UTICA COMETS (10-10-2) vs. PROVIDENCE BRUINS (14-6-2)
Dunkin Donuts Center, 7:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Providence Bruins for the first time this season. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Syracuse Crunch by a score of 6-1 Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Patrick Wiercioch put the Comets up 1-0 halfway through the opening frame with a shorthanded goal. Jayson Megna and Cam Darcy picked up the assists. Adam Erne tied the game with 2:03 to go in the first, capitalizing off a Comets turnover. Kevin Lynch had the assist. Carter Verhaeghe gave the Crunch a 2-1 lead halfway through the second period. Dominik Masin and Erik Cernak were credited with the assists. Verhaeghe struck again less than two minutes later, firing a shot over the shoulder of Richard Bachman. Michael Bournival collected the lone assist. Matthew Spencer extended the Syracuse lead to 4-1 with 12:06 remaining in the third period. Anthony Cirelli and Erne tallied the assists. Erne netted his second goal of the night three minutes later. Mat Bodie picked up the assist. Erne scored his third of then night on the power play, redirecting a shot over Bachman. Mathieu Joseph and Cirelli tallied the assists. Bachman finished with 22 saves and his record falls to 2-5-0.
Head-to-Head: This is the first meeting of the two teams this season. The Comets and Bruins split the season series last year 2-2. Utica is 4-2-0 all time against Providence.
Scouting the Bruins: Providence comes in with a record of 14-6-2 and sit in first place in the Atlantic Division. Austin Czarnik leads the offense with 18 points, followed by Jakob Forsbaka Karlsson with 16 points. Jordan Bennington leads the goaltending tandem with a record of 5-1-1, a 1.83 goals-against average, and a .949% save percentage.
Storming the Den: Luck is on the Comets’ side heading into tonight. Utica is 3-0-0 all time against the Bruins on the road.
Staying Hot: Cam Darcy and Jayson Megna rolling as their point streaks increased once again. Megna is up to a five-game streak where he’s netted one goal and four assists, while Darcy is up to a career-high four-game point streak, in which he’s tallied five assists.
Power Outage: The Comets power play continues to struggle, but tonight presents a good chance to breakout. The Comets are 2-17 on the man advantage over the last five games, but tonight they face a Bruins’ penalty kill that ranks 23rd in the AHL at 80.7%.
Roster Moves: The Comets have made a number of transactions over the last few days. Defenseman Jordan Subban was traded to Los Angeles for forward Nic Dowd and Thatcher Demko was reassigned from Vancouver to the Comets.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice tomorrow afternoon for a rematch with the Bruins. Puck drop at the Dunkin Donuts Center is at 3:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.