An All-American win
The Utica Comets have a little streak going...
They are now victorious in each of their last 3 road games after beating the Rochester Americans 3-2 in a thrilling victory, Friday night.
This was a big win for the team for many reasons. First and foremost, it stopped the bleeding after two straight losses last weekend at home. Second, it was a come from behind win that saw the team rally from being down 2-0 early, climb back into it and eventually win it late in regulation. And third, it was the first time they beat the division rival Amerks, in the four times they've faced each other so far this year.
Yet again, this one started with the Comets giving up the first goal and finding themselves in a hole early on. Just under two minutes after Dan Catenacci gave Rochester a 1-0 lead only 5:11 into the game, Chad Ruhwedel put the puck past Eriksson to send the Amerks up by two, and things looked bleak from the start.
However, rather than crumble and fade, the Comets rallied back with a goal late in the 1st period by Alexandre Grenier to bring Utica back within one. From there it was all Comets as nearly halfway through the 2nd period, Patrick Mullen scored a Powerplay goal to knot things up, and with just 3:43 to go in regulation, Pascal Pelletier netted the game-winner to complete the come back and give the Comets 2 big divisional points.
And so here we are with the Comets at 3-10-1-1, winners of their last 3 on the road, and 3-2 in their last 5. Since that first win two weeks ago, the Comets have looked like a different team, a more confident team. With the burden of their first win out of the way, the team has finally been playing more relaxed and it has showed.
Even when the team goes down, it never seems like they're out as they keep coming at you until the final buzzer. Even in the two losses at home last week, they at least made it exciting throughout. With a come from behind victory, on the road, against a team they have struggled mightily against, we just might have seen what we should come to expect from Utica Comets hockey down the stretch.
The team was down, but never out; a motto I'm sure the Comets are embracing as of late. This team is an underdog team, and it's supposed to be an underdog team. It's the first year for a new franchise, in a new city, with a new coach, and a (mostly) new roster. In a game like hockey, where confidence and chemistry is so important, new teams are not supposed to win. They're just not ready for the grind.
However, this team may be different. Sure they are still well under .500 with a month and a half of the season already in the books, but they are already showing signs of promise. With plenty of season to go, and three wins in their last five games, it appears that the team is finally meshing, and most importantly they are finding ways to win.
If they keep up this type of play all the way through the season, they may surprise people who thought this was a basement team after the first 10 games. There is certainly a lot of work to be done to prove themselves, but the signs are there, and after just 15 games their potential is looking better and better.
When you look at this team, you see one that has so far continued to outshoot their opponents, but just can't seem to find the back of the net enough to get the W. Yet in tonight's game, they outshot the Amerks 31-26, and scored a goal in all three periods.
Before today it seemed as though they just couldn't get anything going against Rochester, a team that they need to get through if they have any hopes of even thinking about competing for a playoff spot later on. But today, they finally locked it down, and found a way to come out of Blue Cross Arena victorious.
It was a big divisional win, and an even bigger one considering it was against their early-season rivals, and in hostile territory. The last few games, the Comets have become quite the road warriors...now they just need to find a way to win at home.
They will get that chance again tomorrow night, as they will play these same Americans at The Aud, with their shot at back-to-back wins in this home and home. A win tomorrow would completely recharge this team. Another winning streak, another divisional win, and their first home win would help them get all of the weight off their shoulders, and would certain give Utica fans something to cheer about.
Again, there is still a lot of work to be done, but a win tomorrow night would certainly be nice. Here's to hoping, and here's to rooting the Comets towards the winning path.