There were seven games last night in the American Hockey League. Several teams had their season opener, some had their home opener, and for the Utica Comets, their franchise opener.
Hartford Wolf Pack 5 – Adirondack Phantoms 4 SO
Fans in Hartford were treated to a thrilling game last night to say the least. After a Chris Kreider goal in the first period, Adirondack rallied for three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead. However, the two clubs would battle back and forth all night until the game eventually went to a shootout. Goals by Danny Kristo and J.T. Miller lifted Hartford to the eventual 5-4 victory. Both teams combined for 110 penalty minutes in the game. Yann Danis allowed 4 goals on 19 shots in a Phantoms loss while Cameron Talbot made 31 stops in the Wolf Pack victory.
Manchester Monarchs 3 – Providence Bruins 2 SO
After a very tight 40-minutes, the Manchester Monarchs still found themselves in a 2-0 hole after two periods against the Providence Bruins. However this would quickly change in the third as the Monarchs took control, outshooting the Bruins 16-3 in the final frame alone. Goals by Andrew Bodnarchuk and Brandon Kozun drew the Monarchs even at 2. In the shootout, the Monarchs received goals by Tyler Toffoli, Jordan Weal and Andy Andreoff for the 3-2 comeback victory. Martin Jones stopped 24 shots in the victory, while Niklas Svedberg turned aside 32 in the loss.
Rochester Americans 4 – Utica Comets 1
The Rochester Americans spoiled the Comets season opener with a 4-1 victory on Friday night. Luke Adam added two goals for Rochester in the game, giving the Americans a 4-0 lead. However, the Comets would ruin the shutout bid late in the third as Pascal Pelletier tallied the first goal in the Comets franchise history. Matt Hackett sealed the win with 30 saves; meanwhile Joe Cannata made 18 saves in a losing cause.
Hamilton Bulldogs 3 – St. John’s IceCaps 2
A late rush in the third period wasn’t enough for the IceCaps to draw even against the Bulldogs in the dying minutes as Hamilton walked away with the win in a very tight game between the two clubs. Patrick Holland tallied a short-handed goal in the third period for the win. Eddie Pasquale made 31 saves for the IceCaps; meanwhile Dustin Tokarski made 33 saves in the victory.
Rockford IceHogs 5 – Lake Erie Monsters 2
Two goals by IceHogs Drew LeBlanc and a strong first period by the IceHogs were enough to seal the Monsters fate in this contest. Rockford outshot the Monsters 19-6 at the end of the first period, scoring three goals over that time in the win. The Monsters tallied two goals in the third but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hole they had previously dug. Calvin Pickard was charged by letting in 5 goals on 24 shots; meanwhile Antti Raanta stopped 20 saves in the win.
Norfolk Admirals 5 – Binghamton Senators 0
An explosive first period, which included an Alex Grant hattrick, was enough to seal the Senators fate early in this contest. Grant tallied three goals in just over 5-minutes for the Admirals in a very one sided first period which saw Norfolk tally 4-powerplay goals thanks to a very undisciplined Senators team. Frederik Andersen turned aside 33 shots in the shutout, meanwhile Andrew Hammond allowed 5-goals on 14 shots in a losing cause.
Abbotsford Heat 3 – Milwaukee Admirals 2 OT
Greg Nemisz beat Admirals goaltender Magnus Hellberg just under two minutes into overtime on the powerplay for the victory. With time winding down in the third, an Admirals goal by Taylor Beck sent the game to the extra overtime period. Heat goaltender Reto Berra stopped 24 of 26 shots in the game to pick up the win; meanwhile Hellberg stopped 28 in the loss.