Utica, N.Y. – On a landmark evening where Utica announced an affiliation extension with Vancouver, the Comets toppled the North Division leading Rochester Americans 4-3 at the Adirondack Bank Center. Vincent Arseneau, Jonathan Dahlen, Brendan Gaunce, and Darren Archibald scored for Utica. Thatcher Demko made 33 saves in the win.
Arseneau put the Comets up 1-0 three minutes into the game, tapping a back-door feed from Cam Darcy into the net. Kole Lind also tallied an assist. Dahlen doubled the lead six minutes later when his pass was deflected past Amerks goalie Adam Wilcox. Darren Archibald and Evan McEneny were credited with the assists. C.J. Smith got Rochester on the board with a power play goal of his own at the 15:27 mark of the first period.
The Comets had a plethora of chances in the second period, including three straight power plays, but came up empty and the score remained 2-1 after 40 minutes.
Eric Cornel tied the game at two with a power play goal early in the third period. Gaunce put the Comets back on top seven minutes into the third, beating Wilcox with a spin-o-rama backhand shot. Zack MacEwen had the lone assist. Archibald padded the lead with an empty-net goal at the 19:17 mark of the third period. Demko was given an assist on the goal. Justin Bailey scored 30 seconds later, but it was too little, too late for Rochester.
The Comets open up 2019 with a Galaxy Cup showdown against the Syracuse Crunch. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.