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CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #50, Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets.

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #50

Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 22-21-3-3 Syracuse Crunch, (Tampa Bay affiliate) are in town today to take on the 26-18-3-2 Utica Comets for game number 50 of the season at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. With 57 points, the Comets are currently sitting in the third spot in the North Division, while the Crunch and their 50 points sit fifth.

Syracuse is coming off of a 5-2 win over Rochester and have gone 4-4-1-1 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets last played to a 5-4 overtime loss to Laval and show a record of 4-5-1-0 over their last 10 contests.

The Comets’ record at home is a touch better than Syracuse has been on the road this year as the Comets have gone 13-10-2-1 on home ice, while the Crunch show a record of 10-12-2-1 on the road.
The Comets show an edge in goal differential, outscoring their competition by a margin of 171-154 for a plus-17 in that category, while Syracuse has been outscored by a count of 175-164, putting them at minus-11.

The Comets have a slight edge in the special teams coming into today’s action, showing a record of 44/202 on the power play for a success rate of 21.8% with the extra man, while their penalty kill has allowed 42 goals while down a man 212 times for an 80.2% rate of success. The Comets have gone 23/107 with the man advantage on home ice for a success rate of 21.5% while killing off 95 of 114 penalties at home for an 83.3% success rate.

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Syracuse, for their part, show a record of 44/212 on the power play for a success rate of 20.8% with the extra man, while going 39/214 on the penalty kill for an 81.8% success rate. On the road, they’ve gone 21/106 while up a man for a 19.8% success rate, while their penalty kill has allowed 24 goals while down a man 115 times for a 79.1% success rate.

Alex Barre-Boulet leads all Crunch scorers with 19 goals and 25 assists, giving him 44 goals in 25 games, while former Comets’ forward Cory Conacher sits second with his 14 goals and 23 helpers, giving him 37 points in 43 games. Gemel Smith rounds out their top three with 19 goals and 15 assists to give himself 34 points in 41 games.

You have to go all the way down to the 19th spot on the Syracuse list before you even find a rookie and that would make former Comets prospect-camp invitee Peter Abbandonato their rookie leader with three goals and four helpers, giving him seven points in 16 games played. Brogan Rafferty leads all Comets rookies with six goals and 33 assists, giving him 39 points in 45 games this season.

Reid Boucher paces the Comets attack… and the AHL with his 25 goals and 26 assists, giving him 51 points in 42 contests this year, while Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 17 goals and 27 helpers to give himself 44 points in 42 games… but he’s out with the flu. Justin Bailey would be up next if he wasn’t currently with the parent Canucks, so his little brother, Kole Lind is keeping his spot warm with 12 goals and 27 helpers, giving him 39 points in 49 games this season. That means Rafferty slots into the three-spot for today’s game.

Season Series

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The two clubs have gotten after it for five games already this season with the Comets taking three wins while outscoring the Crunch by an 18-12 margin along the way.

Once again, the Comets have had the better special teams in the series, going 6/30 on the man-up against the Crunch for a 20.0% success rate and they’ve given up four goals while down a man 29 times for a solid 86.2% success rate on the kill against Syracuse this season.

Reid Boucher’s seven points top the series, while the unavailable Goldobin has produced six. Chris Mueller was the top point producer in the series for Syracuse with five to his credit, but he has since been traded to the Anaheim system. Boris Katchouk and Alex Barre-Boulet have each put up four points in the series, while Sven Baertschi, Justin Bailey, Zack MacEwen, Francis Perron, Kole Lind, Brogan Rafferty, and Cory Conacher have all produced three points.

Both clubs have seen a pair of netminders suit up as Mikey DiPietro, Zane McIntyre, Spencer Martin, and Scott Wedgewood have all seen action in the series.

DiPietro shows a record of 2-1 against the Crunch while posting a 1.68 goals-against-average along with a save percentage of 0.923%. McIntyre, for his part, has gone 1-1 while putting up a 2.52 GAA and a save percentage of 0.902%.

For the Crunch, Martin shows a record of 1-1 along with a GAA of 3.02 and a save percentage of 0.886%, while Wedgewood has gone 1-2 while putting up a GAA of 3.32 and a save percentage of 0.897%.

Roster Moves

The team announced yesterday that Guillaume Brisebois has been summoned to the big club, so he will not be available today.


The Comets will also be without the services of forward Seamus Malone and defender Mitch Eliot as both have been dispatched to Kalamazoo to get some minutes. Malone earned a goal in his first game with the Wings.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip surgery) out for the season. AHL deal.
  2. Wacey Hamilton: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) week-to-week. AHL deal.
  3. Nikolay Goldobin: LW/RW – Down with the sickness, (flu) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  4. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  6. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  7. Tanner Sorenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  8. Seamus Malone: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal

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