3rd period goals lift Comets over Amerks in semifinals opener

UTICA, NY (WHEC) — Arttu Ruotsalainen scored twice for the Americans but a pair of unanswered goals by the Comets and a Joe Gambardella tie-breaker midway through the 3rd period along with another pair of Utica scores later lifted them to a 6-3 win over Rochester in game 1 of the North Division Semifinals.

JJ Peterka also scored for the Amerks 6 minutes into the game on a power play, his first in these playoffs. However, it wasn’t enough to stop the Utica offense, which registered 40 shots on goal compared to Rochester’s 20. Aaron Dell made 34 saves but allowed three goals or more goals in regulation for the third time in as many postseason games. The twelve allowed a career-high tie for the most surrendered in a Calder Cup Playoffs (2016).

Rochester drops its first game of the postseason following back-to-back overtime wins against the Belleville Senators last week. The two teams stay in Utica for the 2nd of a best-of-five series before heading back to Rochester on Sunday.