Hammond, Amerks Silence First-Place Comets
(Utica, NY) ... Andrew Hammond stopped all 28 shots he faced to pick up his first shutout of the season and six different goal-scorers provided all the offense as the Rochester Americans (6-3-1-1) dominated from start to finish on their way to a 6-0 rout of the first-place Utica Comets (8-2-0-0) Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.
With tonight's road win, the Amerks have earned 16 out of a possible 24 points through their first 12 games of the season. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in seven of its last nine games overall.
Tage Thompson recorded a goal and an assist for his third multi-point outing of the season while Casey Fitzgerald, Kevin Porter Remi Elie and Casey Nelson all chipped in a pair of assists to help Rochester improve to 11-4-2-3 against Utica dating back to the start of the 2017-18 campaign. Scott Wilson and Curtis Lazar each scored a shorthanded goal for their third markers of the slate while Rasmus Asplund and Brett Murray each tallied their first and second goals of the season, respectively. Jarrett Burton completed the scoring as he netted his first goal as an Amerk. In his second appearance in as many nights, Hammond earned the win in the goal crease to improve to 5-1-1 on the season.
Kole Lind, Zach MacEwen, Guillaume Brisebois and former Amerk Justin Bailey all had two shots a piece for Utica, which suffered its second straight shutout loss after starting the season 8-0-0-0. Netminder Zane McIntyre (5-1-0) made 13 saves in 24 minutes before being replaced by rookie goaltender Michael DiPietro, who stopped seven shots in the final 36 minutes of regulation.
The Amerks, who entered the game with just four first-period goals all season, erupted for three tallies in the opening 20 minutes of play to take a 3-0 lead into the locker room.
Murray began the scoring less than five minutes into the frame from Andrew Oglevie and Porter before Wilson doubled the lead less than 11 minutes later as he flagged down a clearing attempt from Fitzgerald just inside the Comets zone while on the penalty kill.
As the first period was dwindling down, Fitzgerald tracked down his own dump-in to the left of McIntyre before sending a cross-ice pass to Thompson. As Thompson skated down the slot, he fired a shot off the chest of the Comets goaltender, but the rebound found the stick of Asplund, who quickly slipped it into the net for his first of the season with 1:01 to play.
Rochester kept the pedal down early in the second period as Lazar made it a four-goal margin 5:07 into the middle frame from Elie and Nelson. The shorthanded goal came 12 seconds after an Amerks penalty, putting an early end to McIntyre's night.
As the visitors drew their first power-play of the night, Thompson roofed his fifth of the season - and Rochester's fifth of the night - midway through the middle period.
Then, to close out the scoring in the period and untimely the contest, Burton was credited with his first goal of the season as Nelson fired a shot from the left point that glanced off the back of the forward and in-behind DiPietro at the 16:02 mark.
Despite testing Hammond in the final 20 minutes of play with 12 shots, Utica was unable to solve the netminder as he blanked the Comets for his first shutout of the season.
The Amerks are back on home ice and look to make it three in a row on Friday, Nov. 8 when they take on the Binghamton Devils for the second straight week at The Blue Cross Arena. 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: B. Murray (2 - GWG), S. Wilson (3), R. Asplund (1), C. Lazar (3), T. Thompson (5), J. Burton (1)
ROC: A. Hammond - 28/28 (W)
UTI: Z. McIntyre - 13/17 (L) | M. DiPietro - 14/16 (ND)
ROC: PP (1/5) | PK (6/6)
UTI: PP (0/6) | PK (4/5)
1. A. Hammond (ROC)
2. T. Thompson (ROC)
3. K. Porter (ROC)
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