Rochester, NY – Michael DiPietro made 36 of a possible 37 saves and Sven Baertschi earned a late game winner as the Utica Comets skated past the Rochester Americans by a 3-1 score on Wednesday night at Blue Cross Arena.
Though they were outshot in the first period, the Comets tallied the period’s only goal at 15:53 of the action. Forcing a steal deep in the zone, John Stevens centered a pass to Stefan LeBlanc, whose one-timer was lifted into the top corner of the net for his second of the season.
Getting a power play early in the second, the Amerks tied the game with a nifty backhand from Taylor Leier who registered his 9th of the year at 5:43. That marked the only goal of the second period, as DiPietro stopped 16/17 shots in the frame and 29/30 through two periods.
As the teams went back and forth in the third, the Comets broke the stalemate with around five minutes to play after Sven Baertschi finished off a beautiful play on an odd-man rush. Exchanging passes with Carter Camper, Baertschi was served a feed near the goal where he went forehand to backhand to lift the eventual game winner into the top corner.
Tyler Graovac put the game on ice for Utica by sliding the puck into the empty net with one minute to go, finishing off a 3-1 triumph for Utica.
The Comets are back in action Friday night on the road against the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.
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