UTICA COMETS (6-8-1) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (13-4-0)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Toronto Marlies. Puck drop at Adirondack Bank Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 4-1 Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Carter Bancks put the Comets up 1-0 seven minutes into the game, firing a wrister past Chris Nell. Nikolay Goldobin and Jalen Chatfield picked up the assists. The assist was Chatfield’s first professional point. Filip Chytil tied the game at one with five minutes remaining in the first. Chytil struck again two minutes later on the power play. Lettieri extended Hartford’s lead to 3-1 six minutes into the middle frame with an unassisted goal. Gabriel Fontaine put Hartford up 4-1 five minutes into the final period. The Comets pressed down the final stretch but were unable to solve Nell. Demko stopped 25 of 29 shots and his record falls to 5-4-1.
Head-to-Head: The Marlies lead the season series 2-0-0, winning 3-1 on October 7 and 4-3 and October 8. Toronto leads the all time series 19-11-2. Utica is 8-4-2-1 all-time against the Marlies at home.
Scouting the Marlies: The Marlies come in with a record of 13-4-0, most recently defeating the Syracuse Crunch 3-1 Sunday afternoon. Ben Smith leads the offense with 16 points followed by Andreas Johnsson with 13 points. Garret Sparks is the leading goaltender with a record of 8-2-0, a 1.51 goals-against average, and .947% save percentage.
Home Sweet Home: Nikolay Goldobin is on a tear when playing at the Adirondack Bank Center. Goldobin carries a six-game point streak on home ice coming into tonight’s game. The forward has tallied two goals and five assists over that timespan.
Roster Moves: The Comets have made a number of roster transactions this week. On Monday, Philip Holm was recalled to Vancouver and Patrick Wiercioch was reassigned to Utica. Mackenze Stewart was also reassigned from Kalamazoo to Utica. Yesterday, defenseman Joe Faust was signed to a PTO and Brian Ward signed a PTO today as well.
Good Opportunity: Look for the Comets power play to get back on track tonight. In two games against the Marlies, Utica is 3-8 on the man advantage. Overall, the Comets are fifth in the AHL at 21.3%.
Pepper the Net: Reid Boucher’s offensive explosion to start the year can be partially attributed to his high shot total. Boucher leads the team with 50 shots on goal, averaging almost four shots a game. His 50 shots in 13 games ranks 13th in the AHL overall.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Friday night as they hit the road for the first of a two-game set against the Laval Rocket. Puck drop from Place Bell is scheduled for 7:30. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.