For the first time since being ousted in last year’s post-season, the Utica Comets locked up against their division rival Rochester Americans on Friday night. There was no love lost between the two rivals and the heat of last season carried over into an intense matchup on Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena. When the dust settled, it was the Americans that took the first decision of the season between the two teams by a 5-3 score.
In the opening period, Aarne Talvitie pounced on a Rochester turnover just inside the offensive zone. He sent the puck to Sam Laberge who placed it right on the stick of Brian Halonen who ripped a quick shot passed a sprawling Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen at 8:43 putting the Comets up 1-0. The visiting team came back for another goal and the next one was shorthanded. While Utica was down a man on the ice, Brian Pinho traveled into the Amerks zone and his wrist shot surprised Luukonen and went into the net off his glove at 13:48. While Utica was up 2-0 and had a power-play, Rochester’s Mason Jobst backhanded shot just found its way between goaltender Nico Daws and the left post. The goal by Jobst sliced the Comets lead to 2-1 at 16:05.
In the middle frame, the Comets got another goal and this time they did it on the power-play. As Nolan Foote planted himself right at the front of the crease, he deflected the Reilly Walsh shot into the net at 5:40. The goal, assisted as well by Tyce Thompson gave Utica a 3-1 advantage. But, late in the period the home team snuck it by Daws for the second time. A wrist shot by Andres Bjork with less than a minute to go in the middle frame cut the Comets lead to 3-2 after forty minutes of play
In the final period of regulation, the Rochester Americans tied the contest at 3:19 when Lukas Rousek scored a power-play goal to bring the contest to 3-3. The Amerks just kept pressing and at 15:48 it was an incredible shot by Linus Weissbach went blocker side and into the net putting Rochester up 4-3. Rochester didn’t waste time striking again for a 5-3 lead when Ethan Prow capitalized on a three-on-one advantage AT 16:10.
Nico Daws ended the game with 15 on 20 shots saves while Luukkonen stopped 37 of 40. Both teams scored an even strength, power-play and shorthanded goal in the contest.
The Comets are in action again tomorrow night at 7:00 PM at the Adirondack Bank Center against the very same Rochester Americans. Tickets are still available. Tickets are on sale now. Season Ticket Memberships are also available for the 2022-23 Season. All new Season Ticket Members will receive an exclusive Comets 10th anniversary jersey with their ticket package. Season ticket information is available at uticacomets.com/szn. Comets fans can guarantee a ticket to five premier games with the premier pack. This five-game package starts as low as $99 at uticacomets.com/premierpack.
For the complete schedule release, visit uticacomets.com/printable. To download the schedule visit uticacomets.com/download.