(Rochester, NY) … For the third consecutive game between the Rochester Americans (11-5-3-1) and the Utica Comets (9-9-0-1) at the Adirondack Bank Center the North Division showdown went beyond regulation. Wednesday night the Amerks closed out the second month of the 2017-18 season with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Comets.
Despite falling in the extra session, the Amerks concluded November owning a record of 7-1-3-1 in 12 games and collected 18 of a possible 24 points during the month.
Garret Ross, who returned to the lineup after missing the last three games, scored the lone Amerks goal 4:18 into the middle period while goaltender Linus Ullmark stopped 31 of 33 but suffered the loss. The 24-year-old netminder boasts a 6-0-2 record his last eight appearances.
Third-year defenseman Cam Darcy recorded a pair of assists while Jason Megna and Reid Boucher tallied their third and ninth goals of the slate, respectively, in the overtime win. Netminder Thatcher Demko, who was given the start for the sixth time in the last seven games, recorded his third win of the season as he made 29 saves.
Entering the final period of play, the Amerks held a 1-0 lead and it appeared they could double their lead as they drew their fourth penalty of the game midway through the stanza.
However, it was the Comets who gained momentum as they knotted the score at 1-1 as Megna tucked a cross-crease pass from Michael Carcone into the net past Ullmark at the 8:32 mark of the period while shorthanded.
Following the goal the two teams traded chances over the final 12 minutes of regulation but the extra session was required.
The Amerks controlled the first minute of the overtime period but the Comets gained possession of the puck after a shot caromed wide of the net. After skating into the offensive zone with the puck, Boucher fired a shot from the left face-off circle overtop the right shoulder of Ullmark to give the Comets a 2-1 win just 1:29 into the frame.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes of play, the Amerks opened the scoring 4:38 into middle period as Ross beat Demko for his second marker of the campaign. Conor Allen picked up a drop-pass from Adam Krause just inside the Comets zone and spotted Ross on the doorstep of the goal-crease. The Rochester defenseman flung a pass through bodies towards Ross and he slipped a back-handed shot to break the scoreless game.
The two clubs clamped down defensively, limiting each other’s scoring chances for the remainder contest and would remain a one-goal game until Megna’s third-period goal and Boucher’s overtime marker.
The Amerks were unable to capitalize on the four power-play opportunities but did not allow the Comets fourth-ranked man-advantage unit in the Eastern Conference on the ice as they did not take a penalty in the fifth meeting of the season.
The Amerks usher in the month of December on Friday, Dec. 1 with their second matchup in as many weeks against the Hartford Wolf Pack at The Blue Cross Arena. Following Friday’s contest, the Amerks will hit the road for the next four games beginning Saturday night when they make their only trip of the season to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Both contests are slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.
RCH: Ross (2)
UTI: Megna (2), Boucher (9, OT GWG)
RCH: Ullmark – 31/31 (OTL)
UTI: Demko – 29/30 (W)
RCH: PP (0/4) | PK (none)
UTI: PP (none) | PK (4/4)