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FINAL: Comets 1 vs. Rochester 4

Utica Comets v Roc Amerks 4/16/14

The Utica Comets were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday evening, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Rochester Americans at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. With the defeat, the Comets dropped to 33-32-5-4 on the season.

David Marshall scored the lone goal for Utica, with Ray Kaunisto collecting his first assist as a Comet on the play. Joacim Eriksson took the defeat for the home side, with 18 saves on 22 shots. Andrei Makarov was the victor for the Americans, as he turned aside 31 of 32 shots for his sixth win in nine appearances.

Rochester jumped on the scoreboard early, as they found the game’s first goal just 2:09 into the first period of play. Kevin Porter placed a shot from the right hand side through a Nick Deslauriers screen and past Eriksson to make it 1-0. The goal was Porter’s 19th of the season, with winger Dan Catenacci collecting his 10th assist on the play.

Utica found its way back into a tie late in the opening stanza, as Marshall willed his second goal of the season past Makarov and into the back of the net. The winger’s effort appeared to be held by the Russian netminder, but it managed to trickle through to knot the score at one. Kaunisto collected his fourth point of the season with the assist.

The Americans once again took a one-goal advantage, this at the 6:27 mark of the second period. Colton Gillies slipped in behind the Rochester defense and took a feed from former Comet Brayden Irwin, which he fired through Eriksson’s five hole. The goal was the ninth of the season for Gillies and the 17th helper for Irwin.

Gillies collected his second of the evening less than eight minutes later, as he was able to get the final touch through a scrum in front, which resulted in the puck behind Eriksson. Tim Schaller and Nick Crawford collected the assists on the play as the Americans stretched their lead to 3-1.

The Comets came close a couple of times to cutting the deficit to one on their lone power play of the evening, before the Americans iced it with an insurance goal just six seconds after the man advantage had expired. Varone came down the wing and put a wrist shot from the left circle past Eriksson at the 13:15 mark of the third period. The goal was Varone’s team best 59th point of the season. Center Johan Larsson collected the lone assist on the play.

The Comets return to action this weekend, as they host the Toronto Marlies and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their final two games of the 2013-14 season. The Marlies come to town on Friday evening, with the Penguins concluding Utica’s season on Saturday night. Both games are set to begin at 7:00 p.m.