COMETS BATTLE PHANTOMS TONIGHTJan 8, 2017
UTICA COMETS (12-15-6) vs. LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS (22-9-2)
PPL CENTER, 5:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets faceoff against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the second meeting this season.
Last Game: After the Bears opened the scoring, Wacey Hamilton responded to tie the game halfway through the first period for his third goal in the last four games. Nearing the closing minutes of the period, Hershey regained the lead that would last until the beginning of the third period.
Alexandre Grenier tied the game just 42 seconds into the final frame to force overtime. 21 seconds into the overtime, Curtis Valk fired a wrist shot for his 12th goal of the season to win the game.
Head-to-Head: The Phantoms defeated the Comets on November 11 by a score of 4-1. Carter Bancks scored the lone goal for the Comets after the team fell behind by a score of 4-0. For the Phantoms, Corbin Knight tallied one goal and one assist while Alex Lyon made 26 saves for the win. Richard Bachman made 24 saves in the loss.
Scouting the Phantoms: Lehigh Valley is coming off of a 2-0 victory last night against the Albany Devils. The Phantoms are also entering their third game in as many nights. Prior to last night’s home game, Lehigh Valley lost to the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 2-1. Jordan Weal leads the team offensively with 33 points. T.J. Brennan continues to collect points from the blueline with 29 points, second on the team. Greg Carey leads the Phantoms with 17 goals, 10 of which have been scored on the power play. Alex Lyon has played 10 of the last 11 games, included last night’s shutout.
Third Times a Charm: Tonight marks the final game of the weekend series in which the Comets have won two-in-a-row. The last time the Comets won three straight games was from December 3 – December 7, prior to the nine-game winless streak.
Dem the Bears’ Lights: Thatcher Demko made 36 saves last night to help the Comets beat the league’s third best scoring team. It was the rookie’s first win since December 7; a 3-2 win against the Toronto Marlies where he made 32 saves. Those two games are the most saves a Comets’ goaltender has made in a single game.
The Trio’s Last Three: Alexandre Grenier, Darren Archibald and Curtis Valk played on the same line last night. The three forwards have collected points in each of the last three games registering a total of 13 points, six goals and seven assists. Darren Archibald boasts the most points in the span with five, one goal and four assists.
Blueline Help: Colby Robak has joined in on the offensive punch. The defenseman has scored two goals and added two assists in the last three games. His two goals were scored while on the man advantage.
Next Game: The Comets return to the AUD on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Syracuse Crunch. It is the final game on home ice until January 25.