COMETS BATTLE WOLF PACK IN SUNDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWNJan 7, 2018
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets do battle with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop is at 5 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets topped the Laval Rocket by a score of 5-2 Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Laval struck first courtesy of a power play goal from Nikita Scherbak five and a half minutes into the game. Andrew Cherniwchan tied the game at one with a shorthanded goal with 6:48 to go in the first. Brendan Woods picked up the assist. Eric Gelinas put Laval up 2-1 at the 2:25 mark of the second period with a shorthanded goal of his own. With 8:27 remaining in the middle frame, Philip Holm knotted things up at two with a wrister from the point that found its way past Charlie Lindgren. Darren Archibald gave the Comets their first lead of the night with 59 seconds to go in the second period. Cole Cassels and Ashton Sautner tallied the assists. Holm extended the lead to 4-2 five minutes into the third period. Zack McEwen and Michael Carcone notched the assists. Archibald scored the empty netter with 19 seconds left to secure the win. Thatcher Demko finished with 36 saves and his record improved to 12-6-5.
Head-to-Head: This is the second matchup of the year between the two teams. Hartford won the first contest this season, a 4-1 decision on November 18. The Comets are 2-2-0 all-time on the road and 4-4-1 overall against the Wolf Pack.
Scouting the Wolf Pack: Hartford comes in with a record of 14-16-6 and sits in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. Peter Holland leads the offense with 30 points, followed by Cole Schneider and Scott Kosmachuk with 22 points. Alexandar Georgiev is the leading goaltender with a 4-9-5 record, a 3.44 goals against average, and a .892 save percentage.
Road Warriors: The Comets have been one of the better teams on the road this season. Utica has collected a point in six of their last seven road games. The Comets are 8-5-3 overall on the road this season.
Back On Track: The Comets power play has struggled lately, but finally broke through with a power play goal Friday night. It was their first goal on the man advantage in six games. The Comets power play ranks 13th in the AHL with a 17.4% conversion rate.
Coming In Hot: Darren Archibald has made an immediate impact since returning from an injury. Archibald has collected three points (2-1-3) in three games since his return. The forward has tallied eight points (4-4-8) in 12 games this season.
Spread the Wealth: Due to all the injuries and call-ups this season, the Comets have needed offense from everywhere throughout the lineup. As a result, players have stepped up. Utica has 13 skaters with 10 or more points this season. Six of those players have also collected 10 or more assists.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action Wednesday night as they take on the Laval Rocket. Puck drop at Place Bell is at 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.