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Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #65, Hartford Wolf Pack at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #65

Vs Hartford Wolf Pack

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

The Atlantic division’s eighth-ranked Hartford Wolf Pack, (New York Rangers affiliate) will roll into Utica this afternoon at 4:00 pm Pacific to take on the North Division’s fifth-ranked Comets for game number 65 of the season. The Pack are showing a record of 27-29-6-3 coming into today’s action, giving them 63 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, have gone 30-26-6-2 this year to give themselves 68 points.

Hartford’s power play is currently ranked 16th in the AHL after scoring 48 goals while up a man 262 times for a success rate of 18.3%. Their penalty kill sits 13th in the league after giving up 48 goals while down a man 257 times for a success rate of 81.3%.

The Comets power play climbed up slightly and is now sitting 14th in the league after scoring 52 goals while up a man 278 times for a success rate of 18.7%. Their penalty kill sits 23rd after giving up 51 goals while shorthanded 257 times for an 80.2% success rate.

John Gilmour leads all Wolf Pack scorers with 20 goals and 33 helpers to give himself 53 points in 65 games this year. Vinni Lettieri sits second amongst active Hartford players with 23 goals and 22 assists, giving him 45 points in 43 games, while Steven Fogarty rounds out their top three with 17 goals and 28 assists, giving him 45 points in 55 games.

Tim Gettinger is the rookie points leader in Hartford with 13 goals and 12 assists to give himself 25 points in 55 games. Lukas Jasek wears that crown in Utica with eight goals and 13 assists, giving him 21 points in 51 games.

With Reid Boucher on the shelf, Tanner Kero slides into the lead amongst active players for the Comets with 21 goals and 29 assists, giving him 50 points in 58 games this year. Zack MacEwen sits second with 20 goals and 28 helpers, giving him 48 points in 57 games. Brendan Gaunce rounds out their top three with 16 goals and 18 helpers, giving him 34 points in 48 games this season.

The Comets record over their last 10 games does not breed confidence in their playoff hopes as they have gone 1-7-2-0 over that span. The Wolf Pack, for their part, have gone 5-4-1-0 over their previous 10 contests.

The Comets last played to that 2-1 overtime loss to Springfield yesterday, while Hartford is coming off of a 3-2 loss to Syracuse. Hartford shows a road record of 11-17-2-2 this season, while the Comets have gone 17-12-3-0 at home.

Both clubs have come out on the wrong side of their goal differential so far this year as the Comets have been outscored by a margin of 218-193, while the Wolf Pack has scored 184 goals and given up 224.

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. Evan McEneny: LD. Out for the season, lower-body injury.
  4. Reid Boucher: LW/RW. Week-to-week, hand injury.
  5. Wacey Hamilton: F. Week-to-week, neck injury.
  6. Tom Pyatt: LW/RW. Week-to-week, concussion.
  7. Dylan Blujus: RD. Week-to-week, hand injury.
  8. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW. Week-to-week, upper-body injury.
  9. Colton Saucerman: RD. Healthy scratch.
  10. Dyson Stevenson: F. Healthy scratch.

Season Series

The two clubs have faced off twice this season with each team coming away with a win. Utica’s win came in the shootout and they have been outscored by a count of 9-7 in the series.

Special Teams

Hartford’s special teams have been better in this series as well. They have gone 2/8 on the power play, giving them a success rate of 25% with the extra man, while their penalty kill gave up one goal while down a man seven times to the Comets for an 85.7% success rate. The Comets power play has operated at 14.3% in the series, while their PK shows a success rate of 75%.

Head-to-Head

Ville Meskanen leads the series with four points, while Tim Gettinger, Boo Nieves, Peter Holland, Lukas Jasek, and former Comet, Jonathan Dahlen have all picked up three points in the series. Cole Schneider, Libor Hajek, Reid Boucher, Ashton Sautner, and Olli Juolevi each have two points in the series.

Goaltenders

In an interesting twist, the Wolf Pack have used just one goaltender over the two previous games in this series…that would be current Comets netminder Marek Mazanec. Mazanec shows a record of one win and one shootout loss in the series while posting a goals-against average of 2.88 and a 0.905% save percentage.

The Comets have used Ivan Kulbakov, (1-0, 2.77 goals-against average and 0.919% save percentage) and Connor LaCouvee, (0-1, 5.02 GAA, 0.821% save percentage.

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