FINAL: Comets 2 vs. Rochester 4
- Updated: November 15, 2013
It was another strong effort from the Utica Comets, but the score did not fall in their favor, as they lost to the Rochester Americans for the third time this season, this one by a score of 4-2. The Comets outshot Rochester 35-30, but the loss ends the team’s two game winning streak that started in Lake Erie last weekend. Benn Ferriero led the way with his first two goal game of the season, but the Comets once again could not overcome a first period deficit as they fell to 2-9-1-1.
Ferriero’s two goals moved him into sole possession of the team lead with six, while Pascal Pelletier extended his team leading point total to 11 with an assist on Ferriero’s second tally. Colin Stuart, Patrick Mullen and Nicklas Jensen found the scoresheet as well as they each netted an assist. Joacim Eriksson got the start for Utica, but was relieved by Joe Cannata after the third Rochester goal. Cannata made 14 saves on 15 shots, while Eriksson finished with 12 saves on 15 shots faced.
It was a fast start from the Americans when they struck first as Rochester captain Matt Ellis streaked down the right wing and beat Eriksson over the glove hand. Winger Patrick Kaleta picked up his second assist of the season on the play.
The Americans doubled their lead at the 12:31 mark as Luke Adam capitalized on the powerplay, just eight seconds into a Benn Ferriero slashing minor. Adam collected the puck, put it through a scrum in front and got it past Eriksson. Nick Crawford and Brayden McNabb picked up assists, the twelfth of the season for McNabb, which moved him into a tie for fourth amongst AHL blueliners.
The Comets pulled one back with under four minutes to play in the period, courtesy of a great effort from Ferriero. The winger picked off a cross ice pass in the attacking zone and fired a wrist shot past Rochester netminder Nathan Lieuwen. Patrick Mullen and Colin Stuart picked up the assists as the Comets went to the locker room down just 2-1.
Adam was again the beneficiary of a mess in front of the net as he was able to poke home his second of the game and league high thirteenth of the season. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc had an assist on the play, his fourth over three games against Utica this season. Cannata entered the game in relief of Eriksson after Adam’s goal, his first appearance since Nov. 1 against the Abbotsford Heat.
The Comets used a great defensive effort to kill off a Colin Stuart tripping minor but the Americans scored just 41 seconds later as Mike Zigomanis buried a nice feed from Joel Armia to put Rochester ahead 4-1. The point was the first of Armia’s AHL career and winger Kevin Sundher also picked up a helper on the play.
The Comets added a late tally as Ferriero found the back of the net for the second time on the evening with 1:09 to play. The goal, the first power-play marker of the evening, cut the deficit to 4-2 but the Comets could not draw any closer as they dropped their seventh straight on home ice.
Utica is back in action tomorrow as the Texas Stars come to town for the first ever meeting between the two franchises. The Stars enter second in the West Division with an 8-5-2-0 record. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at The AUD.
ROCHESTER AMERICANS (6-3-2-2) @ UTICA COMETS (2-8-1-1)
Utica Memorial Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Radio: 94.9 K-Rock
The Utica Comets return home after a very successful road trip where they won two of three games against Lake Erie and Hamilton. For the first time in franchise history, the team is on a winning streak, which they now look to push to three games tonight. The Comets are now in search of their first victory at The AUD as the Rochester Americans come to town.
When They Last Met: The Comets and Americans last met on Oct. 19 in Rochester where Utica mounted a three goal comeback to tie the game at 4 , but Jerome Gauthier-Leduc iced the game with just over two minutes left. Pascal Pelletier and Alex Grenier led all Comets players with three points each, while Darren Archibald added two of his own. Mike Zigomanis was the offensive star for Rochester with four points (2-2-4), while Gauthier-Leduc’s goal was his final of three points on the evening.
Comets Outlook: The Comets made it two wins in a row with their win against Hamilton last Sunday as their 3-1 win over the Bulldogs gave them a winning road trip. Zach Hamill, Alex Grenier and Colin Stuart each found the back of the net, while Joacim Eriksson earned his second win in as many starts as he made 29 saves on 30 shots.
Americans Outlook: The Americans also come into tonight off of a 3-1 victory over Hamilton, after they defeated the Bulldogs on Wednesday at Copps Coliseum. Center Luke Adam scored twice for Rochester, while Phil Varone added one of his own. Matt Hackett was stout between the pipes as he turned aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced.
Double Our Pleasure: The Comets win over Hamilton was their second of the season, which gave them a victorious road trip. Utica went 2-1 in two games against Lake Erie and one against Hamilton. The victories tripled Utica’s point total to six, which moves them to within seven points of eighth place in the Western Conference.
Pascal Puts Up The Points: Comets center Pascal Pelletier became the first Utica player to hit double digits in points this season, as his assist on teammate Zach Hamill’s goal against the Bulldogs gave him ten points (2-8-10) thus far in 2013-14. Pelletier has recorded at least one point in all but one of the eight games he has played in this season.
Captain Clutch: After he netted goals in each of Utica’s two games over the weekend, Colin Stuart moved into a tie with Benn Ferriero for the team lead in goals with four. Stuart iced Sunday’s contest with an empty netter, which was also Utica’s first shorthanded goal in team history.
Mighty Joacim Young: It was a stellar road trip for Comet goaltender Joacim Eriksson, who recorded 89 saves on 96 shots over the three game road trip, good for a .927 save percentage. Eriksson also recorded his first two AHL victories over the weekend and improved his save percentage to .895 on the season.
Home Not So Sweet Home: The Comets have recorded each of their two victories away from the AUD, and enter tonight’s game just 0-4-1-1 on home ice. The Comets, who have been outscored 22-13 in Utica this season, are one of two teams, along with new conference rivals, the Charlotte Checkers, who have yet to record a victory on home ice.
Roster Moves: The Comets have recently added forward Stephane Chaput to the roster. Chaput, a veteran of 211 AHL games, joins the Comets after he spent last season with the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Comets also reassigned defenseman Adam Polasek to Kalamazoo of the ECHL and released forwards Brayden Irwin, Mitch Wahl and Kelsey Wilson from their professional tryout contracts.
Scouting The Americans: Adam enters tonight’s action tied for third in the AHL with 11 goals on the season, just one behind the league leaders. Adam’s 15 points are second on Rochester, behind teammate Varone, whose 16 points (4-12-16) are tops on the team and his 12 assists are tied for fourth in the league. Zigomanis is third amongst Rochester forwards with ten points (4-6-10) and his +9 rating is tied for third best in the AHL.
Brayden McNabb is the Americans’ leader on the blueline with 11 points (2-9-11) and the defenseman’s total is tied for fifth best in the league amongst blueliners. In limited action, Alexander Sulzer is at a point-per-game average, with seven points (2-5-7) over seven games.
Matt Hackett has been the Americans’ best in net, as he has amassed a 4-2-1-2 record over the ten games he has appeared in this season. Hackett also enters with a team high .912 save percentage and 2.96 goals against average. The London, ONT native has not lost in regulation since Oct. 12 against the Syracuse Crunch.