Utica Comets Pre-Game
Vs Syracuse Crunch
Sunday, April 14th, 2019
5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific
This is it, folks. This is the last day of the season for the Utica Comets as the North Division’s sixth-ranked team will host the division-leading Syracuse Crunch, (Tampa Bay affiliate) for game number 76 of the season. The Comets have gone 33-34-6-2 this season, giving them 74 points. The Crunch, for their part, are showing a record of 47-21-4-3 to give themselves 101 points this year.
The special teams are like night and day between the two clubs as Syracuse’s power play sits sixth in the AHL after scoring 64 goals on 308 man-up opportunities, giving them a success rate of 20.8% with the extra man. Their penalty kill sits fifth after giving up 55 goals while down a man 360 times for an 84.7% success rate.
The Comets have scored 59 times on 331 power play opportunities, landing them 20th overall in that category to give themselves a success rate of 17.8%. Their kill isn’t any better after giving up 61 goals while shorthanded 305 times for a success rate of 80.0% while down a man.
Carter Verhaeghe is the leading scorer in Syracuse with 34 goals and 47 helpers to give himself 81 points in 75 games this season. Alex Barre-Boulet sits second with 34 goals and 34 assists, giving him 68 points in his rookie season. Cory Conacher rounds out their top three with his 22 goals and 42 assists, giving him 64 points in 70 games.
Barre-Boulet’s totals lead all rookies in the AHL, while Lukas Jasek is the rookie points leader in Utica with nine goals and 18 helpers to give himself 27 points in 62 games this year.
Reid Boucher is the offensive kingpin in Utica with 31 goals and 31 assists, giving him 62 points in 56 games this year. Boucher is currently tied with Pascal Pelletier for the franchise record for points in a single season but had to leave yesterday’s contest with an injury. It would be a shame if Boucher isn’t able to play today, which would take him out of the running to best that total and become the new leader.
Tanner Kero is the Comets second-leading scorer with 24 goals and 32 helpers to give himself 56 points in 66 games this year. Zack MacEwen rounds out their top three with 21 goals and 31 assists, giving him 52 points in 68 games this season.
The Crunch show a record of 6-3-0-1 over their previous 10 games, with their last contest ending in a 4-3 win over Rochester. The Comets, for their part, have gone 3-7-0-0 over that same span and are coming off of a 4-1 loss to Hershey.
The Comets have gone 19-15-3-0 at home this season, while Syracuse has gone 20-13-3-1 on the road. Not unlike the special teams situation, it is a tale of two teams when it comes to goal differential. The Crunch have outscored their opposition handily by a margin of 261-183. The Comets, meanwhile, have scored 220 times while giving up 254 goals this year.
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.
Today’s game will be the 12th contest of the season between the two clubs. The Crunch have had this series wrapped up for a while as they have won seven and lost four to the Comets this year while outscoring them by a wide margin of 50-24. That 10-1 Syracuse win in game three of the series went a long way as far as making the spread as wide as it is.
The Comets don’t look so great as far as the special teams go in this series as, once again, the Crunch dominated them. Syracuse shows a record of 12/50 with the extra man against the Comets this season, giving them a 24.0% success rate against the Comets. Their penalty kill has been just as impressive, allowing just six goals while down a man 57 times to the Comets, giving them a success rate of 89.5%.
The Comets haven’t done nearly as well, as their power play shows a success rate of just 10.5% against the Crunch this year, while their PK shows a success rate of 76.0%.
There have been a lot of points piled up in this series and the Crunch have done the bulk of the producing. Taylor Raddysh leads the series with 15 points, while Carter Verhaeghe sits second with 14. Former Comets forward Cory Conacher sits third with 13 points, while Gabriel Dumont has 11. Alex Volkov has put up 10 points, while Reid Boucher and Andy Andreoff have grabbed nine each.
Tanner Kero, Alex Barre-Boulet, Cal Foote, and Nolan Valleau have all picked up eight points in the series, while Brendan Gaunce, Zack MacEwen, Boris Katchouk, and Cameron Gaunce have each picked up six.
There have been a total of nine netminders used in the series, though Connor LaCouvee for Utica and Martin Ouelette for Syracuse only appeared in mop-up duty.
The Crunch have used Connor Ingram, (2-1, 1.35 goals-against average and 0.953% save percentage) Eddie Pasquale, (4-3, 2.57 GAA, 0.918% save percentage) and Atte Tolvanen, (1-0, 2.02 GAA, 0.920% save percentage).
The Comets have used Thatcher Demko, (1-0, 3.14 goals-against average, 0.905% save percentage) Marek Mazanec, (0-2, 4.33 GAA, 0.836% save percentage) Ivan Kulbakov, (3-3, 4.50 GAA, 0.865% save percentage) and Michael Leighton, (0-2, 5.69 GAA, 0.742% save percentage).
The two clubs will get underway in Utica at 5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.