UTICA, N.Y. - More than a month into the 2021-22 AHL regular season, the Utica Comets have now lost just their first game.
The Comets' fell 4-2 to the Rochester Americans, Wednesday, as their AHL record 13-game win streak to start the season has come to an end.
It was the second time in a row that Utica and Rochester went head-to-head, and the third time in four games over the course of the past week.
The Amerks got the scoring going 4:10 into the first period with Sean Malone cashing in on the power play with a one-timer in the slot off a feed from Jack Quinn. It was the first shot of the game for Rochester and put them up 1-0.
With 5:34 left in the opening frame, Amerks defenseman Casey Fitzgerald doubled the lead to 2-0 with a wrist shot from the point that went through traffic en route to the back of the net.
Utica trailed by two heading into the second period, but responded quickly in the middle stanza with Alexander Holtz, in his return from a stint up in the NHL with New Jersey, firing a shot over the shoulder of Amerks goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to put the Comets on the board. The goal was the 19-year-old's sixth in five games with Utica this year.
Just under four minutes into the third period, with the Comets still trailing 2-1, Marian Studenic got tripped up on a breakaway, leading to a penalty shot, which he converted to knot the game up at two.
However, the Amerks scored the next two: a Brett Murray goal with 6:54 remaining, and an empty-netter from Malone with 39 seconds left to seal it and snap the historic streak.
Nico Daws made 19 saves on 22 shots faced for the Comets tonight, while Luukkonen stopped 27 of 29 shots faced.
The Comets are now 13-1-0-0 on the season thus far. The team returns to action for a pair in Charlotte against the Checkers on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.