Wedgewood Earns a Big Road Win in Utica

The team practiced hard as intended on Monday, talked the talk leading up to the game on Wednesday night, and followed it up with a 60 minute effort on the road to beat Utica by a score of 3-1. It was a near perfect game with a 30 save night from Scott Wedgewood for his 21st win of the season.

In the first 20 minutes it was a goaltending battle with both Scott Wedgewood and Michael Leighton making big saves. Leighton made a big glove save on Victor Olofsson who was all alone on a breakway halfway through the first period. In the closing seconds of the first Scott Wedgewood made a sprawling save to get what appeared to be the tip of his glove on the puck and push it just wide. On that same play Lawrence Pilut prevented a pass that would’ve been a buzzer beater one timer.

Starting a period strong is something many teams can struggle with and it often seems like it’s your own team. Rochester has had their fair share of goals against early in periods but on Wednesday night they would be the ones to score.

CJ Smith scored his 19th goal of the season on the power play just 51 seconds into the second period. Matt Tennyson stopped the puck from leaving the zone and sent a cross ice pass to CJ Smith who blasted the puck into the net from just inside the face off circle. Leighton had eyes on it but wasn’t fast enough to make the save. In the last 22 games for CJ dating back to December 5th he has 26¬†points (13G+13A). That’s pretty impressive.

ICYMI… CJ Smith shared his thoughts on coming back down to Rochester in this article:

With just over six minutes to play the gloves were dropped between Yannick Veilleux and Vincent Arseneau. It’s easy to see who won that one.

Reid Boucher scored the only Comets goal with 3:22 left to play in the second period. A quick screen, a quick shot, and the puck was instantly in the net. Dalton Smith had been in the box for what would be considered a bad penalty after he cross checked an opposing player behind the play. That was the only moment that prevented it from being a perfect game.

When the third period started the line of Olofsson, Asplund, and O’Regan started fast and it only took 21 seconds for them to score what would be the game winning goal. Olofsson sent the puck into the corner for Asplund and he took a moment to back out and make room for a shot. O’Regan was parked to the side of the night, spotted Olofsson, sent a pass off his back hand to the opposite side and Olofsson scored. That line has been special all season.

Remi Elie scored his fifth goal in seven games at 6:55 of the third period and it was Rochesters game from that point on. Sean Malone won a puck battle on the right side, was able to get it to Elie coming across the ice and the power forward shot far side beating Leighton. In the last seven games for Elie he has 5G+1A. Only one of those seven games was without a point.

Utica had a chance with 5:05 left to play when Dalton Smith was called for high sticking and the Comets went on the power play. The penalty kill was perfect by not giving up any quality chances to the Comets.

Scott Wedgewood finished the game with 30 saves and played a stellar game. That was his 13th win in his last 16 games and the 21st win of the season is good for second in the American League.

Starting lines in the game:

12, 26, 65
19, 16, 92
40, 14, 15
37, 64, 20

28, 22
5, 2
44, 3

29

Scratched: Jack Dougherty, Nathan Paetsch, Tyler Randell

Injured: Kyle Criscuolo, Wayne Simpson, Kevin Porter [ More on the injury report ]

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Amerks will finish the week with a couple of practices before big games on Saturday in Syracuse and home vs Syracuse. The Sunday home game has a 3:05pm start time.

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Here’s the game in gifs as they were Tweeted:

Also in case you missed it: