Rochester maintained it slim hold on first place in the American Hockey League’s North Division with a 4-3 victory over the Utica Comets on Saturday night before 3,935 at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica.
Zach Redmond, Andrew Oglevie, Sean Malone and Casey Nelson scored goals in that order in a 4-0 Americans’ run after Utica had taken a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 4:10. Those goals came on Vincent Arsenault’s fourth of the season and a power-play score by Nikolov Goldobin.
Former Buffalo Sabres and Amerks winger Justin Bailey, a Williamsville native, picked up his fifth assist on the Goldobin goal.
Before the first period was over, however, Redmond scored his second of the season with Pascal Aquin and Lawrence Pilut getting the assists.
Oglevie had the only goal in the second period with Kevin Porter and Brett Murray assisting.
Malone’s fourth of the season at 2:11 of the third put Rochester in front to stay. Nelson scored his third, the eventual game-winner on the power play at 9:47. Jacob Bryson and Murray had the assists.
Rochester has been getting good offensive production out of its corps of defensemen. Redmond, who had 21 goals and 50 points last season, has two goals and seven assists for nine points. Nelson had three goals and six assists and Pilut had two goals and seven assists. Bryson has six assists in his rookie season.
Nelson entered the game leading AHL defensemen in plus-minus. He now is a plus-12.
Brogan Rafferty drew the Comets within a goal when he scored with 35 seconds left with an extra attacker on the ice.
Andrew Hammond made 25 saves in goal for Rochester. Zane MacIntyre had 18 saves for Utica.
Rochester (10-3-1-2, 23 points) needed the win to stay in first place because its closest pursuers, Lavel and Toronto won their games to stay one and two points behind, respectively. Utica (10-6-0-0, 20 points) fell to fourth place.
The Amerks, who have won their last three and gained at least a point in their last six, will host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday night.