COMETS AND CRUNCH, CHAPTER SIXJan 21, 2017
UTICA COMETS (17-16-6) vs. SYRACUSE CRUNCH (20-11-8)
War Memorial Arena, 7:00 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Syracuse Crunch in game six of the Galaxy Cup series. Puck drop between the North Division rivals is at 7 o’clock.
Last Game: The Comets defeated the St John’s IceCaps 3-1 at the Mile One Centre. Michael McCarron opened the scoring early in the second period. The Comets would respond with goals from Wacey Hamilton and Borna Rendulic just 46 seconds apart to jump out to a 2-1 lead midway through the second. 18 seconds into the final frame, Cody Kunyk extended the Comets lead to 3-1 with a power play tally. Richard Bachman closed the door on IceCaps to earn the victory, stopping 32 shots en route to his fourth consecutive win.
Head-to-Head: The Comets lead the season series 3-1-1. The Comets won the most recent meeting between the two rivals, a 2-1 overtime victory on January 11. Alexandre Grenier leads all scorers with six points in the series. The Comets have outscored the Crunch 13-11 through five games.
Scouting the Crunch: The Crunch sit atop the North Division with 48 points and are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Binghamton Senators. The team has only won four games in the last 14 contests, dating back to December 18. Defenseman Matt Taormina leads the Crunch offensively with 37 points followed by forward Yanni Gourde with 30 points. Adam Wilcox leads the goaltending tandem with a 14-5-3 record with a 2.55 GAA and a .903% save percentage.
Keep On Rollin’: The Comets have won five games in a row for the first time all season. Since breaking their nine-game winless skid on January 6, the Comets have won seven of their last eight games to climb back into 4th place in the North Division.
Head Above Water: For the first time all season, the Comets are above a .500 winning percentage. With back-to-back wins against the St. John’s, the team is battling for the third spot of the division against the IceCaps. In addition, The Comets hold a game in hand.
Milestone Watch: Alexandre Grenier is closing on a career milestone. Grenier sits two assists shy of 100 career AHL assists. The forward currently leads the Comets in points (31) and assists (18). He was named to the AHL All-Star Classic on Thursday.
Heating Up: Cody Kunyk is beginning to catch fire offensively. Kunyk has goals in two consecutive games, and points in three of the last four. He is fourth on the active roster in points with the Comets this season, amassing five goals and 11 assists to total 16 points.
Shut Down Defense: The Comets back end has been outstanding during their current five-game winning streak. In the past five games, the Comets have not allowed more than two goals in any game and only six goals total. The unit is backed by stellar goaltending from the duo of Thatcher Demko, who is 1-0-0 with a .968% save percentage and 0.95 GAA and Richard Bachman, who is 4-0-0 with a .962% save percentage and a 1.25 GAA.
Next Game: The Comets will be back in action Wednesday, January 25 as they return home to take on the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop from Utica Memorial Auditorium is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.