Comets Drop Contest in Overtime against Americans, Trail in Series 2-1
Utica, NY - The Comets stepped into the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester tied in a best of five series one to one with the Rochester Americans. The crucial game three would put one team on the brink of elimination on Tuesday night. When the dust settled on the evening's game, it was it took an early overtime goal by Rochester to put the Comets season on the brink. The Comets lost the contest 4-3 and now trail two games to one in the best of five game series.
In the first period, despite the Americans coming out to a start that saw them pepper Utica goalie, Akira Schmid, they goaltender held his ground making several solid saves so they Comets could find their footing and push back. As the period went on, Greer was the first to hit the back of the net as he moved into the Rochester zone with speed. His initial shot was stopped but he kept pushing and slid a backhand shot between the legs of Rochester goalie Aaron Dell. The goal at 7:34 was Greer's 4th of the playoffs while Robbie Russo and Fabian Zetterlund generated assists on the tally. Rochester got the crowd back into the game when Sean Malone drove the goal and pounced on a rebound off a shot from Jimmy Schuldt at 14:36 that beat a diving Schmid. It only took two minutes and eleven seconds after their first goal to score another one. Lukas Rousek was standing on right side of the Comets net and took a nifty pass by JJ Peterka to give a 2-1 lead. That was all the scoring through the first period.
The Comets tied the game in the second period, and it was on a rocket of one-timer by Fabian Zetterlund who stepped into a pass by Russo and found the top corner of the net at 9:32. The Comets bench erupted as the Swede netted his first goal of the playoffs. The Americans proved resilient, and it was another great play by Peterka as he threw the puck towards the Comets goal and had the puck redirect by Brandon Biro just passed Schmid at 15:22. For the third time in as many games, Rochester took a 3-2 lead in the game. The Comets though put their head down and continued to go to work and it took a goalmouth scramble that helped the Comets tie the game with exactly two minutes left in the second period. Aarne Talvitie scored his first of the post-season and he drove the net and Dell thought he stopped the puck but it rested in the blue paint. An unknowing Jack Quinn, trying to find the puck, kicked it into his own goal and the Comets tied the contest at 3-3.
In the final period of regulation, there were no goals but a late penalty against Robbie Russo sent the Comets to the penalty box late in the third. The power-play carried over into the extra session and it was a shot from the right wing side by Arttu Ruotsalainen at 1:39 that beat Schmid and put Rochester up in the series two games to one. The Comets must win the game on Tuesday night in Rochester to stave off elimination.
Game four takes place Tuesday at 7:05 PM inside Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. If necessary, there will be a deciding game five of the series which will take place on Thursday night, May 19th at 7:05 PM inside the Adirondack Bank Center. For playoff ticket information, please visit uticacomets.com/playoffs.
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