Utica, N.Y. – For the first time in over a year, the Utica Comets welcomed fans back to the Adirondack Bank Center for a matchup against the Rochester Americans.
It was Rochester who tallied the game’s first goal after Lukas Jasek was assessed a double minor for high sticking. After killing more than two minutes of the four-minute penalty, Oskari Laaksonen ripped it past Jake Kielly to take a one goal lead. The Comets would pressure hard the remainder of the period but couldn’t get it past Rochester goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukonen. The Comets outshot Rochester 16-8 in the first period.
The Comets continued to pressure the Americans in the second period forcing Luukkonen to make serval big saves. The Comets would find the back of the net off when John Stevens tapped home a beautiful feed from Sam Anas at the 14:05 mark of the second period.
After trading penalties back and forth, the Comets found themselves on the man advantage at 6:06 in the second period. With just seconds remaining on the powerplay Anas fired a cross-ice pass over to Jonah Gadjovich to give the Comets the 2-1 lead. Just minutes later Michael Mersch skated down the ice and fired a puck over the right shoulder of Kielly to tie the game at two.
The tie wouldn’t be broken until 9:17 in the third period when Dominic Franco wristed a shot past Kielly to give Rochester a 3-2 lead. The Comets would go on the powerplay with 6:45 remaining in the game but could not capitalize. With 31 seconds remaining on the clock, Remi Ellie shot the puck into the Comets empty net to give the Amerks a 4-2 lead.
Utica outshot the Americans 36 to 25 and had a power play goal but fell short by a score of 4-2. The Comets return to action tomorrow when they battle Syracuse on the road.