February 29, 2024
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Hockey gamers will take targets every time they’ll get them, however one AHL participant most likely didn’t need his newest to occur the way in which it did. 

The Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, performed the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate, the Rochester Individuals, this previous Friday evening when Comets ahead Graeme Clarke skated towards aim and lifted a wrist shot towards internet. 

The one downside was his teammate, Joe Gambardella, was in entrance of the web and the puck was heading straight towards his face. It ended up making contact with it, however the consequence wasn’t only a bloody mouth. 

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Utica Comets middle Joe Gambardella (15) on the ice through the third interval of the American Hockey League recreation between the Utica Comets and Cleveland Monsters on December 2, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures)

Gambardella’s face supplied the ricochet the puck wanted to redirect again towards aim and get previous the Individuals’ netminder.

The Comets knew instantly whose aim it was when Gambardella shortly grabbed his face and skated towards the bench to get consideration from trainers. 

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It was the second aim of the sport for Utica and Gambardella’s sixth of his season, because the Comets went on to defeat the Individuals, 4-0. 

Utica Comets proper wing Graeme Clarke (92) and Utica Comets middle Joe Gambardella (15) have a good time after Gambardella scored a aim through the third interval of the American Hockey League recreation between the Utica Comets and Cleveland Monsters on December 2, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures)

Gambardella, an alternate captain with the Comets, is a Staten Island, New York native who has a couple of video games of NHL expertise which got here through the 2018-19 with the Edmonton Oilers. 

He has been within the Devils’ system for the reason that 2021-22 season, and he at present has six targets and 14 assists for 20 factors in 37 video games this 12 months. 

Joe Gambardella shoots

Utica Comets middle Joe Gambardella (15) shoots and scores through the third interval of the American Hockey League recreation between the Utica Comets and Cleveland Monsters on December 2, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures)

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And a kind of targets he received’t be forgetting anytime quickly. The ache was short-term, however the reminiscence will final perpetually.