UTICA COMETS (12-12-5) vs. SYRACUSE CRUNCH (15-11-3)
Onondaga County War Memorial Arena, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #UTIvsSYR
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Syracuse Crunch in game three of the Galaxy Cup series. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Toronto Marlies by a score of 4-3 Friday night. Justin Holl netted the first goal of the game four minutes into the first period. Vincent Arseneau tied the game at one with 3:46 remaining in the opening frame, tipping a puck past Calvin Pickard. Patrick Wiercioch and Carter Bancks picked up the assists. Joseph LaBate gave the Comets a 2-1 lead 23 seconds into the second period. Alexis D’Aoust and Dylan Blujus tallied the assists. Chris Mueller tied the game at two at the 7:26 mark of the middle frame. Ben Smith’s unassisted goal regained the Marlies lead with less than four minutes to go in the second. Cole Cassels tied it up at three a minute and a half into the third period. Michael Carcone was the lone assist. Smith notched his second of the game five minutes later to put the Marlies back up 4-3. Despite a late power play, the Comets were unable to come up with an equalizer. Bachman finished with 24 saves and his record falls to 2-6-2.
Head-to-Head: This is the third contest of the season between the North Division rivals. The Comets took game one by a score of 3-2 back on October 14 and Syracuse claimed game two with a 6-1 victory on December 6. The Crunch are outscoring the Comets 8-4 in the season series.
Scouting the Crunch: Syracuse comes in with a record of 15-11-3 and sits in third place in the North Division. Matthew Peca is the leading scorer with 22 points, followed by Anthony Cirelli with 21 points. Louis Domingue is the leading goaltender with an 8-3-0 record, a 2.28 goals-against average, and a .916% save percentage.
Balanced Attack: A big reason for the Comets’ recent success is their ability to spread out the offense. Nine different players have tallied seven of the last 12 Comets’ goals. Utica also boasts 11 players with 10 or more points so far this season.
Killing Them Softly: The Comets penalty kill has been lights out recently as well. Utica has killed off 21 of their last 23 penalties and have allowed on one power play goal in the last four games. The Comets kill ranks 10th in the AHL at 84.2%.
Streaking: Patrick Wiercioch has been a point machine in his time in Utica. Wiercioch also carries a three-game point streak into tonight’s game. It is the second three-game streak of the season. The defenseman has totaled 11 points (5-6-11) in 16 games with the Comets this season.
Playing Ahead: The Comets are a hard team to beat when they play with the lead. Utica owns a record of 7-1-0 when leading after the first period, and an 8-0-2 record when leading through 40 minutes.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night as they take on the Providence Bruins. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is 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.