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Amerks rally in third but fall to Comets in shootout

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(Utica, NY) … For the third time in as many games, the Rochester Americans (6-4-0-1) participated in a game that required a shootout to decide the outcome. However, the Amerks suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Utica Comets (5-4-0-1) Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. The loss was Rochester’s first of the campaign away from The Blue Cross Arena after starting the road portion of its schedule 3-0-0-0.

Rookie defenseman Brendan Guhle notched his second-straight two-point (1+1) outing as he helped Rochester earn its fifth point of a possible six. Sahir Gill opened the scoring for the Amerks 2:35 into the final period of regulation while Adam Wilcox, who made his fifth appearance of the season, suffered the defeat in the blue crease.

Anton Rodin bagged his first goal of the season while Nikolay Goldobin tallied his team-leading fifth marker of the slate for the Comets, who picked up their first win of the season at home. Goaltender Richard Bachman, who made just his third start of the year, made 24 saves on the night to earn his first victory of campaign.

Facing a 2-0 deficit going into the final period, the Amerks were whistled for a boarding penalty just 41 seconds into the stanza. However, a hooking violation 34 seconds later negated the power-play for the Comets, forcing the teams to play four-on-four for 1:27.

With the open ice, Guhle gathered the puck in the defensive zone before he weaved his way to the right corner of Bachman. The first-year blueliner fired a shot-pass to Gill in front of the cage. Gill flagged his stick at the puck and redirected the shot over the shoulder of the netminder to trim the Comets lead just 2:35 into the frame.

With the goal, Gill now has totaled seven points (4+3) over his last eight games.

The Amerks continued to ride the momentum as they drew their seventh penalty of the contest with 15:20 left in third period. Rochester, though, only needed all of 19 seconds before Guhle blasted a one-time feed from C.J. Smith and Steve Moses to knot the score at 2-2.

By scoring his second goal of the season and registering the lone helper on Gill’s goal, Guhle has eight points (2+6) over his last seven games. Smith, meanwhile, extended his assist streak to five games as he has six helpers dating back to Oct. 27.

Following Guhle’s game-tying marker to make the score 2-2, the two clubs clamped down defensively as they combined for just eight shots over the final 15 minutes of regulation and five in overtime, resulting in the shootout session.

The Amerks, who were in search of their third-straight shootout win for the first time since the 2012-13 season, were forced to shoot first during the skills competition. However, Kevin Porter, Smith and Eric Cornel, the hero in each of Rochester’s last two shootout victories, were all blanked by Bachman while Utica’s Goldobin beat Wilcox in the second round to give the Comets the 3-2 shootout victory.

With Rochester’s power-play goal during the third period, the Amerks have now scored eight goals with the man-advantage in their last five games, going 8-for-30 (26.6%) during that span while earning nine of a possible 12 points in the last six games.

The Amerks head north of the border for a weekend set against the Belleville Senators on Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11 at Yardmen Arena for the first two meetings in franchise history. Both contests are slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be broadcast live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester.

Goal Scorers

RCH: Gill (4), Guhle (2)

UTI: Rodin (1), Goldobin (5, SOW)

Goaltenders

RCH: Wilcox – 35/37 (SOL)

UTI: Bachman – 22/24 (W)

Shots

RCH: 24

UTI: 38

Special Teams

RCH: PP (1/7) | PK (8/9)

UTI: PP (1/9) | PK (6/7)

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