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CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #49, Utica Comets at Laval Rocket

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #49

Utica Comets at Laval Rocket

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 26-18-2-2 Utica Comets hit the road to Laval to take on the 22-19-4-2 Rocket, (Montreal affiliate) for game number 49 of the season today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. The Comets currently sit third in the North Division with 56 points, while the Rocket have 50 points on the season, placing them right behind the Comets for the fourth spot in the North.

Both clubs have a losing record over their past 10 games as the Comets show a record of 4-6-0-0 over that span, while the Rocket have gone 3-5-1-1. Both clubs are also coming off of a loss with the Comets dropping a 3-2 decision to Cleveland and the Rocket going down 5-4 to Belleville.

The Comets road record is eerily similar to the Rocket’s record at home this season with the Comets going 13-8-0-1 away from home ice and the Rocket showing a record of 13-9-2-1 at home.

Utica has been on the right side of the goal differential stat all season and currently sits at plus-18, while the Rocket are at the other end of the spectrum, having been outscored by a margin of 144-137, leaving them at minus-7.

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The two clubs are fairly close in terms of their special teams play this year as well with the Comets power play being a touch better, going 42/198 for a success rate of 21.2% with the man advantage. Their penalty kill has allowed 39 goals while down a man 209 times this season, giving them a success rate of 81.3%.

The Rocket, for their part, have gone 42/210 on the power play, giving them a success rate of 20.0%. They’ve allowed 39 goals while down a man 203 times for an 80.8% success rate.

Jake Evans leads all Laval skaters with 10 goals and 21 assists, giving him 31 points in 47 games this year, while Riley Barber sits second with 11 goals and 17 helpers to give himself 28 points in 33 games. Charles Hudon rounds out their top three with his 21 goals and four assists, giving him 25 points in 36 games this year.

You have to goal the way down to the 14th spot on Laval’s scoring chart before you will find their leading rookie scorer as that’s where Ryan Poehling sits with his five goals and seven assists, giving him 12 points in 26 games. Brogan Rafferty, however, leads all Comets rookies and sits fifth-overall on the team with six goals and 33 assists to give himself 39 points on the season. His next point will tie the Comets single-season record for points by a defender, set by Bobby Sanguinetti in the 2014/15 season.

Reid Boucher has missed the last couple of games for the Comets, but he currently leads the squad with 24 goals and 26 assists, giving him 50 points in 41 games this season. It sounds like he could be back in the lineup today. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with his 17 goals and 27 assists to give himself 44 points in 42 games, while Justin Bailey would have rounded out their top three with his 24 goals and 16 assists in 45 games, but he is up with the big club. That puts Kole Lind and his 12 goals and 27 assists in 48 games in the three spot for the Comets.

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Season Series

This will be the fourth game of the year between the two clubs with the Comets taking two of the first three while outscoring Laval by a count of 13-11.

The Comets have made a meal of Laval’s special teams over the first three games, going 7/17 on the power play, giving them a success rate of 41.2% against Laval, while they have allowed two goals while down a man 12 times to the Rocket for an 83.3% success rate.

Carter Camper paces the series with six points in the first three games, while Nikolay Goldobin sits second with five. Riley Barber has picked up four points along the way, while Jonah Gadjovich, Kole Lind, Francis Perron, Brogan Rafferty, Reid Boucher, and Guillaume Brisebois have each grabbed three for the Comets. Jake Evans, Otto Leskinen, Michael McCarron, and Matthew Peca have also picked up three points for Laval. McCarron has since been traded by the parent Canadiens.

Both clubs have used a pair of goaltenders in the series as Charlie Lindgren and Cayden Primeau have seen time for Laval, while Mikey DiPietro and Zane McIntyre have suited up for Utica.

Lindgren shows a record of 0-1 along with a 3.07 goals-against-average and a 0.880% save percentage for his efforts, while Cayden Primeau has gone 1-1 while posting a 4.57 GAA along with a 0.827% save percentage.

For the Comets, DiPietro has gone 1-0 while posting a 2.00 GAA along with a save percentage of 0.953%. McIntyre, for his part, has gone 1-1 while putting up a GAA of 4.50 along with a 0.845% save percentage.

The Rocket will have Jesperi Kotkaniemi available to them today as he has been sent down by the parent club. The Comets would be wise to keep an eye on him.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip) out for the season. AHL deal.
  2. Wacey Hamilton: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) week-to-week. AHL deal.
  3. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Lower-body injury, (ankle) day-to-day. AHL deal.
  4. Reid Boucher: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip/groin) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  5. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – undisclosed injury, (hit by a puck in practice) no timeframe. NHL deal.
  6. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  7. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  8. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

We found out after practice this week that Nikolay Goldobin wouldn’t likely be available today as he has been bitten by the flu bug that has been circulating around the area of late.

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