Utica, NY – The Comets took the road to battle their divisional rival, the Rochester Americans, and dropped the contest by a 7-6 score losing back to back games in regulation for the first time this season.
The Comets started the game allowing a goal 57 seconds in as a rebound off the pad of netminder Mareks Mittens was slammed home by Mason Jobst putting Rochester up 1-0. The Americans followed up with another goal and it was Matej Pekar who split the defense and made a nice moved around Mittens and struck at 1:50 to give Rochester a 2-0 lead. Once again, Rochester extended their lead as they got the benefit of a power-play goal scored by Brandon Biro at 8:59 as his shot drifted through traffic and into the cage. With Rochester holding a 3-0 lead and still on the power-play, it was the Comets’ turn and the captain led the way. Ryan Schmelzer found the loose puck inside the Utica zone and skated down the ice for a breakaway short-handed goal at 11:33. The Comets hit for one more goal in the first and cut the deficit to 3-2 when Tyler Irvine deflected the shot by Michael Vukojevic at 14:38 for his first AHL goal. With only 40 seconds left in the period, Rochester scored another power-play goal and it was Arttu Ruotsalainen who found the back of the net. The Amerks left the first period up, 4-2.
In the second period, Rochester continued the scoring when they received another goal from Ruotsalainen at 6:26 putting them up 5-2. Former Comets defenseman Mitch Eliot added another goal at 7:02 lifting the Americans to a 6-2 lead. Jack Quinn scored on a one-timer during a power-play at 11:27 and his team was up 7-2. Utica struck on a Robbie Russo point shot beat Americans goalie Robson through traffic and at 14:36 Utica cut the gap down to 7-3 as the second period ended.
In the final period of regulation, Utica defenseman Michael Vukojevic left the penalty box and deflected the Samuel Laberge shot into the goal at 9:48. The gap for Utica was 7-4. Schmelzer added another goal at 14:16 of the third to give the Comets their fifth goal. At 16:06 Tyler Wotherspoon fired a shot past Robson to close the gap to 7-6.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t be enough to fully close the gap, and the Comets skated away losing the contest.
The Comets returns to action this Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center for another division rivalry game against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday night with a 7:00 PM puck drop.