AMERKS EDGED BY COMETS IN OVERTIME
Savoie extends point streak to five games, Tokarski appears in 400th AHL game in 4-3 overtime loss to UticaNov 3, 2023
The Rochester Americans (5-2-2-0) scored a pair of goals in the third period but were unable to hold the lead before suffering a 4-3 overtime loss to the Utica Comets (3-2-2-0) Friday at The Blue Cross Arena.
Despite the overtime defeat, the Amerks remain in first place in the AHL’s North Division standings with 12 points. In addition to earning at least a point in three of its first five home games to start the season, Rochester owns a 1-0-1-0 mark in the head-to-head series with Utica.
Rookie forward Matt Savoie extended his point streak to five games as he redirected Kale Clague’s shot in the first period for his second goal of the season. Mason Jobst netted his fifth of the season before Jiri Kulich notched his team-leading eighth in the final period. Along with Clague, Filip Cederqvist, Tyson Kozak, Justin Richards, and Jeremy Davies all were credited with an assist for the Amerks.
Goaltender Dustin Tokarski (0-1-0) made his season debut after missing the first eight games of the season. In addition to becoming the 18th goaltender in league history to make his 400th appearance, the two-time Calder Cup winner surpassed the 12,000-save mark for his pro career as he stopped 16 of the 20 shots he faced.
Xavier Parent, Shane Bowers, Max Willman, and Tyler Wotherspoon all scored for Utica, which won back-to-back games for the first time all season. Goaltender Isaac Poulter improved to 3-0-1 on the season as he made 29 saves in the victory.
After seeing Rochester erase its lead with a pair of goals in a span of 41 seconds, Utica evened the contest at the 16:22 mark to force overtime.
In the first minute of the extra frame, Simon Nemec broke up a potential shot in-between the face-off circles before gathering the puck to his right. The forward eventually provided a pass to Parent, who was streaking up the left side of the ice, and the forward sprinted towards Tokarski and converted just 45 seconds into overtime.
While Rochester drew the game’s first power-play in the opening period, Utica opened the scoring at the 6:40 mark.
With the puck inside the Utica blueline, former Amerk Kyle Criscuolo backhanded an outlet pass towards center ice for Bowers to flag down. As the forward raced in all alone, he snapped a shot over the glove hand of Tokarski to break the scoreless game.
Nearly five minutes later, Cederqvist rimmed the puck along the boards from behind Poulter to the right point. Clague gathered the pass and stepped towards the center of the blueline before snapping a shot for Savoie to steer into the net for his second of the slate with 8:17 left in the period.
The goal by Savoie gives him five points (2+3) in his first five games after being sent to Rochester on a conditioning assignment from the Buffalo Sabres. Clague, meanwhile, tops all Amerks skaters with seven assists, which is tied for third-most in the AHL this season.
While neither team scored in the second period, they traded goals twice in the final 20 minutes to force overtime.
Willman gave the Comets a 2-1 lead in the first minute of the third period, but the Amerks tallied a pair from Jobst and Kulich, respectively.
After Wotherspoon sent the game beyond regulation, Parent sealed the 4-3 score on the only shot in the overtime period.
The Amerks close out their week with their first visit of the season to Upstate Medical University Arena as they face off against the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:00 p.m. The North Division showdown will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Stars and Stripes:
With his team-leading eighth goal of the campaign, Jiri Kulich is tied for second in the AHL in goals while his 11 points are tied for eighth … Dating back to last season, 12 of Rochester’s previous 24 regular-season games have required overtime to determine a winner ... Matt Savoie has a point in each of his first five contests of his conditioning assignment … The Amerks have used 29 different players through their first nine games of the season, which includes three goaltenders and six rookies.
UTC: S. Bowers (3), M. Willman (4), T. Wotherspoon (1), X. Parent (5)
ROC: M. Savoie (2), M. Jobst (5), J. Kulich (8)
UTC: I. Poulter – 29/32 (W)
ROC: D. Tokarski – 16/20 (OTL)
UTC: PP (0/1) | PK (4/4)
ROC: PP (0/4) | PK (1/1)
1. UTC - X. Parent