The Utica Comets have extended their win streak to three after beating the Rochester Americans 3-1 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Wednesday evening. After returning home from a four-game road trip, the Comets have secured a total seven points in the last five games.
A pair of defensemen, Bobby Sanguinetti (2-0-2) and Kane Lafranchise (1-1-2), scored all three of the Comets goals. Joacim Eriksson put on yet another stellar performance for the club stopping 26 of the Amerks 27 shots.
Very few pucks found their way to the net in the first period, however the Comets were still able to bury one at the tail end of the period. After failing to control the puck in the neutral zone, the Americans turned the puck over as Lafranchise swatted the puck down along the boards towards Sanguinetti who immediately rushed it up on the left wing. With one quick wrist shot, Sanguinetti scored just over the extended left leg pad of Andrey Makarov to give the Comets the 1-0 lead at 18:21.
Although no goals were scored in the second period, it didn’t take long for both teams to ramp up play in the third.
Just 2:38 into the last period, the Americans found their only goal of the game when Matt Ellis backhanded the puck past Eriksson’s blocker side for the equalizer to make it a 1-1 game. Tim Schaller and former Comets forward Zac Dalpe were both credited with assists on the play.
The Comets regained the lead just 49 seconds later when Kane Lafranchise found his first career regular season American Hockey League goal. After forcing a turnover, Nicklas Jensen fired a pass to the slot from the corner. Lafranchise streaked across the hashmarks and one-timed the puck past the Amerks netminder for the 2-1 lead. Dustin Jeffrey was credited with the secondary assist for his fifth assist in three games.
Four minutes later, the Comets doubled down on their lead. After some play along the boards behind Markarov’s net, Cal O’Reilly pushed the puck out to Alex Friesen who then quickly fed it over to Sanguinetti who sat directly between the center hashmarks in front of Rochester’s net. Sanguinetti one-timed a slapshot past Makarov for his second goal.
Tonight’s victory marks the Comets third straight win and keeps them atop the entire American Hockey League with 37 points.
The Comets will have one day of rest before they play back-to-back games at The AUD starting on Friday. The club will play the Toronto Marlies for the fourth time this year with a puck drop slated for 7 p.m.
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