Peterka's Hat Trick Seals Game 2 Win in Overtime
(Utica, NY) - JJ Peterka scored his third goal of the game 1:29 into overtime to lift the Rochester Americans (3-1) to 4-3 win over the Utica Comets (1-1) in Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals Saturday at the Adirondack Bank Center.
Now tied at 1-1, the best-of-five series shifts to Rochester for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday, May 15 and Tuesday, May 17.
The overtime victory was Rochester's third of the postseason as well as the third by a 4-3 score.
Along with Peterka's three-goal outing, Peyton Krebs turned in a multi-point effort as he tallied three assists. Mark Jankowski opened the scoring just 20 seconds into the contest while AHL Rookie of the Year Jack Quinn and Brandon Biro each added a helper.
Goaltender Aaron Dell (3+1) earned his third win of the Calder Cup Playoffs as he stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced.
AJ Greer scored his third goal of the playoffs while Robbie Russo and former Amerk Brian Flynn each booked their second and first of the postseason, respectively. Netminder Nico Daws (1+1) suffered his first loss as he made 25 saves in his second postseason start.
Early in the opening minutes of overtime with the game tied at 3-3, Quinn carried the puck down the left wall into the Comets zone. The rookie forward cut to the middle of the zone before the puck eventually made its way to Peterka near the left face-off dot. Before reaching the goal-line, the forward completed the hat trick by snapping a shot in-between the arm and post to give Rochester the 4-3 overtime win.
Quinn and Krebs each earned the assists on the goal 99 seconds into the extra frame.
In the first minute of the game, Rochester took a 1-0 lead as Jankowski stepped out below the goal-line with the puck and flipped it overtop the left shoulder of Daws. The forward retrieved the puck after Casey Fitzgerald dumped the puck into the zone from the right point.
Eight minutes later in the period, after being hemmed inside their own zone, the Amerks used a quick transition to break the puck out. Krebs initiated the play as he sent Biro up the wall out in-front of the Rochester player bench. As the puck reached Biro's stick, he steered it towards center ice for Peterka, who finished the rush by firing a shot between the left arm of Dawns and the near post to double the lead at the 10:44 mark.
Holding a 2-0 lead with under six minutes to go in the frame, Rochester was whistled for a roughing penalty.
The Comets were unable to capitalize in the first minute of the infraction, but Greer blasted a one-time feed from the right circle to cut the score in half going into the intermission break.
Greer's third goal of the postseason was setup by Shakir Mukhamadullin and Alexander Holtz. The assist was Mukhamadullin and Holtz's first-career playoff AHL points.
After the intermission break, the Comets evened the score at 2-2 as Russo and Joe Gambardella exchanged a give-and-go 3:28 into the period.
Rochester countered back following an icing inside the Utica zone. Before rimming the puck around the wall to Peterka, Krebs won a face-off to the right of Daws.
Peterka, who has scored four goals in two games versus the Comets, gathered the puck from Krebs after it took a friendly bounce right outside the goalmouth to restore the Amerks 3-2 lead midway through the stanza.
Early in the final period of regulation, Rochester iced the puck. Utica won the ensuing face-off to the left of Dell and Russo collected a pass from Okhotiuk, who quickly fired a shot from the center of the point. Before Russo's shot reached Dell, Flynn redirected past the glove hand to knot the score at 3-3.
The clubs exchanged chances for the remaining 18:28 but overtime was required. Peterka completed his hat trick and sealed the 4-3 win for Rochester to even the series at 1-1.
The series shifts to The Blue Cross Arena for Game 3 on Sunday, May 15 at 5:05 p.m. The matchup will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM The Fan Rochester as well as AHLTV.
UTICA GAMECENTER ROCHESTER
Greer (3), Russo (2), Flynn (1) GOAL-SCORERS Jankowski (2), Peterka (2, 3, 4 - OT GWG)
Daws - 25/29 (L) GOALTENDERS Dell - 16/19 (W)
1-2 POWER-PLAY 0-1
1-1 PENALTY KILL 1-2
19 SHOTS ON GOAL 29
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