Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #31, Utica Comets at Rochester Americans

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #31

Utica Comets at Rochester Americans

Saturday, December 21st, 2019

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7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

The 17-10-1-2 Utica Comets hit the road to Rochester to take on the 19-5-2-2 Amerks, (Buffalo affiliate) for game number 31 of the season today at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific. The Comets are coming off of their 5-3 win over Laval, while the Amerks last played to a 3-0 win over Binghamton.

Both clubs have picked up more points than they’ve given up over their past 10 contests as the Comets show a record of 5-3-0-2 and the Amerks have gone 7-2-1-0 over that same span.

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Rochester has been money at home this season, showing a record of 10-2-1-2 in their own barn. The Comets, for their part, have gone 9-4-0-1 on the road this season.

Both teams have outscored their competition, but they appear to be doing it in different ways as the Comets have scored an impressive 108 goals, but have also allowed 91. The Amerks, on the other hand, have scored 92 goals, but have allowed just 62. The Comets will have to be firing on all cylinders today if they want to have a chance in this game.

Where Utica might be able to get the job done is on special teams. The Comets power play has been quite good since the calendar flipped to November, going 32/125 on the season to give themselves a success rate of 25.6% with the extra man. Their penalty kill has also been good, allowing 22 goals while down a man 134 times for an 83.6% success rate.

The Amerks power play hasn’t been as effective as the Comets has, scoring just 17 goals on 111 power-play opportunities, giving them a success rate of 15.3%. Their penalty kill has been a bit better, allowing 20 goals while down a man 106 times for an 81.1% success rate.

As mentioned above, the Amerks have been getting it done with goaltending/defensive play this season. As such, their leading scorer has just 19 points. JS Dea is the top dog in Rochester with 10 goals and nine helpers, giving him 19 points in 26 games. Andrew Oglevie sits second with the same totals in 28 games, while Kevin Porter rounds out their top three with six goals and 12 assists, giving him 18 points in 25 games.

Brett Murray leads the Rochester rookie crew with four goals and 12 assists to give himself 16 points in 23 games this year. Brogan Rafferty is running away with the rookie crown in Utica with four goals and 23 assists, giving him 27 points in 30 games this year.

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Reid Boucher leads the Comets and everyone else in the league with 20 goals and 16 assists, giving him 36 points in 25 games. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 11 goals and 17 helpers to give himself 28 points in 24 games, while Rafferty’s 27 points have him sitting third for the Comets.

Season Series

The two clubs have squared off three times this year with the Amerks holding a two-games-to-one lead, having outscored the Comets by an 11-10 margin.

The Comets have had the better power play results in the series, going 2/14 to give themselves a success rate of 14.3% with the extra man against the Amerks. Utica also shut down 18 of 20 Rochester power plays over the first three games, giving them a success rate of 90.0%.

Reid Boucher has been the biggest point producer in the series, picking up five points for his efforts, while Brett Murray sits second with four. Nikolay Goldobin, Sven Baertschi, Tage Thompson, Casey Nelson, and Kevin Porter have all earned three, while eight others have grabbed a pair of points.

Andrew Hammond has started all three games against Utica, showing a record of 2-1-0 along with a goals-against-average of 3.48 and a 0.884% save percentage. He was replaced in one game by Jonas Johansson, who allowed no goals in his 6:43 of action.

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The Comets have used Mikey DiPietro and Zane McIntyre against the Amerks this year. McIntyre got all three starts and shows a record of 1-2-0 along with a 3.84 GAA and a 0.894% save percentage. DiPietro played 35.53 of one game and gave up two goals for a 3.34 GAA and a save percentage of 0.875%.

My guess is that we see Richard Bachman get the nod today.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
  2. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Undisclosed injury, no timeframe. AHL deal.
  3. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

The two clubs will get after it today in Rochester at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for your CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.


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