Jan 29, 2022
Utica, NY – The Utica Comets battled their division rival, the Rochester Americans, for the seventh time this season and came away with a 3-2 victory for their fourth win against their I-90 North Divisional opponent on the strength of a hat trick from Fabian Zetterlund.
The Americans started the scoring in the first period after Rochester entered the Utica zone with speed and a great pass was made by JJ Peterka to Brandon Biro who lifted a backhander over the glove of Comets’ goalie, Nico Daws at 6:29. The Comets had the answer on the power-play after a Fabian Zetterlund one-timer from Robbie Russo sailed behind Amerks goaltender Matt Robson at 17:38. It was Zetterlund’s team leading 14th goal of the season tying the game at 1-1. On an incredibly good Utica bounce just seven seconds later, the Comets dumped the puck into the Rochester Zone and Robson’s misplay off his goal stick allowed the puck to lay freely in the crease in front of an empty cage. Aarne Talvitie drove the goal and scored his second goal in as many games at 17:45 giving Utica a 2-1 lead after the first period.
Rochester tied the contest in the middle frame when their captain, Michael Mersch wristed a shot from the slot past Daws at 6:36 trying the game at 2-2. The Comets came right back during a double minor penalty to Rochester. Zetterlund scored his second of the game and 15th of the year at 12:27. Russo added his second assist of the night on the tally.
In the final period of regulation, Zetterlund tallied an empty net goal to achieve a hat trick for the first time this season. The primary assist was given to AJ Greer as the Comets skated away with a 4-2 victory.
The Comets will be back in action tomorrow night on road in Cleveland at 5:00 PM. They will return home on Wednesday night against the Laval Rocket. Tickets are still available. For more information, visit uticacomets.com/tickets.