May 16, 2022
Season on the Brink: Tuesday night the Utica Comets will battle the Rochester Americans to keep their season alive. Rochester has won back-to-back games in overtime to take a 2-1 series lead. Puck drop is at 7:05 at Blue Cross Arena.
Post-Game Quotes Courtesy of the Rome Sentinel.
Schmelzer on Game 3: “I thought we were just squeaking by. They were kind of taking it to us and we were in survival mode instead of attack mode, which is what makes us great. There were moments where we had it. It wasn’t enough. We’ve shown it all year: Any time we’ve gotten down, we always answer. Now, we really have to answer the bell.”
Dineen on the Game and Late Penalty: “We regroup and get ready to get back here. We have to take care of business. We know what the formula is. We have to go out and execute. The power play goal has a little sting on it at the end. Probably, if they had a do-over after looking at it, they would not have made that call. It was head-on-head. It was two heads colliding. It is not intentional. It is two guys going into a puck and their heads collided. Our guy had movement and that’s the difference.”
Playoff Leaders: The team is led by forward AJ Greer who has four goals and one assist for five points in three games played. Second to him are both defenseman Robbie Russo who has two goals and two assists for four points in three games and forward Fabian Zetterlund who has one goal and three assists for four points in three games. Defenseman Nikita Okhotiuk has three assists in as manty games. Both Okhotiuk and Russo are a team leading +3 through the series while forward Sam Laberge leads the team with 19 penalty minutes.
Sunday Scarries: The Comets stepped into the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester tied in a best of five series one to one with the Rochester Americans. The crucial game three would put one team on the brink of elimination on Tuesday night. When the dust settled on the evening’s game, it was it took an early overtime goal by Rochester to put the Comets season on the brink. The Comets lost the contest 4-3 and now trail two games to one in the best of five game series.
As the first period went on, Greer was the first to hit the back of the net as he moved into the Rochester zone with speed. His initial shot was stopped but he kept pushing and slid a backhand shot between the legs of Rochester goalie Aaron Dell. The goal at 7:34 was Greer’s 4th of the playoffs while Robbie Russo and Fabian Zetterlund generated assists on the tally. Rochester got the crowd back into the game when Sean Malone drove the goal and pounced on a rebound off a shot from Jimmy Schuldt at 14:36 that beat a diving Schmid. It only took two minutes and eleven seconds after their first goal to score another one. Lukas Rousek was standing on right side of the Comets net and took a nifty pass by JJ Peterka to give a 2-1 lead. That was all the scoring through the first period.
The Comets tied the game in the second period, and it was on a rocket of one-timer by Fabian Zetterlund who stepped into a pass by Russo and found the top corner of the net at 9:32. The Comets bench erupted as the Swede netted his first goal of the playoffs. The Americans proved resilient, when Brandon Biro scored 15:22. Graeme Clarke scored his first of the post-season and he drove the net and Dell thought he stopped the puck but it rested in the blue paint. An unknowing Jack Quinn, trying to find the puck, kicked it into his own goal and the Comets tied the contest at 3-3.
In the final period of regulation, there were no goals but a late penalty against Robbie Russo sent the Comets to the penalty box late in the third. The power-play carried over into the extra session and it was a shot from the right wing side by Arttu Ruotsalainen at 1:39 that beat Schmid and put Rochester up in the series two games to one.