Utica Comets Pre-Game
At Hershey Bears
Saturday, April 13th, 2019
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific
The North Division’s sixth-ranked Utica Comets hit the road to Hershey today to take on the Atlantic Division’s third-ranked Bears, (Washington affiliate) at 4:00 pm Pacific for game number 75 of the season. The Bears have put up a record of 41-25-4-4 coming into today’s action, giving them 90 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, have gone 33-33-6-2 this year, giving them 74 points for their efforts.
The two teams are relatively close in terms of special teams as the Comets power play is ranked 17th in the AHL after scoring 59 goals while up a man 325 times to give themselves an 18.2% success rate. Their penalty kill sits 21st overall after giving up 60 goals while down a man 303 times for an 80.2% success rate.
The Bears have the league’s 15th ranked power play after scoring 59 times on 320 man-up opportunities, giving them an 18.4% success rate. Their penalty kill sits 27th after giving up 64 goals while shorthanded 305 times for a 79.0% success rate.
Mike Sgarbossa leads all Hershey skaters with 30 goals and 34 helpers, giving him 64 points in 74 games this season. Riley Barber sits second with 31 goals and 29 assists to give himself 60 points in 64 games. Aaron Ness rounds out their top three with five goals and 48 helpers, giving him 53 points in 70 games.
Garrett Pilon leads the rookie crew in Hershey with 10 goals and 23 assists, giving him 33 points in 71 games, while Lukas Jasek is the big cheese amongst the Utica rookie group with nine goals and 18 assists to give himself 27 points in 61 games.
Reid Boucher is the points leader for the Comets with 31 goals and 31 assists, giving him 62 points in 55 games. Those 62 points tie the Comets single-season record held by Pascal Pelletier. Tanner Kero sits second with 24 goals and 32 assists to give himself 56 points in 65 games this year. Zack MacEwen rounds out their top three with his 21 goals and 31 helpers, giving him 52 points in 67 games.
The Comets have gone 3-7-0-0 over their previous 10 games and are coming off of that 8-1 win over the Penguins yesterday, while the Bears show a record of 6-3-1-0 over that same span and last played to a 6-3 win over the Wolf Pack.
The Comets have gone 14-18-3-2 on the road this season, while the Bears are showing a home record of 23-10-2-1. Both clubs have been outscored by their competition this year, but the Comets goal differential is the worst of the two. Utica has given up 250 goals while scoring 219 times, while the Bears have been outscored by a count of 213-204.
Scratched Last Game For Utica
- Richard Bachman: G. Out for the season, Achilles’ injury.
- Michael Leighton: G. Out for the season, lower-body injury.
- Olli Juolevi: LD. Out for the season, knee surgery.
- Evan McEneny: LD. Out for the season, lower-body injury.
- Jalen Chatfield: RD. Day-to-day, upper body injury.
- Mitch Eliot: RD. Healthy scratch.
- Connor Doherty: LD. Healthy scratch.
- Derek Pratt: LD. Healthy scratch.
- Dyson Stevenson: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
- Mitchell Vanderlaan: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
- Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
The two clubs have faced off once this season with the Comets coming away with a 3-2 win in overtime.
The Comets have had the better special teams in the series, if only by a little. Utica’s power play shows a success rate of 33.3% against the Bears after going 1/3 with the extra man. Their penalty kill has given up one goal to four Hershey power plays, giving them a success rate of 75.0%.
The Bears, for their part, show a 25.0% success rate on the man advantage against the Comets, with a success rate on the kill of 66.7%.
Reid Boucher, Zack MacEwen, and Cam Darcy lead the series with two points each, while Guillaume Brisebois, Tom Pyatt, Michael Leighton, Liam O’Brien, Mike Sgarbossa, Riley Barber, Aaron Ness, and Devante Smith-Pelly have each put up one.
Michael Leighton was the goaltender of record for the Comets in the first game of this series, posting a 1-0 record and a 1.99 goals-against average along with a 0.915% save percentage. Vitek Vanecek was the man in the pipes for the Bears, earning a record of 0-0-1 along with a 2.96 GAA and a 0.885% save percentage.
The two clubs will get underway today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.