UTICA COMETS (29-25-9) vs. PROVIDENCE BRUINS (36-18-9)
Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 3:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Providence Bruins for the fourth and final meeting this season. Puck drops at 3:05 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets suffered a 4-1 defeat against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last night. Andrew Rowe gave Bridgeport a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period with a one-timer goal. Tanner Fritz made it 2-0 just two over minutes later, firing a wrist shot past Thatcher Demko. Carter Verhaeghe extended the Bridgeport lead to 3-0 five minutes into the third period. Later in the frame, Evan McEneny got the Comets on the board with a power play strike from Jordan Subban and Jake Virtanen. In the closing minutes, Michael Dal Colle scored an empty net goal to seal the win. Demko finished with 24 saves as his record fell to 17-12-4.
Head-to-Head: Providence leads the season series 2-1-0, but the Comets won the most recent meeting by a score of 3-1 on January 13. The Bruins have outscored the Comets 8-5 in the season series. Sean Kuraly leads all players with four points (one goal, three assists) in the season series. Jordan Subban leads the Comets with two points, both of which goals.
Scouting the Bruins: Fresh off a 4-2 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds last night, the Bruins come into this afternoon’s contest with a .643 point percentage, good for third in the Atlantic Division. Jordan Szwarz and Wayne Simpson leads the Bruins offensively with 48 and 41 points, respectively. Zane McIntyre leads the goaltending tandem with a 16-3-1 record, a 1.93 GAA, and a .935 save percentage. The netminder leads the AHL with a 1.93 goals against average and a .935 save percentage.
Making a Name: Evan McEneny continues his impressive rookie season. The defenseman carries a three-game point streak into this afternoon’s matchup and has racked up 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last 13 games. McEneny has totaled 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 51 games this season.
Unbreakable: Darren Archibald’s ironman streak continues into this afternoon’s bout. Archibald has appeared in all 63 games so far for the Comets this season and has set career highs in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41).
No Advantage: Luck is on the side of the Comets heading into today’s game. Of the three meetings between the Comets and Bruins, the visiting team has won each matchup, the most recent being a 3-1 Comets victory on January 13 in Providence.
Heating Up: With a power play goal last night, the Comets have scored on the man advantage in three consecutive games. The power play unit is 4-12 over the last three games. The unit sits 22nd in the AHL with a 16.2% conversion rate.
Next Game: The Comets continue the six-game road trip on Friday night against the Albany Devils. Puck drop from the Times Union Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.