Utica Comets Pre-Game
Vs Belleville Senators
Saturday, January 19th, 2019
2:00 pm Eastern/11:00 am Pacific
The 28th ranked Belleville Senators, (Ottawa affiliate) will roll into Utica this morning for The Battle In The Blizzard against the seventh overall Comets for game number 45 of the season. Okay…I know it’s a winter storm and not a blizzard but work with me here.
The Sens will bring a record of 18-23-2-0 into today’s contest, giving them 38 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, have gone 23-17-3-1 so far this year to give themselves 50 points.
The Comets are coming off of a 5-3 win over the Binghamton Devils, while the Sens last played to a 5-3 loss to Syracuse. Belleville has gone 6-15-2-0 on the road this season, while the Comets are sporting a home record of 12-9-1-0. Utica is showing a record of 7-2-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while Belleville has gone 4-6-0-0 over that same span.
Utica has been outscored by a margin of 152-143 this year, while the Sens have scored 127 goals and have given up 146.
Jack Rodewald is the big cheese as far as the Sens’ scorers go with 15 goals and 16 helpers, giving him 31 points in 33 games. Drake Batherson is the second leading scorer amongst active players with eight goals and 17 assists to give himself 25 points in 28 games. Adam Tambellini rounds out their top three with 10 goals and 10 assists in 42 games to give himself 20 points.
Batherson’s totals are also tops amongst the Sens rookie crew, while Jonathan Dahlen leads the rookie group in Utica with his 11 goals and 11 helpers, giving him 22 points in 40 games.
Reid Boucher is the top dog in Utica with 17 goals and 21 assists, giving him 38 points in 32 games. Zack MacEwen sits second amongst active players with 15 goals and 20 helpers to give himself 35 points in 43 games. Brendan Gaunce rounds out the top three with 13 goals and 12 assists, bringing his season’s totals to 25 points in 28 games.
The Comets faced the league’s worst power play in yesterday’s game against the Devils, and today they will see the league’s worst penalty kill as the Sens sit dead last in that category after giving up 43 goals while down a man 189 times for a meagre 74.6% success rate. Their power play was a bit better, scoring 33 times on 182 man-up situations, placing them 19th in that category with a success rate of 18.1%.
The Comets power play is sitting 15th in the AHL after scoring 39 goals on 203 man advantage opportunities for a 19.2% success rate, while their penalty kill has given up 32 goals while down a man 184 times for an 82.6% success rate.
Scratched Last Game
- Richard Bachman G, (out for the season, Achilles’ injury)
- Olli Juolevi LD, (out for regular season, knee surgery)
- Jalen Chatfield RD, (month-to-month, lower body injury. Practising, non-contact)
- Ashton Sautner LD, (month-to-month, facial fractures. Practising, non-contact)
- Vincent Arseneau LW/RW, (day-to-day, lower body injury. Practising, non-contact)
- Wacey Hamilton LW/RW/C, (day-to-day)
- Lukas Jasek LW/RW, (day-to-day, illness)
- Luke Schenn RD, (in transit)
- Cliff Watson LD, (healthy)
The two clubs have squared off in four contests so far this season with the home team winning every game for two wins apiece. The Comets have a slight edge in goals for the series with a 13-12 lead on the scoreboard.
The Comets also have the advantage on the special teams in the series after shutting down all 13 power play chances that they have given up to the Sens for a 100% success rate while scoring seven times on 21 opportunities for a 33.3% success rate.
The recently recalled Tanner Kero leads the series with six points in four games with Zack MacEwen hot on his heels with five. Former Comets forward Michael Carcone sits third with four points, while the Sens have four players who have put up three points in the series.
Filip Gustavsson has a record of 1-1 in the series, showing a 3.40 goals-against average and a 0.875% save percentage. Mike McKenna, remember him?…he has gone 0-1 with a 2.06 goals-against average and a 0.929% save percentage, while Marcus Hogberg has gone 1-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a save percentage of 0.926%.
For the Comets, Richard Bachman has gone 1-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a save percentage of 0.969% while Thatcher Demko has gone 1-1 with a 2.52 goals-against average and a 0.917% save percentage. Ivan Kulbakov has played one game as well, coming away with an overtime loss that left him with a goals-against average of 3.69 and a save percentage of 0.871 for his 65 minutes of work.
We could see the Comets debut of Michael Leighton in today’s contest after such a quick turnaround from yesterday’s game due to the change of start time.
Take note of the start time for today’s contest, folks. The game was supposed to start at 7:00 pm eastern/4:00 pm Pacific, but due to a winter storm, the game time has been swapped to a 2:00 pm Eastern/11:00 am Pacific start.
As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.