Dec 31, 2016

Utica Memorial Auditorium, 5:00 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Rochester Americans for the fourth time this season. The puck drops at the AUD at 5 p.m. as the Comets close out the 2016 portion of the season.

Last Game: The Comet suffered a 2-1 overtime setback to the St. John’s IceCaps. Wacey Hamilton got the Comets on the board five minutes into the opening period. Yan-Pavel Laplante and Carter Bancks picked up the assists. David Broll tied the game four minutes later after his shot deflected up and bounced over Richard Bachman. The game would remain tied at one through the final 40 minutes, sending the Comets and IceCaps to overtime for the second consecutive meeting. With 2:11 to go in overtime, Julien Brouillette found himself the recipient of a Daniel Audette pass, and the defenseman would make no mistake as he beat Bachman top shelf for the winning goal.

Head-to-Head: The Comets lead the series 2-1-0, with Rochester winning the most recent matchup 2-1 on November 30th. The Comets have outscored the Americans 8-5 in their three meeting this year.

Scouting the Americans: The Americans enter the game in 5th place in the North Division with 27 points and are coming off a 4-3 overtime victory over the Lehigh Valley Friday night. The team is lead offensively by Cole Schneider and Cal O’Reilly who each have 30 points this season. Linus Ullmark has played in 25 of the team’s 34 games in goal. The netminder leads the AHL with 705 saves and 1,441:47 minutes in net.

On Point: Despite having an eight-game winless streak, the Comets have collected five points in that span. The team has lost in overtime four consecutive occasions and haven’t wont since Nov. 18 in extra time.

The Return: Richard Bachman, Mike Zalewski and Tom Nilsson returned to the lineup last night. Bachman missed the last 14 games with an injury. Zalewski has missed the most time for a Comet this year, being absent for 17 games. Tom Nilsson returned after missing nine games with an injury.

Home Woes: The Comets are one of five teams that do not have a home record above .500. The team enters a month where they only play five home games, three of which on the last week of the month.

Next Game: The Comets return to action Friday, January 6th against Albany Devils at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

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