AMERKS DROP THIRD STRAIGHT IN 5-2 LOSS TO COMETS
Biro records two assists to take over the team scoring lead, Weissbach scores ninth of the seasonDec 9, 2022
The Rochester Americans (11-9-1-1) took a 2-1 lead over the Utica Comets (8-7-3-1) early in the third period, but the visitors pulled away midway through the frame with four goals over the final eight minutes of regulation to hand the Amerks a 5-2 loss Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite Rochester dropping back-to-back regulation losses at home for the first time all season, the Amerks have earned at least one point in eight of their first 11 home games and boast an 11-9-1-1 record overall. The team is second in the North Division standings with 24 points through its first 22 games of the campaign.
Forward Brandon Biro recorded a pair of assists, his team-leading sixth multi-point outing of the campaign, while Lukas Rousek and Linus Weissbach scored their fifth and ninth goals of the season, respectively. Defensemen Jeremy Davies and Chase Priskie each were credited with their third assists of the season.
Goaltender Michael Houser (3-4-0) appeared in his ninth contest but suffered the loss after making 15 saves.
Simon Nemec produced his first career three-point effort with a goal and two assists while Joe Gambardella (1+1) and Graeme Clarke (1+1) each notched multi-point efforts. Tyce Thompson and Nolan Stevens rounded out the scoring for Utica, which has gone 4-0-1-0 on the road since Nov. 18.
Netminder Nico Daws turned aside 26 of the 28 shots he faced to improve to 5-5-1 through 12 appearances this season. Daws has appeared in three straight contests, as well as all five against Rochester this season, and is 3-1-1 over his last five starts.
Just over two minutes after seeing the Amerks grab a 2-1 lead at the 8:17 mark, Utica flipped the deficit into a 3-2 lead as Stevens and Clarke scored 22 seconds apart.
On the first of the two, Stevens pulled up just inside the left circle of Houser before picking the upper corner of the Amerks net while Utica was on the power-play.
Shortly afterwards and following a turnover inside the Rochester zone, Clarke cut to the front of the net and sniped a shot in-between the pads of Houser with 7:58 left in regulation.
Trailing by a pair, the Amerks pulled their goaltender on two different occasions, but both times Utica prevented any potential comeback as Thompson and Gambardella sealed the 5-2 victory with empty-net tallies.
The game started off right for the home squad as they drew its first power-play of the night just 1:35 in and the Amerks utilized the man-advantage to take a 1-0 lead 3:08 into the contest.
After Biro sent a pass up the wall to the left point, Davies drifted to the center of the zone. The blueliner fired a puck towards the net, where both Rousek and Michael Mersch provided a screen, but Rousek redirected in-behind Daws for his fifth of the season.
In the middle period, Rochester, which carried the 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of play, controlled much of the play as they outshot the Comets 10-2 in the opening 15 plus minutes.
The Amerks then drew a goaltending interference infraction with 1:38 left in the period but it was Utica who got onto the scoreboard just 12 seconds into the penalty.
With a face-off to the left of Houser, Pinho won the draw back to the point for Nemec. As quickly as the puck got back to his stick, it came off equally as fast as the rookie defenseman rifled a shot over the left shoulder of the Amerks goaltender to even the score at one.
Midway through the third period of a 1-1 game, Rochester reclaimed its lead on Weissbach’s ninth goal, however, the Comets scored four consecutive goals to finish off the scoring.
The Amerks conclude their busy stretch on Saturday, Dec. 10 as they travel north of the border for a 4:00 p.m. face-off against the Toronto Marlies at Coca-Cola Coliseum. All of the action will be carried on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
With an assist tonight, Jeremy Davies has logged four points (2+2) in four games to begin the month of December ... Brandon Biro has totaled 18 points (7+11) over his last 19 games dating back to the 2021-22 campaign ... Lukas Rousek’s power-play goal was the 14th scored on the man-advantage at home for the Amerks this season, tying for fifth-most in the league in that category.
UTC: S. Nemec (3), N. Stevens (4), G. Clarke (5), T. Thompson (4), J. Gambardella (2)
ROC: L. Rousek (5), L. Weissbach (9)
UTC: N. Daws – 26/28 (W)
ROC: M. Houser – 15/18 (L)
UTC: PP (1/1) | PK (4/5)
ROC: PP (1/5) | PK (4/5)
1. UTC - S. Nemec
2. ROC - B. Biro
3. UTC - G. Clarke