Comets crushed by Amerks power play

Photo courtesy of the Rochester Amerks Twitter post

ROCHESTER’S ERIC CORNEL (20) keeps a Utica Comet at bay as goalie Scott Wedgewood makes a save during the Amerks 6-1 pasting of the Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center in downtown Utica Wednesday. The Amerks are home Friday evening as they host the defending AHL champion Toronto Marlies.

UTICA – Rookie forward Victor Olofsson Wednesday continued his rampage though the start of the 2018-19 American Hockey League season, scoring two more goals and adding two assists to help pace the Rochester Americans to their fourth consecutive win, 6-1 against the Utica Comets.

Joining Olofsson in leading the Rochester charge was fellow rookie Lawrence Pilut. He has recorded at least a point in all four of the Amerks wins. Wednesday he was credited with three assists in the triumph which moved Rochester into first place in the AHL’s North Division.

The Americans (4-2-0-0) scored four of their goals on the power play, including all three first period tallies. In absorbing the pounding, the Comets fell to 3-3-0-0.

The reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Olofsson now leads the AHL in scoring with 12 points (5+7) and his five goals in six games ranks second in the league.

Defenseman Zach Redmond, who scored two of the first-period power play goals, also pushed his point streak to four games as well. In Pilut’s last four contests, the rookie defenseman has picked up eight points (1+7) to take over the scoring lead among AHL blueliners. Redmond also has eight points (4+4), giving Rochester the top two point-producing defensemen.

Third-year forward Alexander Nylander joined the scoring parade, picking up his six and seventh points in the last five games (2+5) while Danny O’Regan rounded out the scoring with his second goal. Goaltender Scott Wedgewood made 24 saves to square his record at 2-2-0-0. He also was credited with his first point as an Amerk by assisting Wednesday on Oloffson’s first goal.

Comets netminder Richard Bachman took his second straight loss and third this season.

The Comets were called for three penalties in the opening 14 minutes of the game and Rochester made Utica sorry. As they have done through six games, the Amerks’ power-play unit was fire on ice as they would lead their team to a 3-0 lead after the first period.

Redmond scored twice on shots from the point before Olofsson drilled home his first of two to complete the onslaught.

Olli Juolevi scored his first AHL goal for Utica during the second period to cut Rochester’s advantage to 3-1. The defenseman’s goal at the 6:24 mark of the second period came on a Utica power-play. Rochester would respond twice to regain their three-goal cushion and enlarge it before the second intermission.

After the clubs each sent a player to the penalty box on coincidental minors near the halfway point of the second, Oloffson picked the top right corner of the net after passes from Nylander and Pilut to make it 4-1 with 10:03 remaining. The lead was stretched to a game-best four about four minutes later when O’Regan caught a piece of an Olofsson redirect for his second goal of the month. Defenseman Andrew MacWilliam fired the initial shot from the left point to earn his first assist of the 2018-19 season.

To close out the scoring, Nylander tucked in a cross-ice feed from rookie Rasmus Asplund and Brendan Guhle with 10:09 left in regulation for Rochester’s fourth PP goal. The assist was Asplund’s first-career AHL point while Guhle extended his current assist streak to three games (0+4).

Due to the success of their power play Wednesday, the Amerks become the first AHL team this season to reach double-digits (11) in power-play goals. Additionally, with 10 combined power-play goals in its last four games, Rochester boasts the top ranked power-play in the AHL with a 40.7% success rate.

The Amerks return home to face the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies for the first of six contests between the squads this season Friday, Oct. 19 at The Blue Cross Arena. The theme that night at the Blue Cross Arena in the Rochester War Memorial will be “Hocktoberfest”. German foods and drinks will be featured. The 7:05 p.m. contest will be carried live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester and viewed on AHLTV.


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