UTICA, N.Y. - The Toronto Marlies will have to wait to lock up their third-straight North Division title after falling 5-1 to the Utica Comets on Friday in American Hockey League action.
Pascal Pelletier scored twice for the Comets (31-29-8), who used a five-goal second period to erase an early 1-0 Toronto lead, and Alex Friesen, Brandon DeFazio and Frank Corrado had the others.
Peter Holland scored the lone goal for the Marlies (41-21-6), who need just one more point or a Rochester Americans' loss to clinch the North and the third seed in the Western Conference.
Utica's Joacim Eriksson made 21 saves for the win. Garret Sparks started in net for Toronto but was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots. Christopher Gibson took over and turned away 3-of-4 shots in 24 minutes of relief.
The Comets went 2 for 4 on the power play while the Marlies failed to score on two chances with the man advantage.