AMERKS WIN STREAK SNAPPED IN 2-1 LOSS TO COMETSNov 5, 2022
The Rochester Americans (6-4-0-0) fell behind by a pair of goals three minutes into the third period versus the Utica Comets (3-4-0-1) on Saturday but saw their rally fall short as they dropped a 2-1 decision at Adirondack Bank Center.
Despite the loss, Rochester’s first since Oct. 28, the Amerks show a 6-4-0-0 record through the first 10 games of the season and remain in second place in the North Division with 12 points.
Forward Brett Murray provided the lone goal for the Amerks as he tallied his fifth of the season and third in the last four games. Murray shows four points (3+1) dating back to Oct. 29 as does defenseman Ethan Prow, who picked up the secondary helper on the play. Prow (0+4) also appeared in his 300th AHL game tonight.
Rookie Tyson Kozak earned his first career professional assist on Murray’s goal while goaltender Michael Houser (1-1-0) made 21 saves but suffered the defeat in his third appearance of the season.
Brian Pinho logged his first multi-point effort as a Comet as he scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season to go with an assist while Nolan Foote extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best three straight games. Goaltender Nico Daws (1-3-0) turned aside 22 of 23 to record his first victory of the season.
Much like Friday night’s contest between the two clubs, Rochester faced a two-goal deficit in the third period.
The Amerks, despite trailing 2-0 three minutes into the final 20 minutes of regulation, chipped into the deficit as Murray banged in a rebound out in-front of Daws’ goal crease at the 12:45 mark to make it a one-goal score.
Prior to the goal, Prow used a bank pass off the boards from inside his own zone to spring Kozak in transition. The rookie forward powered his way to the crease and despite being denied, Murray shoveled the puck behind Daws.
Rochester pressed to find the equalizer as they trailed 2-1 and pulled Houser for the final 1:50 but could not find a way to solve Daws as the final horn sounded.
In the opening period, Rochester took and successfully killed off its lone penalty and it seemed the middle stanza was going to mirror it as again the Amerks took the only infraction at the 14:27 mark of a scoreless game.
Two seconds after the Amerks’ boarding penalty expired, however, Utica’s Robbie Russo flipped the puck from the left face-off dot below to the endline. As Nolan Stevens stepped out of the corner, he made his way to the Rochester crease. While Houser made the first save with his left pad, Pinho pushed the puck across the goal-line to break the scoreless game with 3:31 left in the period.
The Comets took a 1-0 lead into the intermission before Foote doubled the lead just 3:03 into the middle frame as he steered in a centering feed from Pinho and Tyler Wotherspoon.
Murray brought the Amerks within one with less than eight minutes to play in regulation but that was as close as the club got prior to the final buzzer.
The Amerks continue their two-game road swing as they make their second trip of the season to Upstate Medical University Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9 to face the Syracuse Crunch. Game time is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be carried live on 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
Tonight's exchange was the first between the two clubs in Utica since Rochester eliminated the Comets in Game 5 in the North Division Semifinals this past spring ... The two teams will meet again for another home-and-home series on Nov. 18 and 19 ... Brett Murray matched a career-best with six shots (Feb. 15, 2020 and Nov. 29, 2019).
ROC: B. Murray (5)
UTC: B. Pinho (6), N. Foote (4)
ROC: M. Houser – 21/23 (L)
UTC: N. Daws – 22/23 (W)
ROC: PP (0/1) | PK (2/2)
UTC: PP (0/2) | PK (1/1)
1. UTC - B. Pinho
2. UTC - N. Daws
3. UTC - N. Foote