Utica, NY – Seven different Comets netted goals and Mike DiPietro registered 19 saves in the Comets 7-1-win Friday night inside the Adirondack Bank Center against the Comets division rival, the Rochester Americans.
In a jam packed first period it was Dakota Joshua who opened the scoring early on netting his second goal of the season after an 11-game stint in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues. The Comets followed up the goal with a few quality opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. With 6:37 remining in the first, the Americans were awarded a penalty shot after Brent Gates Jr. was tripped on a breakaway. On the penalty shot, Gates tried to fake Comets netminder DiPietro left to right but DiPietro read it all the away and made a spectacular save. Rochester would find the back of the net just 18 seconds later when Brett Murray hammered home a rebound. It wouldn’t take long for the Comets to regain the 2-1 lead thanks to Lucas Jasek after he buried a loose puck in the crease with 6:05 remaining in the first period. Will Lockwood would tack another goal in the final second of the first, off a highlight reel breakaway.
The Comets carried their momentum into the second with a quick goal to increase their lead to 4-1. The goal came courtesy of rookie Nikita Alexandrov who hammered home his first professional goal. The Comets showed no signs of slowing down, capitalizing on back-to-back powerplays. Curtis McKenzie was the first to capitalize on the powerplay sliding it under Rochester rookie goaltender, Stefanos Lekkas, to give the Comets the 5-1 lead. Just over a minute later it was Jonah Gadjovich who back handed one in to complete the Gordy Howe hattrick and give the Comets the 6-1 lead. The Comets continued their dominance tacking on a seventh goal thanks to Carson Focht at 5:45 in the second. The Comets ended the second frame out shooting Rochester 27-13.
Early in the third the Americans forced DiPietro to make several tough saves to preserve the Comets 7-1 lead. Tension between the teams would heat up over the course of the third period resulting in multiple fights and scuffles. The game ended with 21 total penalties with 11 of them coming in the final frame.
DiPietro earned the win in net in his first game in over a year. The Comets hit the road this weekend for a Sunday matinee against the Syracuse Crunch. Sunday’s game is slated for 3:00.
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