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Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #53, Utica Comets at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #53

At Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

It will be a battle of the North vs the Atlantic today as the North division’s third-ranked Comets will square off against the Atlantic division’s sixth-ranked Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, (Pittsburgh affiliate) for game number 53 of the season.

The Comets are showing a record of 27-19-4-2, giving them 60 points on the season. The Penguins, for their part, have gone 24-21-4-2, giving them 54 points so far this year.

Reid Boucher sits atop the Comets scoring heap with 23 goals and 25 helpers, giving him 48 points in 40 games this season. Tanner Kero sits second with 19 goals and 26 helpers to give himself 45 points in 50 games, while Brendan Gaunce is holding down the third spot with Zack MacEwen plying his trade with the big club. Gaunce has put up 15 goals and 14 helpers, giving him 29 points in 36 games.

Jonathan Dahlen is still the rookie leader in Utica after padding his stats with a nice little run of late. The rookie winger has 14 goals and 14 helpers, giving him 28 points in 48 games. Anthony Angello is the Pens rookie leader with 15 goals and 11 assists, giving him 26 points in 48 games this year.

Ethan Prow is the active leader in points for the Pens with 15 goals and 23 helpers, giving him 38 points in 50 games. Joseph Blandisi sits second with 12 goals and 20 assists to give himself 32 points in 35 games, while Adam Johnson rounds out their top three with 14 goals and 17 helpers, giving him 31 points in 51 games.

Utica’s power play is currently sitting 10th in the AHL after scoring 48 goals while up a man 234 times for a 20.5% success rate. Their penalty kill sits 12th in the league after giving up 38 goals while down a man 210 times, giving them a success rate of 81.9%.

The Pens power play is the league’s 18th ranked unit after scoring 37 times on 208 man-up opportunities, giving them a success rate of 17.8%. Their penalty kill sits 26th after giving up 48 goals while shorthanded 232 times, giving them a success rate of 79.3%.

The Pens are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Hershey Bears, while the Comets last played to a 4-1 win over Laval. The Comets show a record of 6-2-1-1 over their previous 10 contests, while the Pens have gone 5-4-0-1 over the same span.

We have seen the Comets go 12-9-3-2 on the road this season, while the Pens are showing a home record of 10-12-1-0. The Comets have been outscored by a 177-169 margin this season, while WBS have outscored their opponents by a count of 163-152.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Richard Bachman: G, out for the season, Achilles’ injury.
  2. Olli Juolevi: LD, out for the season, knee surgery.
  3. Dylan Blujus: RD, week-to-week, hand injury.
  4. Carter Bancks: F, day-to-day, upper body injury.
  5. Jesse Graham: RD, healthy scratch.
  6. Colton Saucerman: RD, healthy scratch.
  7. Reid Gardiner: F, healthy scratch.

Season Series

This will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.

Comets Tidbits

  • The Comets announced that defenceman Colton Saucerman has been signed to another PTO, (professional tryout offer). That will keep the defender on the roster until the end of the regular season, assuming neither the player or team put an end to the deal sooner. Saucerman has been a solid depth piece for the Comets and has fit in well with the team off the ice as well. He has put up one goal, in his first game, and two assists in 14 games this season with the Comets

  • Defenceman Luke Schenn has been summoned to Vancouver in the wake of yet another Chris Tanev injury. Schenn has been a huge addition to the Comets blueline since coming aboard, both in terms of his impressive physical stature, as well as with bringing a solid game and helping to settle things down on the backend. Schenn has brought a physical game and has been doing great work with stretch passes to free the forwards for scoring chances. The burly defender has picked up five points in seven games with the Comets.

  • Defenseman Guillaume Brisebois made his NHL debut on Thursday and I thought he played a solid game. He managed to keep his game simple, skated well and also showed some physical edge. The Canucks currently have Thatcher Demko, Zack MacEwen, Guillaume Brisebois, Adam Gaudette, and Luke Schenn called up to the big club.

  • One of the above-mentioned skaters could soon find their way back to Utica, however, as the Canucks announced today that they have sent Sam Gagner to the Edmonton Oilers for forward, Ryan Spooner. It sounds like the plan is for Spooner to join the Canucks after their road trip, which would mean that they will have to trim their roster by one. That trimming could come in the form of a player like Zack MacEwen or Adam Gaudette finding their way back to Utica, (Spooner plays both wings as well as the middle) or we could see the club elect to waive/trade another player, (Tim Schaller, Markus Granlund, Nikolay Goldobin) or send a player to IR, (injured-reserve). Jake Virtanen is currently dinged up, so that could be the way they go.

The Comets and Pens will get after it today at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:04 pm Pacific. Stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.