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Utica Comets Win First-Ever Home Game [VIDEO]

Comets win at Home
Photo by Bill Keeler

The Utica Comets scored two unanswered goals to win their franchise first-ever victory at home with a 2-0 win over Rochester on Saturday night.

The Comets have now won two straight games; the new AHL team beat the Amerks in Rochester on Friday night.

 

Watch the final minute of play and Rob Eche’s first reaction to this historic victory!

Listen to Don Laible’s report, filed Saturday night for WIBX:

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UPDATE: The Game Recap

In front of a sold-out electric crowd at the Utica Memorial
Auditorium, the Utica Comets completed their weekend sweep of the Rochester
Americans with a 2-0 victory, and have now won four of six. The win was
Utica’s first on home ice this season as the Comets hit the double-digit
mark in the standings with 10 points. The win gave Utica, NY it’s first home
American Hockey League victory since a March 13, 1993 Utica Devils victory
over the Hershey Bears, a span of 7,560 days.

Joacim Eriksson was the man of the hour as he turned away all 33 shots he

Rob Esche
The faces of victory at home as Comets owner Robert Esche reacts to the Utica Comets first-ever franchise win on home ice on Saturday, November 23, 2013. (Photo by Bill Keeler)

saw for the first shutout in Comets’ franchise history. The netminder was
named first star of the game for his efforts, which ended with a loud
standing ovation from The AUD faithful. Yannick Weber and Darren Archibald
each found the back of the net for the Comets.

Utica opened the scoring as Yannick Weber fired a wrist shot past Rochester
netminder Matt Hackett just 9:04 into his first period in a Utica jersey. It
was the second power-play goal in as many nights for the Comets, with
assists going to Henrik Tommernes and Pascal Pelletier. Each team finished
the first period with seven shots on net as fast and physical play dominated
the storyline.

The second period only built upon the intensity of its predecessor as both
the pace and physicality picked up. Patrick Mullen and Kevin Porter dropped
the gloves at the 11:51 mark, following a hard hit on Tommernes in the
corner.  It was the first fight of the season for the Comets defenseman.
Eriksson came up with several huge saves to keep Utica ahead, including a
breakaway stop on Rochester sniper Joel Armia.

The loud AUD crowd sat on the edge of their seats until the 10:26 mark of
the third period, when Archibald would put the game away for the Comets.
Archibald buried a rebound from the slot off of an Alex Grenier wrist shot
that got Rochester goaltender Matt Hackett out of position. The goal sent
the crowd into a frenzy that would not stop until the well past the final
buzzer.

The Comets wouldn’t need anything else offensively as Eriksson was fantastic
down the stretch. The Sweden native made 14 saves in the final stanza to
stave off a surging Rochester attack and keep his team ahead.  With Utica
short-handed in the final minute, Eriksson made a flashy glove save on a
point blank chance from the slot to put the icing on the cake on the Utica
victory.

Eriksson’s win was his fourth of the season and his second in as many
nights. The Comets’ goaltender also improved to 2-2 on the season against
Rochester. With their assists, Grenier now has five points in his last six
games and Pelletier has four in his last five.

Utica improves to 4-10-1-1 on the season with the victory. The Comets are
next in action on Tuesday as the Lake Erie Monsters come to the Mohawk
Valley for the first time this season. The Comets split two games in
Cleveland earlier in the month, which included the first victory in Comets
franchise history on Nov. 7, a 3-2 win for Utica.  Puck drop is set for 7:00
p.m.

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