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Photo Credit: Cory Hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #20, Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #20

Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 11-7-1-0 Utica Comets welcome the 10-6-2-0 Syracuse Crunch, (Tampa Bay affiliate) to town today for game number 20 at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. The Comets are coming off of a 4-2 win over Laval, while the Crunch last played to a 6-3 win over Hartford.

Syracuse has gone 6-4-0-0 over their previous 10 games, winning three straight coming into today’s action, while the Comets show a record of 3-6-1-0 over that same span. The Crunch shows a record of 4-4-1-0 on the road this season, while the Comets have gone 5-5-1-0 at home this season.

The two clubs are close in terms of goals allowed/scored as Syracuse has scored 60 goals while giving up 58 and Utica has scored 66 while giving up 52.

The Crunch has the better power play between the two clubs, going 18/84, giving them a success rate of 21.4% with the extra man. Their penalty kill is also slightly better than Utica’s, giving up eight goals while down a man 79 times for a success rate of 89.9%.

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The Comets, for their part, have gone 14/71 on the power play to give themselves a success rate of 19.7% with the extra man. Their penalty kill has given up 10 goals while down a man 80 times for an 87.5% success rate.

Syracuse is led in scoring by Alex Barre-Boulet with eight goals and seven helpers, giving him 15 points in 18 games this year, while Chris Mueller sits second with seven goals and eight helpers, giving him 15 points in 18 games as well. Cameron Gaunce rounds out their top three with one goal and 13 assists to give himself 14 points in 17 contests.

You have to go all the way down to the 20th spot in the Crunch points race to find a rookie and it is Peter Abbandonato with his two goals in eight games played. You don’t have to go nearly so far down the Comets points board to find rookie blueliner Brogan Rafferty and his two goals and nine assists to give him 11 points in 19 games. He sits fifth in team scoring.

The recently recalled Nikolay Goldobin had just taken the Comets scoring lead from Reid Boucher at the time of his promotion with 20 points in 18 games. With TrickyNicky back up with the big club, Boucher is now back in the lead, (amongst active players) with his 13 goals and six assists, giving him 19 points in 14 games this year. Francis Perron cost the Canucks a swap of their sixth-round pick for the Sharks’ seventh-rounder, but he has been a nice addition to the Comets and now sits second amongst active scorers with 14 points in 17 games. Second-year forward Kole Lind rounds out the Comets top three with his three goals and 11 helpers, giving him 14 points in 19 games.

Season Series

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These two clubs have squared off in three games already this season with the Comets holding a two-games-to-one advantage while outscoring the Crunch 12-7 in the process.

The Comets power play has been slightly better than the Crunch’s in the series, going 3/18, giving them a success rate of 16.7% compared to the Crunch going 3/19 and sporting a success rate of 15.8% against the Comets this year.

Nikolay Goldobin leads all scorers in the series with six points, while Chris Mueller has produced five for the Crunch. Reid Boucher has piled up four points in the first three games, while Zack MacEwen, Kole Lind, and Boris Katchouk have all picked up three.

Mikey DiPietro has started two of the three games in the series, posting a record of 1-1-0 along with a goals-against-average of 2.02 and a 0.902% save percentage. Zane McIntyre has started once in the series and skated away with the win after posting a GAA of 2.00 and a 0.913% save percentage.

Spencer Martin has started two of the three games for the Crunch, going 1-1-0 while putting up a GAA of 3.02 along with a save percentage of 0.886%. Scott Wedgewood got the other start and took the loss after posting a GAA of 4.52 along with a 0.867% save percentage.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Olli Juolevi: LD – Lower-body injury, no timeframe. NHL deal.
  2. Seamus Malone: W/C – Upper-body injury, no timeframe. AHL deal.
  3. Carter Bancks: W/C – Upper-body injury, no timeframe. AHL deal.
  4. Zane McIntyre: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. Dylan Blujus: RD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  7. Tanner Sorenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

*The Comets also saw Wacey Hamilton and Vincent Arseneau leave their most recent game with injuries.*

Roster Moves

This is an excerpt from my most recent post-game report where I mentioned how well Nikolay Goldobin has been playing away from the puck and how Sven Baertschi would soon be requiring waivers to get back to Utica if the team wanted to make that move.

1st Star: Nikolay Goldobin. Goldy piled up three goals today to bring his season totals to eight goals and 12 helpers, giving him 20 points in 18 games and has now wrestled the team lead away from Reid Boucher. The points are all well and good, but it has been Goldy’s play away from the puck in his most recent games that has impressed me more. He is forcing turnovers in the Comets’ favour and has been far more engaged in all three zones. If he can keep playing with that kind of passion, he will soon be putting his name at the top of the call-up list.

As an aside, Sven Baertschi will require waivers to get back to Utica if he is in Vancouver beyond December first. That might help Goldy in his bid for a call-up if the team still needs a body up top and doesn’t want to risk losing Sven to waivers this time around.

Yesterday, the team announced that Goldy was on his way up and that Sven was on his way back down.

We also found out that winger Antoine Roussel will be joining the team for a conditioning stint that can last up to three games or six days with the team. That would allow Rooster to play today’s game, along with this weekend’s Saturday/Sunday series against the Marlies.

Other News

We have seen the parent club wear their retro skate jersey this year and the farm club didn’t want to be left out, so their wizard of all things creative, Eric Kowiatek came up with this sweet design. Sign me up for a number 15 MacEwen jersey, please. Fantastic work, Eric!

The two clubs will get underway in Utica today at 7:00 pm Eastren/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, CanucksArmy will have your post-game report following today’s action.