Utica, NY – Both Sam Anas and Will Lockwood were recently trying to score their first goals of the season. After Lockwood tallied his first of the year on Wednesday, Sam Anas did the same on Friday night in Rochester and both men also two goals as they helped the Comets to a 7-5 win in Rochester against the Americans on Friday night.
In the opening period, the Comets struck on the man-advantage after a Carson Focht shot was stopped by Amerks goaltender Billy Christopoulos but the rebound went right to the stick of rookie forward Hugh McGing who slid the puck just past the goal line for a 1-0 lead at 6:40. Later in the first, Tanner Kaspick stood toe to toe against Rochester forward Brandon Hawkins had a great fight to the ovation of both benches. As the period continued, the Comets added yet another goal. Rookie forward Will Lockwood scored his second goal in as many games when he drove the net and made a nice move to put the puck between the legs of Christopoulos and in at 18:35. After the first period, the Comets skated away with a 2-0 lead.
The second period was a wild affair that saw six goals total. It started with another Comets power-play goal and it was Sam Anas who finally struck for his first goal of the season. The league’s leading scorer stepped into a shot on the right side and beat Rochester’s netminder high glove side. The goal at 6:33 put the Comets up 3-1. Rochester would finally strike and it was team leading scorer, Brett Murray at 10:13 who was left all alone in the slot and pick a corner high blocker side on Comets goalie Jake Kielly. Lockwood went on to score his second of the game and third of the season when he wristed a shot from inside the far circle and over the glove of Christopoulos and at 14:21 the Comets lead the contest 4-1. Rochester punched back again and this time it was a miscue that cost Utica. While the Comets were on the man-advantage, Kielly tried to play the puck but it rolled over his stick. The Amerks pounced on the opportunity and it was Brendan Warren that was able to bang the loose puck in at 15:29 for a shorthanded goal. Utica didn’t waste much time on the same power-play and it was Carson Focht who scored. Focht left alone on the far side took a lovely cross ice pass by Nolan Stevens and fired it into the Americans cage giving the Comets a 5-2 lead. But, it was Rochester that once again used a bad defensive zone giveaway by Utica to score and this time it was Michael Mersch who banged the puck in past Kielly late in the middle frame at 17:38 to bring his team within two goals. The second period, which included another fight, this time between Jonah Gadjovich and Casey Fitzgerald ended with the Comets holding a 5-3 lead.
The Amerks added a power-play goal late in the third period after Dominic Franco had two whacks at a loose puck in front of Kielly and finally set it in at 16:52 to make it a 6-4. John Stevens added an empty net goal for the Comets as the Amerks pulled their goalie. Stevens made it 7-4. Rochester didn’t have any quit in them and potted a power-play goal when Michael Mersch redirected a Brent Gates Jr. pass past Kielly. The game would end 7-5 and the Comets added two more points in the standings.
Utica outshot the Americans 35 to 29. Both teams had three power-play goals with the Comets holding six chances and the Amerks five. The Comets will be in action again on Sunday afternoon in Syracuse as they take on the Crunch.
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