Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #54, Cleveland Monsters at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #54

Vs Cleveland Monsters

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific

It is another battle of the North as the division’s sixth-ranked Cleveland Monsters, (Columbus affiliate) are in town to take on the third-ranked Comets for game number 54 of the season. I wonder if that 54 bodes well for Jonathan Dahlen?

The Monsters show a record of 24-22-5-1 coming into today’s action, giving them 54 points on the season…there’s that 54 again. The Comets, for their part, have gone 28-19-4-2 this season, giving them 62 points for their efforts.

The Utica power play is currently ranked 11th in the AHL after scoring 48 goals on 237 man-up opportunities for a success rate of 20.3%. Their penalty kill sits 13th after giving up 39 goals while down a man 213 times for an 81.7% success rate.

Cleveland has the AHL’s 27th ranked power play after scoring 32 times on 197 opportunities for a 16.2% success rate. Their penalty kill is better, sitting 15th after giving up 40 goals while shorthanded 212 times for an 81.1% success rate.

Nathan Gerbe is the top dog in Cleveland with 10 goals and 22 helpers to give himself 32 points in 41 games. Former Canucks forward Zac Dalpe sits second with 15 goals and 14 assists, giving him 29 points in 33 games, while Alex Broadhurst rounds out their top three with eight goals and 21 helpers to give himself 29 points in 48 games.

Vitaly Abramov is the points leader amongst active rookies in Cleveland with 12 goals and 10 helpers, giving him 22 points in 50 games. Jonathan Dahlen wears that crown in Utica with 14 goals and 15 assists to give himself 29 points in 49 games this season.

Reid Boucher sits atop the scoring heap in Utica with 23 goals and 25 assists to give himself 48 points in 41 games. Tanner Kero sits second with 19 goals and 26 helpers, giving him 45 points in 51 games. Brendan Gaunce rounds out the active leaders with 15 goals and 15 helpers, giving him 30 points in 37 games.

The Monsters show a record of 4-5-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets have gone 6-2-1-1 over that same span. Utica has gone 15-10-1-0 at home this year, while the Monsters will bring a road record of 13-12-1-1 into today’s action. The Comets last played to a 3-2 overtime win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton yesterday, while the Monsters last played to a 4-2 loss to Belleville.

Cleveland has been outscored 176-154 by their opposition this season, (is that another 54 that I see?) while the Comets have also been outscored, but are closing the gap. They have scored 172 goals while giving up 179.

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. Colton Saucerman: RD, healthy scratch.
  6. Reid Gardiner: F, healthy scratch.

*Jonah Gadjovich left yesterday’s game in the middle frame and did not return. It is likely that he will be out of the lineup today and that Reid Gardiner will draw in.

Season Series

The two clubs have squared off three times this season with the Comets holding a two-games-to-one advantage in the series while outscoring the Monsters 14-7.

The Comets special teams have been the better of the two clubs in head-to-head action, with the Comets power play going 3/14 for a success rate of 21.4%, while their penalty kill has shut down 10 of 11 Monsters power plays for a 90.9% success rate. The Monsters power play shows a 9.1% success rate in the series, while their penalty kill has run at 78.6%.


Tanner Kero and Gabriel Carlsson lead the series with four points each, while Vincent Arseneau, Adam Gaudette, Reid Boucher, Kole Lind, Tom Pyatt, and Mark Letestu have each grabbed three in the series. There are nine players between the two clubs with two points each.

The Monsters have used two goaltenders in the series as Brad Thiessen and JF Berube have each seen action against the Comets this season. Thiessen shows a record of 0-1 while putting up a goals-against average of 3.82 and a save percentage of 0.868%. Berube, for his part, has gone 1-1 with a 4.80 goals-against and a save percentage of 0.873%.

Former Monsters goaltender, Ivan Kulbakov has been the man of record for the Comets, going 2-1 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a save percentage of 0.926%.

The two clubs will get underway at the Adirondack Bank Center today at 5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy Utica Comets post-game report following today’s action.