Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #60, Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #60

Vs Syracuse Crunch

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern’4:00 pm Pacific

It will be another battle of the North today as the division’s first-ranked Syracuse Crunch, (Tampa Bay affiliate) are in town to take on the fourth-ranked Comets for game number 60 of the season. The Crunch have gone 35-17-3-2, giving them 75 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, have gone 30-22-5-2 this year to give themselves 67 points.

Syracuse’s power play sits fifth in the AHL after scoring 53 goals on 246 man-up opportunities, giving them a success rate of 21.5%. Their penalty kill is the league’s fourth-best after giving up 41 goals while shorthanded 268 times for a success rate of 84.7%.

The Comets power play sits ninth in the league after scoring 52 goals while up a man 257 times, giving them a 20.2% success rate. Their penalty kill has dropped further in the standings and now sits 21st overall. They have given up 47 goals while being shorthanded 237 times for an 80.2% success rate.

Carter Verhaeghe leads all Syracuse scorers with 25 goals and 39 helpers to give himself 64 points in 57 games this year. Cory Conacher sits second after scoring 19 times while assisting on 34 goals to give himself 53 points in 53 games. Alex Barre-Boulet rounds out their top three with 27 goals and 25 assists, giving him 52 points in 57 games

Barre-Boulet’s totals are also good enough to lead the rookie crew in Syracuse, while Lukas Jasek wears the rookie crown in Utica with eight goals and 12 assists to give himself 20 points so far this season.

Reid Boucher is the scoring kingpin in Utica with 26 goals and 28 assists to give himself 54 points in 47 games. Tanner Kero sits second with 21 goals and 27 helpers, giving him 48 points in 53 games this year. Zack MacEwen rounds out the Utica top three with 19 goals and 27 assists to give himself 46 points in 52 games.

The Comets have gone 5-3-2-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Crunch shows a record of 6-2-1-1 over that same span. Syracuse is coming off of a 4-1 win over Rochester, while the Comets last played to a 3-1 loss to Lehigh Valley. The Comets have gone 17-11-2-0 at home this season, while the Crunch shows a road record of 15-11-2-0.

It’s a tale of two teams as far as goal differential goes. The Comets have been outscored by a count of 199-186, while the Crunch has scored 200 goals while giving up just 143 this 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. Wacey Hamilton: F. Day-to-day, injured.
  5. Tanner Kero: C. Day-to-day, lower-body injury.
  6. Brendan Anselmini: LD. Healthy scratch.
  7. Colton Saucerman: RD. Healthy scratch.
  8. Kyle Thomas: F. Healthy scratch.

Comets Roster News

There were a couple of moves made ahead of today’s game as defenceman Guillaume Brisebois has once again been summoned to Vancouver with Ben Hutton nursing an injury. This is the second recall for Brisebois in a week. With this move, the Canucks have just one non-emergency recall available to them for the rest of the season.

The other move that was announced, was that the Comets have signed Matt Petgrave to a PTO, (professional tryout offer). Petgrave is a six-foot-one-inch, 201lbs left-shot defender from Toronto Ontario. He has spent the bulk of his pro career playing in the ECHL, having put up 17 goals and 48 helpers, giving him 65 points in 99 games with the Brampton Beast, including 40 points in 50 games this year.

The 27-year-old also saw 15 games of AHL action last season, going pointless while on PTO deals with Syracuse, Laval, and Belleville. EliteProspects has Petgrave listed as a D/F, so he could end up being used as a swingman of sorts in the same way that Jesse Graham has seen time at both forward and on the backend this season with the Comets.

This move will give the Comets seven healthy defenders as Stefan LeBlanc is currently dinged up.

Season Series

The Comets hold a four-games-to-two edge in the series but have been outscored by a 29-18 margin for their efforts.

Special Teams

Syracuse holds the edge in the special teams for this series. Their power play has gone 6/35, giving them a success rate of 17.1%, while their penalty kill has gone 5/33, good enough for a success rate of 84.8%. The Comets, for their part, show a success rate of 15.2% on the man advantage for the series, along with a success rate of 82.9% on the penalty kill.


Cory Conacher and Taylor Raddysh have each piled up nine points in the season series, while Carter Verhaeghe is hot on their heels with seven. Alex Barre-Boulet, Andy Andreoff, Cameron Gaunce, and Reid Boucher have all managed six points. Tanner Kero, Zack MacEwen, Boris Katchouk, and Nolan Valleau have each put up five points in the series, while Brendan Gaunce has four.


The Comets and Crunch have each used two goaltenders for complete games in this series while also using a back-up briefly when the starter was pulled.

Connor Ingram shows a record of 2-1 with a goals-against average of 1.35 and a 0.953% save percentage for the Crunch. Eddie Pasquale has suited up four times and shows a record of 1-3. He has a 3.31 goals-against, along with a 0.897% save percentage.

Martin Ouellette saw spot duty as well for Syracuse.

The Comets saw Ivan Kulbakov go 3-3 with a goals-against average of 4.50 and a save percentage of 0.865 %. Thatcher Demko went 1-0 with a goals-against average of 3.14 and a 0.905% save percentage.

Connor LaCouvee also saw some mop-up duty in one game.

The two clubs will get underway today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific in Utica. Stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following the game.