The Utica Comets ran their win streak to four games with a 5-2 win over the Rochester Americans Friday evening at the Blue Cross Arena. With the victory, the Comets record improved to 7-9-1-0.
Andrey Pedan (1-1-2), Wacey Hamilton (1-1-2), Colby Robak (0-2-2), Darren Archibald (1-1-2) and Borna Rendulic (1-1-2) enjoyed multi-point games, while Jordan Subban (1-0-1) picked up his fourth power-play goal of the season. Thatcher Demko made 30-saves for his fourth straight victory.
The Amerks wasted no time at all getting on the scoresheet as their first shot of the game ended up in the back of the net just 1:53 into the game. After Erik Burgdoerfer dumped it behind the net, the puck was redirected to the slot and quickly jammed between Demko’s leg pad and the post by Kyle Bonis.
After applying a lengthy amount of pressure, Hamilton redirected David Sheilds’ shot from the point between the legs of Ullmark to tie the game at 1-1. The goal tied the game at 1-1, 13:22 into the game. Andrey Pedan picked up the secondary assist on the tally.
Pedan and Carter Bancks took back-to-back penalties to set up a 36 second 5-on-3 power play for the Amerks. The Comets successfully killed off the 5-on-3 but were unable to keep the home team off the board as Nick Baptiste’s shot from the slot trickled past Demko and just barely across the goal line.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of the Amerks until Rendulic found his first goal as a member of the Comets 5:41 into the second period. Marco Roy’s initial shot was knocked down before it got to the net. Defenseman Colby Robak swooped and put a shot on net that Ullmark turned aside. That rebound kicked out to Rendulic all alone in the slot and with a quick flick of the wrist the game was knotted at 2-2.
A little over six minutes later the Comets grabbed their first lead of the night when Pedan’s wrist shot screamed past Ullmark’s glove. The scoring play came courtesy of a perfectly executed defensive zone breakout. On the half wall, Rendulic connected with Wacey Hamilton to spring the Comets on an odd-man rush through the neutral zone. Just as they gained entry into the Amerks zone, Hamilton slid the puck over to Pedan. Pedan took a couple strides and rifled the puck into the net from the top of the face-off circle.
The Comets doubled their lead when Subban walked in from the point and fired a shot past Ullmark. The goal, his fifth of the season, came on the power play. Robak picked up his second assist on the evening.
Archibald potted an empty-net goal with 47 seconds left to give him eight points in his last six games.
The Comets power play went 1-for-3 on the night, while the penalty kill successfully killed off two of the Amerks’ three power play opportunities.
Saturday afternoon the Comets will make their NHL arena debut with a game against the Toronto Marlies at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, at 1:30 p.m.