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Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #39, Utica Comets At Cleveland Monsters

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #39

At Cleveland Monsters

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

3:00 pm Eastern/12:00 noon Pacific

The 13th overall Utica Comets are back at it today in Cleveland against the 15th ranked Monsters, (Columbus affiliate) for game number 39 of the season. The Comets have a record of 19-16-2-1, giving them 41 points on the season. The Monsters, for their part, are 17-12-4-1 coming into today’s action, giving them 39 points this year.

The Comets are still led by Reid Boucher with 17 goals and 14 assists, giving him 31 points in 26 games. Zack MacEwen is hot on his heels with 14 goals and 15 helpers to give himself 29 points in 37 games. Tanner Kero rounds out the Comets top three with 10 goals and 18 assists, good for 28 points in 38 games. Jonathan Dahlen wears the rookie crown with eight goals and 10 helpers to bring his rookie total to 18 points in 34 games.

For the Monsters, it is Nathan Gerbe at the top with eight goals and 20 assists to give himself 28 points in 34 games. Zac Dalpe sits second with 14 goals and 13 helpers, giving him 27 points in 29 games. Mark Letestu rounds out their top three with 10 goals and 12 assists to give himself 22 points in 30 games. Zack MacEwen’s former junior teammate, Vitaly Abramov is the active leader in rookie points for Cleveland with five goals and six assists in 32 games this year.

The Comets have scored 119 goals this year while giving up 132. The Monsters, for their part, have been outscored by a 111-102 margin. Utica has finally hit double digits in road wins and now sit with a 10-7-2-1 record away from the Adirondack Bank Center, while the Monsters have a home record of 8-7-3-0 after yesterday’s loss to the Comets.

The Comets power play is currently the AHL’s 15th ranked unit after going 35/177 while a man up, for a success rate of 19.8%. Their penalty kill is the league’s 12th ranked unit, giving up 28 goals while down a man 158 times this season for an 82.3% success rate. The Monsters power play has gone 23/130 this year, giving them a success rate of 17.7% and placing them 23rd in that category. Their penalty kill was better, giving up 27 goals while shorthanded 153 times this year, ranking them 11th with an 82.4% success rate.

The clubs have squared off twice this season with each club coming away with a win. Neither team has blown anybody’s hair back with the man advantage in this series as the Comets are the runaway leaders with a 2/12 record with the extra man, while the Monsters have yet to beat Kulbakov for a power play marker with 10 chances between the two contests.

Speaking of Kulbakov, the netminder made 28 saves on 30 shots yesterday to give him a two-game total of 48 stops on 54 shots. The two clubs combined for seven goals on 70 shots between them yesterday.

Five Comets put up multiple point games in yesterday’s game, with Adam Gaudette grabbing a pair of goals and an assist, while Vincent Arseneau continued to add to his career-high goal totals with a pair of his own. Wacey Hamilton, Kole Lind, and newcomer Tom Pyatt all finished with a pair of helpers for their efforts.

Lukas Jasek, Tanner MacMaster, Jonah Gadjovich, and Jagger Dirk were all listed as healthy scratches in yesterday’s game. Time will tell if the coaching staff comes back with the same lineup that won convincingly yesterday or if they will tinker with things.

The Comets will wrap up today’s game before continuing their road trip to Toronto for a game on Wednesday against the Marlies. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.