COMETS, CRUNCH FACEOFF IN GAME TWO OF GALAXY CUPNov 16, 2018
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Syracuse Crunch in Game Two of the Galaxy Cup series on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: Despite scoring four power play goals, the Utica Comets fell to the Belleville Senators 5-4 in a shootout Wednesday night at CAA Arena. Tanner Kero struck twice with additional tallies coming from Zack MacEwen and Michael Carcone for Utica. Ivan Kulbakov made 27 saves, yet his record fell to 5-4-2.
Head-to-Head: This is the second meeting between the North Division rivals this year. The Comets won the first contest 4-3 on October 20. Utica is 20-15-2-4 overall and over the last five years against Syracuse.
Scouting the Crunch: Syracuse comes in with a record of 6-5-1-0 and sit in seventh place in the North Division. They most recently beat the Binghamton Devils 5-2 Wednesday night. Cory Conacher leads the team with 12 points, followed by Andy Andreoff and Carter Verhaeghe with 11 points. Connor Ingram leads the active goaltenders with a record of 2-3-0, a 3.44 goals-against average, and .890 save percentage
Revival: The Comets power play has come back to life. After going 2-30 in their previous seven games, the Comets power play cranked things up Wednesday, going 4-9 on the man advantage. Utica’s power play ranks eighth in the league at 23%.
Young Guns: Jonathan Dahlen and Olli Juolevi are starting to come into their own. Juolevi has tallied six points (0-6-6) in his last four games and Dahlen has five (1-4-5) points in his last six games. Juolevi has tallied 13 points while Dahlen has racked up 2 so far this season.
Welcome Back: Despite Wednesday’s loss, the Comets seem to have a newfound confidence now that Reid Boucher is back in the lineup. Boucher added an assist in his first game back since October 20 and most notably, the Comets found the net four times on the power play. Look for Boucher to be even more of a threat as he seems to have shaken off the rust.
Hot Start: Tanner Kero’s stint in Utica is off to a lightning fast start. Kero leads the team with 14 points (5-9-14) in 16 games so far this year. Kero has also tallied three multipoint nights, including a three-point night on Wednesday. He is six points shy of matching his point total from last season and two points shy of 100 career AHL points.
Next Game: The Comets are back at it tomorrow night when they hit the road to face the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop at the XL Center is at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.