(WGR 550) – It was a promising start for the Rochester Americans in Game 1 of their best-of-five series with the Utica Comets on Tuesday.
The Amerks walked into Utica and almost instantly had a 2-0 lead over the heavily-favored Comets. It only took 6:03 for Arttu Ruotsalainen and JJ Peterka to give the Amerks the 2-0 lead.
In the first 5:30 of the second period, the Comets shed the rust of having a first-round bye to tie the score at 2-2, but Ruotsalainen wasn’t done netting his fifth goal and seventh point in three playoff games. That gave him points on seven of the last eight Rochester goals.
After that, Aaron Dell and the Amerks got a huge dose of why Utica is one of the best teams in the American Hockey League. The Comets netted four unanswered goals and took Game 1, 6-3.
Former Canisius Golden Griffins forward Ryan Schmelzer tied the game for Utica before the second period was over.
Dell stopped 33 of 39 shots, while Rochester could only manage 22 shots on Comets goalie Nico Daws.
Rochester was still without the injured Mattias Samuelsson and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on Tuesday.
Game 2 will be in Utica on Saturday with faceoff set for 7 p.m. ET.
***Photo: Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey)