Devils 4-3 in a penalty-filled contest before an announced sell-out crowd of 3,917 at the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

After Binghamton forced overtime with Austin Cangelosi’s shorthanded breakaway goal early in the third, Jasek grabbed Wacey Hamilton’s backhand cross-ice feed and put a sneaky shot from bottom of the right circle through Cam Johnson's legs for his third goal in six games with the Comets (38-26-8-4, 88 points), who snapped a three-game winless streak.

“I saw (Jasek) coming down the right side with some speed and I kind of overshot him on the pass, but he was able to pick it up and he made a real nice play,” said Hamilton, who has a career-best 18 assists and 22 points.

Thatcher Demko also stopped 30 shots to earn the win. With the victory, Demko surpassed Joacim Eriksson’s marks for victories in a season as well career with the Comets. Demko has 25 wins in the regular-season and has 47 career victories with the Comets.

The Comets finished 23-9-8-4 in one-goal games during the regular season.

“I think it keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure, playing like that,” Hamilton said. “You need to be able to win those tight games. … We’re not trying to win one-goal games, but we’ve proven all year we can pull through.”

Skilled 20-year-old prospect Jonathan Dahlen had a goal and assist in his second regular-season game in North America and Patrick Wiercioch also scored for the Comets, who had a few regulars out of the lineup with the first-round playoff series against Toronto beginning next weekend. The Comets Nikolay Goldobin also left the game with an injury. Comets coach Trent Cull had no update after the game.

“I thought we got back to a little bit more a working atmosphere,” Cull said. “We’re trying to have the idea of everyone having a little bit of ice. Guys are jockeying for those last spots on our roster.”

The teams combined for 64 penalty minutes and each team went 1-for-6 on the power play.

“We’re gearing up for the playoffs, so we wanted to play a physical game and I think that’s what you saw,” Hamilton said.

The Comets and Devils (25-38-8-4, 6th place in the North) combined for four goals in a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes.

Binghamton’s sixth-ranked power play unit grabbed a 1-0 lead when Jan Mandat’s shot from the high slot through traffic in front of the net redirected past Demko’s glove less than four minutes into the game.

Dahlen got his first point with the Comets when he buried a centering feed from Carter Bancks past Johnson from in front with 13:20 left in the first.

“I thought it was good for (Dahlen) to get in there on the scoresheet,” Cull said. “I thought he had a good day.”

The Devils regained the lead less than five minutes later on Nick Lappin’s 31st of the season before the Comets tied it again later with help from a nice play by Dahlen.

On the play, Dahlen stepped out of the box, got the box and made a few nifty moves to get through some Devils defenders to get to the net. The puck popped free and Wiercioch tapped it in to tie the game 2 with 1:46 left.

The goal was the 10th of the season for the veteran defenseman, matching his career high in the AHL.

The Comets grabbed their first lead of the game in a penalty-filled second.

Utica’s 13th-ranked power play took advantage of Binghamton’s 21st-ranked penalty kill early in the period. On the play, Goldobin sent to the puck to Zack MacEwen in front, where the rookie forward had his initial chance stopped by Johnson. In an ensuing scrum around the net, the puck bounced over to Chaput, who scored his 17th goal of the season past a sprawling Johnson with 15:19 left.

The goal snapped a three-game goalless stretch for the Comets on the man-advantage.

Notes: The Comets finished the season with 1,164 penalty minutes, which is a team record. The previous mark was 1,092 in 2013-14. … The Comets handed out end-of-season awards before Sunday’s game. Reid Boucher (MVP) and Jaime Sifers (Class Guy) each won two awards. See the full list.


Comets 4, Devils 3 (OT)

Binghamton 2 0 1 0 - 3

Utica 2 1 0 1 - 4

1st Period-1, Binghamton, Mandat 4 (Kapla, Lucia), 4:09 (PP). 2, Utica, Dahlen 1 (Sifers, Cherniwchan), 6:40. 3, Binghamton, Lappin 31 (Kapla, Seney), 10:25. 4, Utica, Wiercioch 10 (Dahlen, Hamilton), 18:14. Penalties-Lind Uti (boarding), 2:30; Baddock Bng (tripping), 7:55; Thomson Bng (roughing), 10:25; Sifers Uti (slashing), 10:25; Dirk Bng (holding), 12:47; Dahlen Uti (high-sticking), 16:00; Hamilton Uti (slashing), 19:14.

2nd Period-5, Utica, Chaput 17 (MacEwen, Goldobin), 4:41 (PP). Penalties-Thomson Bng (interference), 2:20; Bertschy Bng (boarding), 4:25; Seney Bng (interference), 6:26; Darcy Uti (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:26; MacEwen Uti (kneeing), 9:09; Seney Bng (cross-checking), 9:54; Chaput Uti (roughing), 9:54; Baddock Bng (cross-checking), 12:14; Motte Uti (interference), 13:07; Baddock Bng (cross-checking), 18:11; Brisebois Uti (cross-checking), 18:11.

3rd Period-6, Binghamton, Cangelosi 2 4:31 (SH). Penalties-Mandat Bng (roughing, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:54; Hamilton Uti (roughing, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:54; Johnson Bng (delay of game), 3:51.

OT Period-7, Utica, Jasek 3 (Hamilton, Sautner), 3:29. Penalties-Wiercioch Uti (hooking), 0:19.

Shots on Goal-Binghamton 10-12-8-3-33. Utica 7-7-13-2-29.

Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 1 / 6; Utica 1 / 6.

Goalies-Binghamton, Johnson 0-1-2 (29 shots-25 saves). Utica, Demko 25-13-7 (33 shots-30 saves).


Referees-Jeremy Tufts (78), Cameron Voss (41).

Linesmen-Brian Oliver (74), Andy Petrus (26).