|CHRIS TAYLOR POST-GAME|
|ANDREW MACWILLIAM POST-GAME|
|KEVIN PORTER POST-GAME|
(Rochester, NY) – Hosting the Utica Comets (3-2-0-0) for the second time in eight days, the Rochester Americans (2-3-0-0) fell 5-1 Saturday night at The Blue Cross Arena to close out a three-game homestand. With the loss, the Amerks have dropped their last three contests after earning a pair of victories to begin the 2017-18 season.
Amerks rookie C.J. Smith spoiled Utica netminder Thatcher Demko’s bid for a second straight shutout in Rochester with 6:11 left in the final period for his second tally of the campaign from Steve Moses and Brendan Guhle. Goaltender Adam Wilcox drew the starting nod but was replaced by Linus Ullmark after the first period and suffered his first loss of the season. Ullmark finished the night stopping 22 of the 24 shots he faced.
Reid Boucher led the Comets offensively with his first and second markers of the campaign while Darren Archibald (1+1), Philip Holm (0+2) and Nikolay Goldobin (0+2) all helped with multi-point outings. Guillaume Brisebois and Joseph LaBate each scored a goal during the second stanza to round out the scoring for Utica. Demko made 40 saves on the night as the second-year netminder won his third straight decision.
The Amerks recorded a season-high 22 shots during the first period but trailed 3-0 after the first intermission despite limiting the Comets to just six shots. Ullmark replaced Wilcox to begin the second stanza, but Utica would add a pair of goals within the first seven minutes to up its lead to 5-0.
Coming into tonight, the Amerks were the lone AHL club to not allow their opposition a power-play goal, but four of the first five Utica markers tonight came while on the man-advantage.
“We got the start that we wanted to, but we took too many penalties and our penalty killing didn’t do a very good job tonight,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “They had six shots on net in the first and we were down three. That’s tough, but again I like how we bounced back in the second, bounced back in the third. We outshot them and it was one of our better 60 minutes of hockey.”
The Amerks continued to test Demko during the second and final periods and got rewarded with Smith’s second goal of the season. The tally with 6:11 remaining in the contest was too little, too late, however, as the Amerks would drop their third straight.
The Amerks return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 25 when they make their first-ever trip to Place Bell to face the Laval Rocket in the front-end of a home-and-home series. The 7:30 p.m. matchup will be the first of eight meetings between the new North Division rivals this season and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Smith (2)
UTI: Archibald (1), Boucher (1, 2), LaBate (2), Brisebois (1)
RCH: Wilcox – 3/6 (L) | Ullmark – 22/24
UTI: Demko – 40/41 (W)
RCH: PP (0/6) / PK (4/8)
UTI: PP (4/8) / PK (6/6)