Utica, N.Y. - After months of waiting, the Utica Comets finally return home to the cozy, yet newly renovated confines of the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium for the home opener against the Rochester Americans on Wednesday.
While the excitement over the team returning home, and the new additions to The Aud certainly did bring a buzz to an already electric atmosphere, the night did not go the Comets way as they fell 4-3 in a shootout to their North Division rival.
The Amerks struck first just 14 seconds into the game from a goal by Hudson Fasching, but the Comets, who had the top power play in the league coming into the night, responded a few minutes later with a goal on the man advantage by Michael Chaput to tie the game at one.
After assisting on Chaput's goal, forward Darren Archibald then scored a goal of his own with 3:03 remaining in the opening stanza to put Utica on top for the first time, 2-1.
With the Amerks on the power play, they knotted it back up with 14 seconds left off a rocket by Kevin Porter from the top of the circle and the teams would head in the locker room tied at two.
In the second, Alexis D'Aoust gave the Comets the lead yet again with a goal at the 7:42 mark of the frame with a tip-in off a rebound shot by Wacey Hamilton, but the Amerks came roaring back with another power play goal, this time a one-timer tally by Steve Moses with 4:32 left in the stanza.
The third period would see the teams trade chances, but there would be no scoring so we'd go to 3-on-3 overtime with no luck, and then a shootout.
The shootout would last eight rounds until Eric Cornel slipped one over the shoulder of Comets goalie Thatcher Demko to ice it for Rochester.
Demko finished with 29 saves, while Linus Ullmark stopped 44 Comets shots for the Amerks.
Utica returns to The Aud for game action on Friday night as they welcome the Binghamton Devils to town for their first meeting of the year. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.