Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #56, Toronto Marlies at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #56

Toronto Marlies at Utica Comets

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Friday, February 28th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

To start things off today, I will apologize for not having a pre-game/post-game for you for Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout win over Rochester… but at the same time, I feel like with it being the first game that I have missed after 211 consecutive games and the fact that I missed it for the birth of my first grandchild makes it excusable. I’d like you all to welcome Forest Lemieux to the world of Utica Comets fandom!

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Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming… The 27-22-3-2 Toronto Marlies, (Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate) are in town to take on the 30-20-3-2 Utica Comets for game number 56 of the season today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. The Marlies come into today’s contest with 59 points, making them the sixth-ranked team in the North Division. The Comets, for their part, are the division’s third-place team with 65 points.

The Comets are coming off of that 3-2 shootout win over Rochester, while the Marlies last played to a 4-3 overtime win over Cleveland. The teams have similar records over their previous 10 games with the Marlies showing a record of 5-5-0-0 over that span, while the Comets have gone 5-4-1-0.

The Marlies have been better on home ice than they’ve been on the road this year, showing a record of 9-12-3-2 away from home, while the Comets have nearly identical records whether they are on the road or playing in front of their home crowd, going 15-10-2-1 at the Adirondack Bank Centre.

Both clubs have outscored their competition this season, although the Comets goal differential looks much more impressive at plus-21 to Toronto’s plus-3.

The Comets have the better overall special teams, going 50/222 on the power play, giving them a success rate of 22.5% with the extra man, while their penalty kill has allowed 44 goals while down a man 232 times, giving them an 81.0% success rate.

The Marlies, for their part, have gone 43/212 with the man advantage this season, giving them a 20.3% success rate. They have given up 48 goals while down a man 207 times to give themselves a 76.8% success rate on the kill.

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Kenny Agostino leads all Marlies scorers with 23 goals and 18 assists, giving him 41 points in 46 games this year. Pontus Aberg sits second with his 17 goals and 23 assists to give himself 40 points in 48 games, while Jeremy Bracco rounds out their top three with four goals and 30 helpers to give himself 34 points in his 44 games this year.

Joseph Duszak leads all Marlies rookies with two goals and 11 assists, giving him 13 points in 17 games this year. Brogan Rafferty picked up his 41st point of the season on Wednesday, making him the Comets all-time single-season leader for points by a defender… oh, and he leads all Comets rookies in points.

Reid Boucher is the Comets offensive kingpin with 28 goals and 30 helpers, giving him 58 points in 48 games, while Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 19 goals and 30 assists to give himself 49 points in 48 games. Justin Bailey rounds out Utica’s top three with 26 goals and 17 assists, giving him 43 points in 47 games.

Season Series

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The two clubs have squared off in three games already this season with the Comets holding an edge of two-games-to-one while outscoring the Marlies 13-12.

Do you remember when I mentioned earlier how the Comets have the better overall special teams? Well, the Marlies have been the better team in that department for this series, going 6/15 for a success rate of 40% against Utica… yikes! They have also allowed four goals on 12 Comets power plays for a 66.7% success rate.

Brogan Rafferty leads the series with six points, while Reid Boucher is hot on his heels with five. Lukas Jasek, Justin Bailey, Kole Lind, and Sven Baertschi have four each for the Comets, while Adam Brooks has four for the Marlies.

Kasimir Kaskisuo and Joseph Woll have both suited up in this series for the Marlies with Kaskisuo going 1-1-0 while posting a 4.02 goals-against-average along with a 0.830% save percentage. Woll, for his part, has gone 0-1-0 while putting up a GAA of 4.11 and a save percentage of 0.833%.

Mikey DiPietro has played all three games for the Comets, going 2-1-0 while posting a 4.04 GAA along with a save percentage of 0.846%.

I would suggest that we could see a few goals scored in this one today.

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) day-to-day. AHL deal.
  3. David Pope: LW/RW – Upper-body injury, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  4. Francis Perron: W/C – Upper-body injury, (concussion protocol) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  5. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – Illness, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  6. Tyler Graovac: C – Lower-body injury, (foot) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  7. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  8. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  9. Matt Petgrave: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

Roster Moves

The Comets have seen some roster adjustments since I last wrote as Zane McIntyre was dealt on Monday for Louis Domingue. Domingue will be up with the parent Canucks for the foreseeable future, necessitating the recall of Jake Kielly from Kalamazoo. This is Kielly’s first time up with the Comets this season.

While Kielly has been summoned from KZOO, defenders Josh Teves and Mitch Eliot have headed down to get some minutes with the Wings for what I am assuming will be a game or two.

The two teams 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.