(Utica, NY) … The Rochester Americans (10-3-1-2) fell behind 2-0 in the first five minutes of Saturday’s contest with the Utica Comets (10-6-0-0) at the Adirondack Bank Center before countering with four straight goals to earn a 4-3 victory and push their point streak to a season-long six games. The matchup was the third in four weeks between the two teams after splitting the first two games of the season series.
The win capped a perfect week for the Amerks, whose three straight wins have them sitting one point ahead of the Laval Rocket for the top spot in the AHL’s North Division standings. Additionally, Rochester has now earned 23 out of a possible 32 points through its first 16 games of the campaign and has picked up points in 11 of the last 13 contests overall, going 8-2-1-2 over that span.
Amerks rookie Brett Murray turned in his second two-assist game of the week to help the club to its third straight win while Andrew Oglevie, Sean Malone, Zach Redmond and Casey Nelson all found the back of the net. In his first appearance since shutting out the Comets back on Nov. 2, goaltender Andrew Hammond made 25 saves to improve to 6-1-1 on the season.
Reid Boucher, who netted a hat trick last night in Syracuse, registered a pair of helpers for Utica while Vincent Arseneau, Nikolay Goldobin and Brogan Rafferty all rounded out the scoring. Netminder Zane McIntrye (6-3-0) stopped 18 shots but was tagged with the loss.
As the Amerks trailed the Comets 2-0 in the first five minutes of the first period, Rochester responded just over nine minutes later as Redmond was fed a pass atop the right point at the 13:40 mark. After teeing up the shot, the reigning Eddie Shore Award winner and two-time AHL All-Star wasted little time as he wired a shot through traffic to make it a one-goal game from Pascal Aquin and Lawrence Pilut.
The visiting Amerks trailed 2-1 after the first period but needed just 37 seconds into the middle frame for Oglevie to knot the score with his fourth of the campaign from Kevin Porter and Murray.
Rochester carried the momentum as Eric Cornel circled from the half-wall and flung a shot from near the left point towards McIntrye. The netminder made the initial save with his left pad, but Malone scooped up the rebound and tucked it under the crossbar to give the Amerks their first lead of the contest 2:11 into the second stanza.
The game remained a one-goal affair until the 9:47 mark of the final frame as Nelson provided the Amerks the eventual game-winning-goal from Jacob Bryson and Murray while Rochester was in the first-half of a four-minute power-play situation.
Utica, who pulled McIntrye late in regulation, came inches away from watching Hammond score an empty-net goal before Rafferty slipped in his second of the season with 35 seconds left. Rochester was able to hold off the final push as they claimed the 4-3 victory.
The Amerks will take a temporary break from North Division opponents as they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack back to The Blue Cross Arena on Friday, Nov. 22. Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: Z. Redmond (2), A. Oglevie (4), S. Malone (4), C. Nelson (3 – GWG)
UTI: V. Arseneau (4), N. Goldobin (4), B. Rafferty (2)
ROC: A. Hammond – 25/28 (W)
UTI: Z. McIntyre – 18/22 (L)
ROC: PP (1/7) | PK (2/3)
UTI: PP (1/3) | PK (6/7)
1. B. Murray (ROC)
2. S. Malone (ROC)
3. V. Arseneau (UTI)