(Utica, NY) … After falling behind in a three-goal deficit to the Utica Comets (5-0-0-0) during the first period, the Rochester Americans (3-2-0-1) were never able to recover as they fell 7-1 Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.
Tage Thompson provided the lone goal of the night for the Amerks with his third of the season from Sean Malone and Brett Murray, who made his pro debut tonight for Rochester. Netminder Andrew Hammond (3-1-1) made his fifth appearance of the campaign in the crease, making 24 saves before being replaced by Jonas Johansson with 6:43 remaining in the third period.
The Comets racked up their fifth straight win to start the season, joining the Toronto Marlies as the only two North Division teams to remain unbeaten. Reid Boucher (2+1) and Sven Baertschi (1+2) each had a game-high three points apiece, while Olli Juolevi (0+2) and Nikolay Goldobin (1+1) both had their own multi-point outings as well. Lukas Jasek, Zack MacEwen and Wacey Hamilton all rounded out the scoring for the Comets. Goaltender Zane McIntyre made a career-high 45 saves to improve to 2-0-0 on the campaign.
The Comets opened the scoring midway through the first stanza with two goals in a span of 20 seconds from Baertschi and Boucher. With less than five minutes to go in the opening frame, Hamilton tacked on one more marker to push the lead to a 3-0.
Despite Thompson breaking through with his third of the season at the 18:32 mark when he wristed a shot from in-between the face-off dots, Rochester faced a two-goal deficit going into the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play.
Utica carried over its first-period momentum into the second as MacEwen upped the lead 4-1 just 68 seconds into the stanza.
Not letting up easy, the Comets matched their first-period goal total in the final 20 minutes of the contest. Boucher knocked in his second tally of the night with 9:02 left in regulation while Goldobin and Jasek tallied a pair of goals just 10 seconds apart three minutes later to put to give Utica it largest lead of the night and put the game out of reach.
The oldest rivalry in the American Hockey League will be renewed in Rochester on Wednesday, Oct. 23 when the Amerks host the Hershey Bears at The Blue Cross Arena for the only time this season. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be the 457th all-time meeting between the league’s two oldest teams and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: T. Thompson (3)
UTI: S. Baertschi (2), R. Boucher (7 – GWG, 8), W. Hamilton (1), Z. MacEwen (2), N. Goldobin (1), L. Jasek (2)
ROC: A. Hammond – 23/30 (L) | J. Johansson – 1/1
UTI: Z. McIntyre – 45/46 (W)
ROC: PP (0/8) | PK (4/5)
UTI: PP (1/5) | PK (8/8)
1. Z. McIntyre (UTI)
2. R. Boucher (UTI)
3. S. Baertschi (UTI)