UTICA COMETS (21-23-8) vs. ROCHESTER AMERICANS (21-29-2)
KeyBank Center, 7:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Rochester Americans. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m. from the home of the Buffalo Sabres, the KeyBank Center.
Last Game: The Comets downed the Albany Devils by a score of 3-2 on Monday afternoon at the Times Union Center. Carter Camper opened the scoring for the Devils to give them a 1-0 advantage after one period. Borna Rendulic tied the game with eight minutes to go in the second period, capitalizing on a turnover created by Marco Roy. Ryan Kujawinski struck back just 21 seconds later to give the home team a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Four minutes into the third period, Darren Archibald notched a shorthanded goal to tie the game at two. With under seven minutes to go, Jordan Subban blasted home a one-timer on the power play to give the Comets their first lead of the game. Richard Bachman shut the door on the Devils’ late flurry to secure the win. Bachman finished with 33 saves to improve his record to 12-11-2.
Head-to-Head: The North Division rivals have split the season series so far with each team collecting two wins. The Americans won the most recent contest, a 6-3 game on December 31. Cole Schneider leads all scorers with six points in just two games of the season series.
Scouting the Americans: The Americans sit in last place in the North Division but are coming off a 3-2 win over Binghamton on Sunday. The win ended a four-game losing streak. Cole Schneider leads the team offensively with 44 points, good for eighth in the AHL, followed by Cal O’Reilly with 39 points. Linus Ullmark leads the goaltenders with a 19-19-2 record, a 2.87 GAA, and a .910 save percentage. The netminder is in the top five with wins and losses. He also leads all goaltenders with minutes played and saves.
Staying Hot: With points against Albany on Monday, Borna Rendulic and Evan McEneny extended their point streaks to five and four games, respectively. Rendulic has earned four goals and an assist in the last five games, tying his personal best point streak . McEneny has totaled one goal and four assists on his career best four-game point streak.
First Impression: Curtis Valk continues his outstanding rookie season. Despite being on a three-game pointless skid, Valk still sits sixth among rookies in the AHL with 34 points. The year before, he only skated in 12 games with Utica.
Back on Track: After slipping earlier this month, the Comets penalty kill has rebounded nicely over the last two weeks. In their past five games, the Comets have killed off 21 of 24 penalties. The unit ranks 19th in the AHL at 81%.
Closing in: With his power play goal on Monday, Jordan Subban has eight goals on the man advantage, one back of the league lead among defensemen. Subban also needs three more power play goals to tie the franchise record of 11.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action Friday night as take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.