Shinkaruk Shines as Banners Fly
by Mark Caswell, Jr.Oct 21, 2015
The crowd was electric Wednesday for the Comets first home game of the season against the Rochester Americans, as the Comets won their first game of the season by the score of 4-2 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Hunter Shinkaruk led the way for the Comets with his first professional hat trick.
Shinkaruk (3-0-3) and Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) accounted for the team’s scoring, while Joe Cannata made 12 saves for his first win of the season.
The Comets got off to a quick start when Shinkaruk fired a wrist shot into the back of the net on a power play for his first goal of the season, just two minutes into the game. Linden Vey and Taylor Fedun assisted on the goal. The Amerks, however, came right back to tie it at one apiece with a goal from Jason Akeson, off a pass from former Comets captain, Cal O’Reilly.
Shinkaruk then gave the Comets the lead again with 1:43 left in the second period, when he scored his second goal of the game, again on another power play. Brendan Gaunce and Jordan Subban assisted on the goal.
Shinkaruk finished off the hat trick with 13:14 left in the third period on assists from Nicklas Jenson and Andrey Pedan. Rochester then cut the lead to 3-2 on a slap shot off the stick of Jerome Leduc on a pass from Chad Ruhwedel. The Amerks pulled their goalie with just under a minute to go, but Grenier put an open netter in for the Comets to cap off the scoring and give the Comets a 4-2 victory.
The Comets dominated the shot count with 47 shots on goal, compared to just 14 for the Amerks. Linus Ullmark recorded 43 saves in net for Rochester.
With the win, the Comets improve to 1-2-0-0 on the season. The loss drops the Amerks to 2-3-0-0 on the season.
The Comets will stay at home for their next game, as they will take on the Hershey Bears on Friday at Utica Memorial Auditorium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tonight’s Game: After being on the road for their first two games of the season, the long anticipated home opener for the 2015-2016 Utica Comets has finally arrived. The Comets will face off against the Rochester Americans at the Utica Memorial Auditorium as they look to get their first win of the season after starting off 0-2. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Previous Matchups Against the Amerks: Utica played well against Rochester last season, going 7-2 in nine games. The Comets had won the last six games against the Amerks before falling to them 2-1 in this year’s season opener.
Scouting the Amerks: Rochester is 2-2 so far this season, including a win against the Comets in their second game. Veteran, Matt Ellis, is leading the way for the Amerks through their first four games, recording a team leading three goals, as well as one assist so far.
Home Sweet Home: The Comets had a great season at home last year, the best in the Western Conference actually. Fueled by the electric crowd at The AUD, the Comets finished with a 25-10-3-0 home record in the 2014-2015 regular season. The team’s 53 points at home led the Western Conference. The Comets will look to jump out to a good start at home tonight, and repeat last year’s home success.
What is new, and what you need to know for tonight’s Home Opener.
Protecting the Pipes: Although the Comets are off to a slow start in the win column, the goalkeeping by Joe Cannata has been stellar. The Wakefield, MA native has given up just four goals in two games but has made 45 saves thus far, and has a save percentage of .918.
Itching to Score: The Comets will be looking to find their rhythm on their home ice as they have scored just one goal through the first two games. The lone goal came off of a Nicklas Jenson wrist shot in the season opener against the Amerks. We will see if the passionate crowd can fire up the Comet’s sticks.
Stay Tuned In from Home: Can’t make it to the game tonight? Download the K-ROCK app from the Apple and Galaxy Play Store to listen live!
Jensen Train: Nicklas Jensen scored the Comets lone goal of the season with a perfectly-placed wrist shot in the third period of the season’s first game. The tally was his 36th of his AHL career, and his third in five games, including the playoffs. Jensen also paces the team in shots, with eight. The Canucks’ first round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Level Draft (29th overall) is entering his fourth season of professional hockey, all with the Canucks organization.
Bench Boss: Travis Green enters his third year of being the Comets Head Coach. In that time he has compiled an 82-52-18 record (.599 winning percentage). Including playoffs the Castlegar, B.C. native has led the Comets to 105 total wins, and just three wins shy of winning the Calder Cup last season.
Next Game: The Comets will stay at home Friday for their next game, as they will take on the Hershey Bears at 7 p.m. The game will be the second of a three game home stand for the Comets.