The Utica Comets got off to a good start Wednesday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium and didn’t look back, as they defeated the Rochester Americans by the score of 5-2, giving them their second straight win and third straight win against the Amerks.
Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1), Mike Zalewski (1-1-2), Linden Vey (1-0-1), Jordan Subban (1-1-2), and Brendan Gaunce (1-1-2) each scored for the Comets, while Richard Bachman took home another victory with a 28-save performance.
The Comets took a quick 1-0 lead just 1:44 into the first period on Grenier’s fifth goal of the season. Grenier streaked down the middle of the ice and ripped a slapshot from the slot past Makarov. Subban and Ashton Sautner recorded assists on the goal. The goal, his 39th as a Comet, catapulted Grenier into sole possession of first place on the Comets all-time goals list.
Mike Zalewski stretched the Comets lead to 2-0 when he was on the receiving end of an incredible between-the-legs pass from Blair Jones that sprung the New Hartford, N.Y. native on a breakaway. Zalewski’s seventh goal of the season came as a result of a wrist shot from just above the face-off dot that screamed past Makarov’s blocker. David Shields picked up the secondary assist, his first point as a Comet.
Utica then went ahead 3-0, 8:49 into the second period when Vey collected a loose puck on the far side of the net, and quickly wristed a shot past Markarov before the Rochester goaltender could dive back into position.
The Amerks put their first dent into the Comets lead 10:14 into the second on a Tim Schaller breakaway goal.
Rochester cut the Comets lead to 3-2, 16:04 into the second on Schaller’s second goal of the night. The Amerk slipped a shot past Bachman’s left side after he received a pass from D’Amigo.
The Comets stormed right back and took a 4-2 lead with 41 seconds left in the second. From the corner, Gaunce connected with a pinching Subban at the top of the circle to Makarov’s left. Subban unleashed a wrist shot that found its way through heavy traffic in front, and into the back of the net.
The Amerks pulled their goalie with just over a minute to go, and Brendan Gaunce took advantage, sending the puck down the entire length of the ice and into the gaping goal frame to give the Comets a 5-2 win.
Utica outshot Rochester 33-30 while improving their record to 13-10-2-1. The Comets power play went 0-for-3, while the penalty kill went a perfect 4-for-4.
The Comets will be on the road Friday, traveling to Springfield, MA to take on the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate, Springfield Falcons. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.