Utica Comets Pre-Game
Rochester Americans at Utica Comets
Tuesday, December 31st, 2019
5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific
The 19-10-2-2 Utica Comets will close out 2019 against the 20-7-2-2 Rochester Americans (Buffalo affiliate) in game 34 of the season today at 5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific. The Amerks come into the game two points up on the Comets to hold first place in the North Division.
Rochester shows a record of 6-4-0-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets have gone 6-2-1-1 over that same span. The Amerks are coming off of a 2-0 loss to Binghamton, while the Comets, for their part, last played to a 4-2 win over Lehigh Valley.
The two teams have been opposite in terms of their home/away records this season. The Comets have been stronger on the road than at home this year, while the Amerks show a better record at home. Unfortunately, for both clubs, today’s game is being played in Utica, so neither team has a huge advantage if this season is anything to go by.
The Amerks have gone 9-4-1-0 on the road this season, while the Comets show a home record of 8-6-2-1… come to think of it, the Amerks might have an edge.
Both teams have outscored their opponents this season with the Amerks showing a goal differential of +28 and the Comets checking in at +19.
The Comets have better special teams so far this year, going 32/135 on the power play for a 23.7% success rate with the extra man. Their penalty kill has allowed 25 goals while down a man 141 times for an 82.3% success rate.
The Amerks, for their part, have gone 21-122 on the power play, giving them a 17.2% success rate in man-up situations, while their penalty kill has allowed 21 goals while down a man 114 times for an 81.6% success rate.
JS Dea leads the Amerks attack with 10 goals and 11 helpers, giving him 21 points in 29 games, while Zach Redmond sits second with five goals and 15 assists to give himself 20 points in 28 games this year. Andrew Oglevie rounds out their top three with his 10 goals and nine helpers to give himself 19 points in 28 games.
Brett Murray leads the Amerks rookie class with four goals and 12 assists, giving him 16 points in 26 games this year. Brogan Rafferty paces all Comets rookies with four goals and 25 assists, giving him 29 points in 33 games played.
Reid Boucher is the Comets top dog with 20 goals and 19 assists to give himself 39 points in 28 games, while Rafferty’s 29 points have him sitting second on the team. Nikolay Goldobin’s 11 goals and 17 assists have him rounding out the top three with 28 points in 27 games.
This will be the fifth game of the season between these two clubs as each team already has two wins over the first four games of the series. Both clubs have scored 14 goals against each other so far.
The Comets might have better special teams overall, but the Amerks have shown better in this series, going 4/23 on the power play against the Comets while allowing just two goals on 16 shorthanded situations. The Comets might want to stay out of the penalty box today.
Reid Boucher paces the series with six points, while Sven Baertschi isn’t far behind with five. Brett Murray picked up four points over the first four contests, while eight others have grabbed three for their efforts.
The Comets have used all three of their netminders in this series, while the Amerks have used two. This series has not been a battle of stellar goaltending.
Richard Bachman shows a record of 1-0 against the Amerks this year while posting a goals-against-average of 3.01 along with a 0.885% save percentage. Zane McIntyre has gone 1-2-0 while putting up a 3.84 GAA and a save percentage of 0.894%. Mikey DiPietro has played nearly 36 minutes in relief, allowing two goals for a GAA of 3.34 and a 0.875% save percentage.
Andrew Hammond has played the bulk of the minutes against the Comets for Rochester, showing a record of 2-2-0 while putting up a GAA of 3.64 and a 0.875% save percentage. Jonas Johansson saw 6:43 of relief duty and did not allow a goal.
Scratched Last Game For Utica
- Francis Perron: W/C – Upper-body injury (eye), week-to-week. NHL deal.
- Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – Illness, no timeframe. NHL deal.
- Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Lower-body injury, no timeframe. AHL deal.
- Carter Camper: C – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.
- Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
- Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
- Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
The two clubs will get after it today in Utica at 5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for our post-game report following today’s action.