The Rochester Americans fell 2-0 to the Utica Comets on Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium as Comets goalie Joacim Eriksson stopped all 33 Amerks shots to record the shutout for Utica.
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The loss moves Rochester’s record to 7-7-2-2 on the season. Amerks goaltender Matt Hackett turned away 27 of 29 shots on the night while Jamie Tardif finished with a game-high six shots on goal. Utica used goals from Yannick Weber and Darren Archibald to secure its first home win of the season.
Weber, playing in his first game with the Comets after being reassigned by the Vancouver Canucks earlier in the week, opened the scoring with a power play goal at 9:04 of the first period. After taking a pass from Henrik Tommernes a few strides inside the blue line, Weber fired a wrist shot that made its way through traffic and found the back of the net. Pascal Pelletier also collected an assist on the power play tally.
A scoreless second period featured quality scoring chances and big saves by each goaltender, as Utica’s Benn Ferriero and Rochester’s Joel Armia were each denied on breakaway opportunities.
Just past the midway point of the third period, Utica extended its lead to 2-0. Hackett made a terrific left toe save on a shot from the slot, but Archibald was driving to the net and was able to poke in the rebound just over the goal line. Alexandre Grenier and Peter Andersson each recorded an assist on Archibald’s second goal of the season.
Rochester made a frantic comeback attempt in the closing minutes of the third period and had a 6-on-4 advantage late in the game after pulling the goalie and the Comets were whistled for a slashing penalty, but Eriksson stood strong in goal on his way to recording the first shutout in Comets franchise history.
The Amerks return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 27 when they host the North Division rival Hamilton Bulldogs in a pre-Thanksgiving bout at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the fourth of eight get-togethers between the two teams this season and will be broadcast live on Sports 1280 WHTK.