May 14, 2022
Utica, NY— Similar to Game 1 inside the Adirondack Bank Center on Tuesday, a white-clad capacity crowd created an electric atmosphere for the Utica Comets as they prepared for Game 2 of a five-game series against the Americans of Rochester. With a large crowd standing and shouting for the Comets to start the match, a familiar chant of “Utica” created an incredible mood for everyone inside the arena. It was a town united in white behind their Comets team in the hopes that they could skate against Rochester with a win and extend their series lead even further. Unfortunately, the Americans had other ideas and rookie forward JJ Peterka ruined the party in Utica after scoring the game winner in overtime.
The Comets roared out but found themselves behind just twenty seconds into the game after a wrist shot from Mark Jankowski smashed its way just under the crossbar and for a 1-0 Rochester lead. The Amerks added to their lead when rookie forward JJ Peterka rounded the Comets defense and sent a puck just wide of the post and into Daws’ short side at 10:44. Nonetheless, the Comets remain strong and rallied to emerge with a goal that cut the deficit in half on a one-timer rocket by Game 1 number one star AJ Greer. The first assist was first for rookie defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin who set up Greer wonderfully at 15:25. Suddenly, the building flowed with energy and excitement as the sea of white rose at their collective feet and cheered the comets as they left the first period with newly generated life.
The second period began and the fans let the Comets know they were solidly behind them midway through the period. The Comets used that momentum to tie the game. It was veteran defenseman Robbie Russo who found space on the blocker of Amerks Dell goaltender at 3:28. The goal, assisted by Joe Gambardella and Fabian Zetterlund, was Russo’s second in as many playoff games. Once again, Comets fans rejoiced as their team tied the hockey game 2-2. It took a fluke on the boards for a wide-open Peterka who lifted a shot just past Daws’ blocker side at 12:12. The third period ended with the Comets trailing 3-2.
In the final period of regulation, the Comets fought back to equalize again, and it took another veteran leader in Brian Flynn who deflected a Russo point shot into the back of the net at 1:32. It was Flynn’s first playoff goal with assists from Nikita Okhotiuk and Russo. Arena waited anxiously for their team to advance, but the match was sent back to the extra session where it took just minutes and twenty-nine seconds for Peterka to score a hat-trick and a goal against Daws and tie the series at 1-1. .
Game 3 is tomorrow at 5:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The Comets will be back in action after Sunday in Rochester again Tuesday night for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. If necessary, a fifth game will take place on Thursday, May 19and at 7:00 p.m. inside the Adirondack Bank Center. For more information on playoff tickets, please visit uticacomets.com/playoffs