COMETS AIM TO SHAKE DROUGHT VS. ICECAPSDec 29, 2016
UTICA COMETS (10-14-5) vs. ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS (16-12-3)
Utica Memorial Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the St. John’s Ice Caps looking to snap their seven-game winless streak. Puck drops at the AUD at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Comets dropped a hard-fought 4-3 loss in overtime on Wednesday night against the St. John’s IceCaps. Curtis Valk gave the Comets their first lead over the IceCaps in their fourth meeting this year. Bobby Farnham tied the game a minute later but Jordan Subban would give the Comets their lead back just two mintues later on the man advantage. Tom Parisi’s first career goal tied the game at two with five minutes to go in the middle frame. One minute later, Pascal Pelletier retook the lead for the Comets, finding a loose puck in front of the net for his third of the year. The lead would not last long as Mark MacMillan tied the game on a back door finish. The Comets were awarded a five-on-three power play in the final minutes of the third period but were unable to convert and the game went to overtime. Just over halfway through overtime, Subban was sent to the box for hooking. Daniel Audette made the Comets pay as he buried a tic-tac-toe passing play to give the IceCaps the victory.
Head-to-Head: St. John’s has controlled the Comets in the early stages of the season series, winning all four matchups between the two teams and outscoring the Comets 17-9.
Scouting the Ice Caps: St. John’s currently sits in 3rd place in the North Division with 35 points and carries a five-game point streak into tonight. With the team’s top two scorers in Montreal, Nikita Scherbak leads all active players with 19 points. Charlie Lindgren leads the goaltenders with a 12-7-1 record and a 2.54 GAA and .922 save percentage.
Silver Lining: Despite being on a seven-game winless streak, the Comets have claimed at least a point in four of the last seven games. Utica has only lost by more than one goal on two different occasions. Those losses came at the hands of Providence, a 3-1 defeat on December 21st, and St. John’s, a 3-0 loss on December 16th.
Power Outage: The Comets power play has struggled over the last four games. The unit has only scored twice in their last 20 attempts, including a 1-8 outing against the IceCaps on Wednesday night. The team sits at 13th overall in the AHL with an 18.9% conversion rate.
Chasing a Milestone: Alexandre Grenier comes into tonight’s matchup five assists shy of 100 AHL assists. The forward leads the Comets in assists (15) and points (22) this season.
Iron Man: Comets forward Darren Archibald has yet to miss a game this season, appearing in all 29 contests so far. The Ajax, Ontario native has notched 16 points this season with eight goals and eight assists.