UTICA COMETS (11-11-5) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (21-7-0)
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 Rochester Americans by a score of 3-2 Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Michael Carcone netted the first goal of the game nine minutes into the second period by putting a shot past Wilcox while he was falling to the ice. Cole Cassels and Patrick Wiercioch tallied the assists. Cassels gave the Comets a 2-0 lead five minutes into the final period. Griffen Molino and Carcone picked up the assists. Sahir Gill cut the lead to 2-1 with a power play goal at the 13:27 mark of the third period. C.J. Smith and Stuart Percy had the assists. Nick Baptiste tied the game with 2:52 to go in regulation. Neither team could find the back of the net in regulation and the game would need overtime. Smith scored 17 seconds into overtime to win. Bachman finished with 27 saves and his record drops to 2-5-2.
Head-to-Head: The Marlies lead the season series 3-0-0 and won the most recent contest 5-2 on November 22. The Marlies are outscoring the Comets 12-6 in the season series and lead the all-time series 20-11-2.
Scouting the Marlies: The Marlies come in with a record of 21-7-0 and sit in first place in the North Division, but most recently lost 5-1 to the Manitoba Moose on Sunday. Ben Smith is the leading scorer with 23 points, followed by Andreas Johnsson with 19 points. Garret Sparks leads the goaltenders with a 11-4-0 record, a 1.64 goals-against average, and a .943% save percentage.
The Time Is Now: With the Comets top three scorers in Vancouver, the opportunity has come for others to step up. So far, Michael Carcone and Cole Cassels have answered the call. Cassels is riding a three-game point streak into tonight and Carcone has tallied four points in the last five games.
Holding Ground: Despite mixed game results, the Comets have been able to keep up in the standings. Utica has collected points in eight of their last 10 games to maintain control of fourth place in the North Division.
Bounce Back: Despite going 1-9 on the power play over the last three games, the Comets have a chance to rebound and get back on track. Utica is 3-13 (23.1%) on the man advantage against Toronto. The Comets power play ranks 13th overall in the AHL at 18.1%.
No Place Like Home: Another reason for optimism heading into tonight is that the Comets have one four of the last five home games against the Marlies dating back to last season. Utica is 8-5-3 all-time at home versus Toronto and are 4-6-3 overall at home this year.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Friday night for a rematch with the Marlies. Puck drop 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.