UTICA COMETS (3-2-0) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS (5-2-0)
Bojangles Coliseum, 6 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #UTIvsCHA
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Charlotte Checkers for the first time ever. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 o’clock.
Last Game: The Utica Comets defeated the Rochester Americans 5-1 at Blue Cross Arena Saturday Night. The Comets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on three power play goals from Reid Boucher and Darren Archibald. Joseph LaBate scored another power play goal just three and a half minutes into the second period. Five minutes later, Guillaume Brisebois netted his first professional goal with a long wrist shot from the point. C.J. Smith ended Thatcher Demko’s shutout bid with six minutes remaining in the third period, tipping a pass from Steve Moses. Demko finished with 40 saves.
Head-to-Head: This is the first all-time meeting between the Comets and Checkers.
Scouting the Checkers: The Checkers come in with a 5-2-0 record, most recently topping the Toronto Marlies 6-4 Sunday evening. Offensively, Lucas Wallmark leads the way with 11 points. Alex Nedeljkovic is the leading goaltender with a 4-0-0 record, a 3.04 GAA, and a .892% save percentage.
Special Teams Dominance: The Comets’ power play and penalty kill have been stellar to start the season. The man advantage comes into tonight’s contest with a 31% conversion rate, which is best in the league. The penalty kill sits at 90%, good for fifth in the AHL.
Newfound Chemistry: Reid Boucher, Carter Bancks, and Nikolay Goldobin have been absolutely on fire to start the year. All three players carry a five-game point streak into tonight’s game and the group has combined for 21 points through the first five games.
Finding His Footing: Philip Holm has adjusted nicely in his first few games in North America. The defenseman has tallied five points in five games this year and has been a stalwart on the power play and penalty kill. The Stockholm, Sweden native played six seasons between the Swedish Elite League and the Swe-1 league prior to coming overseas.
Back Where He Began: Brendan Woods returns to Charlotte for the first time since last season. The forward appeared in 195 games for the Checkers since the 2012-13 season, racking up 30 goals and 34 assists during his time in the Queen City.
Next Game: The Comets return to action tomorrow afternoon for a rematch with the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drops at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.