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Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #61, Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #61

Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 29-23-4-5 Syracuse Crunch, (Tampa Bay affiliate) are in town today to take on the 34-21-3-2 Utica Comets for game number 61 at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. Including today’s contest, these two clubs will hook up for five more games this season, making these Galaxy Cup games even more important than ever as the Comets try to force their way into the post-season.

With 67 points, the Crunch currently hold down fifth place in the North Division, while the Comets are sitting third in the North with 73 points. Both teams are sporting a winning record over their past 10 games with the Crunch going 6-2-1-1 and the Comets showing a record of 7-3-0-0 over that same span.

Both clubs are also coming off of one-goal wins as the Comets last played to a 3-2 overtime win over Charlotte, while Syracuse defeated the Marlies 2-1 in their most recent game.

The Comets show a winning record at home and on the road this season, while the Crunch have done well enough at home, but haven’t had as much success on the road, going 12-14-3-2 away from home. The Comets, for their part, show a record of 16-11-2-1 at the Adirondack Bank Center.

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Goal differential is an area where these two teams are not similar at all, with the Comets outscoring their competition by a margin of 209/183, leaving them at plus-26, while Syracuse has been outscored by a count of 209/199, putting them at minus-10 for their season’s efforts.

When we shift our focus to special teams, the Comets come out on top in most instances. Utica has gone 53/239 on the power play overall this year, giving them a success rate of 22.2%. At home, they have gone 27/126 for a success rate of 21.4%. Their penalty kill has allowed a total of 49 goals while down a man 250 times, giving them a success rate of 80.4% overall. At home, they have allowed 23 goals while down a man 131 times, giving them an 82.4% success rate.

The Crunch show an overall record of 53/260 on the power play, giving them a 20.4% success rate with the extra man this season. On the road, they have gone 25/129 to give themselves a 19.4% success rate. Their penalty kill has allowed a total of 48 goals while down a man 271 times for an 82.3% success rate. On the road, they have allowed 29 goals while down a man 149 times to give themselves a success rate of 80.5%.

Alex Barre-Boulet leads all Syracuse scorers with 27 goals and 29 assists, giving him 56 points in 59 games this season. Ross Colton sits second with 11 goals and 31 assists to give himself 42 points in 61 contests, while Gemel Smith rounds out their top three with his 22 goals and 18 assists to give himself 40 points in 49 games.

Peter Abbandonato is Syracuse’s leader amongst rookies with six goals and five assists, giving him 11 points in 26 games this year. Brogan Rafferty leads all Comets rookies with seven goals and 37 helpers to give himself 44 points in 56 games this season.

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Reid Boucher is the Comets’ top dog with 34 goals and 33 assists, giving him 67 points in 52 games, while Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 19 goals and 30 assists to give himself 49 points in 50 games. Justin Bailey and Sven Baertschi are tied with 46 points each to slot third with 27 goals and 19 assists and 13 goals and 33 helpers respectively.

Season Series

These two clubs have gotten after it seven times already this season with the Comets holding a slight edge of four games to three while outscoring the Crunch 25-19 in the process.

The Comets have also had the edge in special teams, going 7/36 on the power play against Syracuse, giving them a 19.4% success rate with the extra man, while allowing five goals while down a man 35 times to the Crunch to give themselves a success rate of 85.7%.

Reid Boucher has been the dominant player in the series with 10 points to his credit, while Nikolay Goldobin and Boris Katchouk have provided seven points each for their team. Taylor Raddysh has five points in the series, while Alex Barre-Boulet, Gemel Smith, Ross Colton, Sven Baertschi, and Carter Camper have four each.

Both clubs have used a pair of netminders in the series as Spencer Martin and Scott Wedgewood have both suited up for Syracuse, while Mikey DiPietro and Zane McIntyre have both seen action for the Comets.

Martin shows a record of 1-1-0 with a goals-against-average of 3.02 along with a save percentage of 0.886%. Wedgewood, for his part, has gone 2-2-1 while posting a 3.16 GAA and a save percentage of 0.892%.

For the Comets, McIntyre went 1-1-0 while putting up a 2.52 GAA and a save percentage of 0.902%. DiPietro, meanwhile, has gone 3-2-0 against the Crunch while posting a 2.38 GAA and a save percentage of 0.913%.

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 – Various ailments, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  4. Olli Juolevi: LD – Lower-body injury, (hip soreness) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  5. Dylan Blujus: RD – Lower-body injury, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  6. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – Illness. day-to-day. NHL deal.
  7. Nikolay Goldobin: LW/RW – Veteran scratch. NHL deal.
  8. Seamus Malone: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  9. Guillaume Brisebois: LD – Healthy scratch, (en route from Vancouver). NHL deal.

It should be noted that Sven Baertschi left the Comets’ most recent game with an injury and did not return. He isn’t expected to be out long-term, but he might not be available for today’s game. If he can’t go today, I would expect that we will see Nikolay Goldobin return to the lineup and hopefully, his effort level will be more consistent going forward.

The two teams will get after it today in Utica at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for your CanucksAmry post-game report following today’s action.