Utica Comets Pre-Game
Laval Rocket at Utica Comets
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific
The 23-20-5-2 Laval Rocket, (Montreal affiliate) are in town today for game number 51 of the season at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. With 53 points on the season, the Rocket currently hold down the fifth spot in the North Division, while the Comets’ 59 points place them third in the North.
Both clubs sport a losing record over their previous 10 games with the Rocket going 3-4-2-1 over that span and the Comets showing a record of 4-5-1-0 over the same run of games. Utica is coming off of a 5-4 shootout win over Syracuse, while Laval dropped a 5-2 decision to Toronto in their last contest.
Laval’s road record isn’t as good as their record at home, and the Comets home record has taken a step forward recently, so this could work in Utica’s favour today. The Rocket have gone 9-11-3-1 away from their home barn this year, while the Comets, for their part, show a record of 14-10-2-1 at the Adirondack Bank Center.
Goal differential favours the Comets in this one as they have outscored their opponents by a margin of 176-158 leaving them at plus-18. The Rocket, meanwhile, have allowed 156 goals while scoring 146 times for a minus-10 rating.
As is often the case with the Comets, the special teams battle will be one to watch as the team seems to live and die by their success in those departments these days. The Comets power play has gone 24/112 at home this year, giving them a success rate of 21.4%, while their penalty kill has allowed 19 goals while down a man 117 times for a success rate of 83.8% on home ice.
The Rocket, for their part, have gone 18/107 with the man advantage on the road this year, giving them a 16.8% success rate. They have allowed 18 goals while down a man 104 times on the road for a success rate of 82.7%.
One other thing to keep in mind when it comes to special teams with the Comets… shorthanded goals. The Comets have allowed a league-high of 13 shorthanded markers while scoring nine, whereas the Rocket have eight shorties to their credit while having given up six.
Jake Evans leads all Laval skaters with 12 goals and 22 assists to give himself 34 points in 48 games this year. Charles Hudon sits second with 24 goals and seven assists, giving him 31 points in 39 games, while Riley Barber rounds out their top three with his 12 goals and 18 helpers, giving him 30 points in 36 games.
Ryan Poehling is the top scorer amongst Laval rookies with five goals and seven assists to give himself 12 points in his 27 games this season. Brogan Rafferty tops the Comets’ rookie charts with six goals and 33 assists to give himself 33 points in 39 games played this year.
Reid Boucher paces the Comets’ attack with 26 goals and 27 assists to give himself 53 points in 43 games. That has Reid just 10 points shy of a new Comets’ single-season record for points. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 17 goals and 27 assists, giving him 44 points in 43 games, and with Justin Bailey up with the big club, Kole Lind rounds out the team’s top three with 12 goals and 27 helpers, giving him 39 points in 50 games.
The two clubs have squared off in four games already this season with each team holding a pair of wins and the Comets showing the slightest of edges in scoring with a 17-16 advantage.
The Comets special teams have an edge over the series as well, going 9/21 on the man advantage, giving them a success rate of 42.9% against Laval, while their penalty kill has allowed five goals while down a man 15 times against Laval for a success rate of 66.7%.
Carter Camper leads the series with seven points, while Jake Evans sits second with six. Nikolay Goldobin has picked up five points along the way, while Jonah Gadjovich, Francis Perron, Reid Boucher, and Guillaume Brisebois have four each for the Comets. Riley Barber and Xavier Ouellet have also picked up four points in the series, although Ouellet is currently up with the parent Canadiens.
The Comets have used Mikey DiPietro and Zane McIntyre in the series, while Cayden Primeau, Michael McNiven, and Charlie Lindgren have all suited up against the Comets this season.
DiPietro shows a record of 1-0-1 against the Rocket while posting a goals-against-average of 3.49 along with a 0.914% save percentage. McIntyre, for his part, has gone 1-1 while posting a 4.50 GAA and a save percentage of 0.845%.
For Laval, Primeau went 1-1 while putting up a 4.57 GAA along with a 0.827% save percentage, while McNiven has gone 1-0 with a GAA of 3.95 and a 0.886% save percentage. Lindgren saw one game of action and took a loss while putting up a GAA of 3.07 and a 0.880% save percentage.
This all means that we could see a few goals scored in today’s contest.
The Comets have been busy with player movement over the past few days as Mitch Eliot and Seamus Malone have returned from their brief sojourn to Kalamazoo, while Josh Teves and Tanner Sorenson take their place with the Wings to get some games in. Coupled with that, defender Matt Petgrave has also been summoned from Brampton once again to join the team.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) February 10, 2020
.@PenskeMoving On the Move: The Comets have recalled @matt_petgrave92 from the @BramptonBeast. Additionally, Tanner Sorenson and @Josh_Teves4 have been loaned to the @KalamazooWings. pic.twitter.com/qxzJICpoZ4
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) February 11, 2020
There was also this bit of news that has come out today…
— Comets Cory (@CoryHergott) February 12, 2020
It wasn’t long after when the master of Canucks’ related scoops, Rick Dhaliwal tweeted this out to confirm the Bachman move.
Goalie Richard Bachman has left Utica and signed in Sweden.
He had to get some playing time, the #Canucks are ok with it.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) February 12, 2020
And finally… the Canucks announced that Micheal Ferland has been sent to Utica on a conditioning loan.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) February 11, 2020
Scratched Last Game For Utica
- Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip) out for the season. AHL deal.
- Wacey Hamilton: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) week-to-week. AHL deal.
- Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
- Tanner Sorenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
- David Pope: LW/RW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
The two clubs will get underway in Utica today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, CanucksArmy will have your post-game report following today’s action.