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Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #58, Utica Comets at Rochester Americans

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #58

Utica Comets at Rochester Americans

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

Your 31-21-3-2 Utica Comets hit the road to Rochester today to take on the 31-18-4-5 Americans, (Buffalo affiliate) for game #58 of the season today at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific.

With 71 points, the Amerks are the North Division’s second-place team, while the Comets are clinging to the third spot with 67 points to their credit. The Comets are coming off of a 5-2 loss to Laval that saw Mikey DiPietro yanked in favour of Jake Kielly, who stopped 11 of 12 shots in mop-up duty. The Amerks, for their part, last played to a 4-2 loss to Syracuse… who happens to be hot on the Comets’ heels with 65 points of their own.

Utica has gone 5-4-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Amerks show a record of 4-3-2-1 over that same span.

Rochester has been money on home ice this season, showing a record of 16-5-3-5, while the Comets have gone 15-10-1-1 on the road. Both clubs have outscored their competition this season with the Amerks sitting a plus-9 and the Comets with a more impressive plus-22.

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Special teams are a mixed bag between these two teams with the Comets having the better overall power play and the Amerks boasting the better overall penalty kill. Utica has gone 51/232 on the PP overall, giving them a success rate of 22% with the extra man. Their penalty kill has allowed 47 goals while down a man 241 times for an 80.5% success rate.

The Amerks power play has gone 36/222 this year, giving them a 16.2% success rate with the extra man. Their penalty kill has allowed 34 goals while down a man 201 times for an 83.1% success rate.

Things change a little when we break it down to home and away special teams as the Comets power play has gone 24/106 on the road for a success rate of 80.5%, while they have allowed 24 goals on 110 kills for a 78.2% success rate. The Amerks have gone 20/110 on the power play at home, giving them an 18.2% success rate, while they have allowed 17 goals on 104 shorthanded situations for an 83.7% success rate.

JS Dea leads all Amerks scorers with 15 goals and 22 assists, giving him 37 points in 53 games this year, while Zach Redmond sits second with five goals and 25 helpers to give himself 30 points in 55 games. Andrew Oglevie rounds out their top three with his 14 goals and 14 assists to give himself 28 points in 51 games.

Brett Murray is the Amerks’ rookie leader with nine goals and 15 assists, giving him 24 points in 52 games this season. Brogan Rafferty is the top dog amongst Comets’ rookie with his seven goals and 35 assists to give himself 42 points in 53 games played.

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Reid Boucher is the Comets’ offensive kingpin with 31 goals and 32 assists, giving him 63 points in 49 games this year. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 19 goals and 30 assists to give himself 49 points in 50 games, while Justin TheGentleman Bailey rounds out Utica’s top three with 27 goals and 18 helpers, giving him 45 points in 49 games to tie his previous AHL single-season high.

Season Series

Today’s game will be the eighth of the season between the two clubs. The Comets have won four of the previous seven games in the series and outscoring the Amerks 22-21 in the process.

The Comets’ special teams have been slightly better than the Amerks’ over the series, going 5/27 on the power play for an 18.5% success rate with the man advantage against Rochester while allowing five goals while down a man to them 36 times for an 86.1% success rate.

Sven Baertschi seems to enjoy playing the Amerks as he leads the series with nine points. Reid Boucher is hot on his heels with eight. Nikolay Goldobin, Brogan Rafferty, and Taylor Leier all have five points to their credit, while Justin Bailey, Dylan Blujus, Sean Malone, Brett Murray, Zach Redmond, and Kevin Porter have each picked up five.

Both teams have seen three netminders suit up in the series this season as Mikey DiPietro, Zane McIntyre, and Richard Bachman have all seen action against the Amerks this year, while Rochester has used Jonas Johansson, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, and Andrew Hammond.

Hammond shows a record of 2-3-1 against the Comets this year while posting a 3.23 goals-against-average along with a save percentage of 0.874%. Luukkonen has gone 1-0 with a GAA of 2.00 and a save percentage of 0.931%. Johansson saw just 6:43 of action and did not allow a goal.

For the Comets, DiPietro shows a record of 1-1-0 with a 2.62 GAA and a save percentage of 0.909% while McIntyre had gone 2-2-0 while putting up a GAA of 3.29 and a 0.908% save percentage. Bachman, for his part, went 1-0-0 with a 3.01 GAA and a save percentage of 0.885%.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip surgery) out for the season. AHL deal.
  2. David Pope: LW/RW – Upper-body injury, (concussion symptoms) week-to-week. NHL deal.
  3. Carter Bancks: W/C – Assorted ailments, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  4. Lukas Jasek: C/W – Lower-body soreness, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  5. Olli Juolevi: LD – Hip soreness, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  6. Reid Boucher: LW/RW – Illness, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  7. Stefan LeBlanc: LD/W – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

Comets Roster Moves

The Comets were busy with player movement this week as defenders Guillaume Brisebois and Jalen Chatfield have been summoned to Vancouver under emergency conditions. In a corresponding move, the Comets have recalled defenders Josh Teves and Mitch Eliot from their brief sojourn to Kalamazoo.

The two clubs will get after it today in Rochester at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for your CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.