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Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #58, Hershey Bears At Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #58

Vs Hershey Bears

Friday, March 1st, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

We will have a rare Bear sighting today in Utica as the Atlantic Division’s third-ranked Bears from Hershey, (Washington affiliate) will be in town to take on the North’s fourth-ranked Comets for game number 58 of the season. The Bears are showing a record of 32-21-0-3, giving them 67 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, have gone 29-21-5-2 this season, giving them 65 points for their efforts.

Hershey’s power play is the AHL’s 16th best after scoring 46 goals on 247 man-up opportunities, giving them a success rate of 18.6%. Their penalty kill sits 21st overall after giving up 47 goals while down a man 236 times, giving them a success rate of 80.1%.

The Comets power play sits 10th in the league after scoring 50 goals while up a man 251 times to give themselves a 19.9% success rate. Their penalty kill needs a reboot. They sit 20th in the league after giving up 45 goals while shorthanded 229 times this season for a success rate of 80.3%.

Riley Barber tops all Hershey scorers with 26 goals and 23 helpers to give himself 49 points in 50 games. Mike Sgarbossa sits second with 23 goals and 24 assists, giving him 47 points in 56 games this year. Aaron Ness rounds out their top three with three goals and 36 assists, giving him 39 points in 52 contests.

Garrett Pilon is the Bears’ rookie points leader with five goals and 18 assists to give himself 23 points in 56 games. Lukas Jasek is the Comets rookie leader with eight goals and 12 helpers, giving him 20 points in 44 games.

Reid Boucher is the Comets kingpin in terms of scoring with his 25 goals and 26 assists to give himself 51 points in 45 games. Tanner Kero sits second with 21 goals and 27 assists, giving him 48 points in 53 games this year. Zack MacEwen rounds out the Comets top three with 17 goals and 26 helpers, giving him 43 points in 50 games.

Utica shows a record of 6-2-2-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Bears have gone 9-1-0-0 over that same span…yikes!

The Comets are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Rochester, while the Bears last played to a 4-1 victory over Hartford. Hershey has gone 13-12-0-2 on the road this season, while the Comets show a home record of 16-11-2-0.

The Comets have scored more goals this season than the Bears have, but they have also given up more. The Bears have scored 153 times while giving up 164. The Comets, meanwhile, have scored 182 goals while giving up 194 on the season.

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. Tanner Kero: C, day-to-day, lower-body injury.
  5. Jalen Chatfield: RD, day-to-day, sick.
  6. Ivan Kulbakov: G, healthy scratch.
  7. Mike Szmatula: F, healthy scratch.
  8. Kyle Thomas: F, healthy scratch.
  9. Reid Gardiner: F, healthy scratch.

Comets’ captain Carter Bancks left last game and did not return, so he may not be available to the team today.

Season Series

The two clubs have yet to square off this season, so we have nothing to report in that regard. They have, however, faced off eight times since the Comets landed in Utica, with the Comets showing a record of 2-5-1-0 for their efforts.

Roster Moves

The Comets announced yesterday that they have released defender Jake Linhart from his PTO, (professional tryout offer) and have sent goaltender Ivan Kulbakov back to the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. Linhart was with the club for one game and took warmup on Wednesday. So long, Jake, we hardly knew you.

The Kulbakov move comes after the Comets received Marek Mazanec from the parent Canucks. Kulbakov will now be able to go to the ECHL and continue to work on refining his game. The young netminder has done great work when called upon for the Comets, but he is still pretty raw and getting minutes in KZOO with a little less pressure should help him grow his game.

We also saw Guillaume Brisebois return from Vancouver…again. From what I can tell from Cap Friendly’s site, the Canucks used one of their four, post-trade deadline recalls on Brisebois rather than one of the emergency variety. The team has also used one of those on Ashton Sautner, so as far as I can tell, they have just two non-emergency recalls available to them until the season ends.

The Comets and Bears will get underway today in Utica at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.