COMETS FACEOFF AGAINST SENATORS TONIGHTDec 9, 2016
UTICA COMETS (10-11-1-0) vs. BINGHAMTON SENATORS (6-14-1-1)
Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, 7:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets travel south to battle the Senators. Puck drop against the division opponent is at 7:05 p.m.
Carrying a three-game win streak into the game, the Comets stand in fifth place in the North Division. Meanwhile, the Senators’ struggles find themselves at the bottom of the division holding seventh place with a winning percentage of .318.
Last Game: The Utica Comets surrendered an early shorthanded goal and managed to tie the game on two different occasions against the Marlies on Wednesday night. After scoring the lone goal in the third period, Jordan Subban and the Utica Comets claimed their first victory of the season against Toronto by a score of 3-2.
Jake Virtanen tallied his second goal in three games while Marco Roy scored his first goal as a Comet. Goaltender Thatcher Demko improved his record to 7-4-1 with a 32 save performance.
Head-to-Head: The Comets suffered a 2-1 regulation loss to the Senators on Oct. 26. The game was the Comets home opener and only meeting of the season to this point. The Comets are 11-4-4 all-time against the Senators.
Scouting the Senators: The Senators own the worst record in the AHL going 6-14-2 in 22 games played. The root of the team’s problem begins with scoring. Binghamton has only scored 45 goals this season, the lowest in the league. Leading scorer Phil Varone and goaltender Andrew Hammond were recalled to Ottawa earlier this week. The team’s already struggling offense will rely upon Casey Bailey, Kyle Flanagan and Mike Blunden. The team was victorious on Wednesday which snapped a six-game losing streak. The 3-2 win against Albany was the first since Nov. 19.
Defense Lockdown: Over the course of the past eight games, the Comets have allowed an average of 1.75 goals per game. Prior to the stretch, the team’s average was among the highest in the AHL. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins lead the AHL this year with an average of two goals allowed per game.
Double Trouble: Forwards Pascal Pelletier and Jake Virtanen have begun to find their stride on the score sheet. Boasting a 62-point season a few years ago, Pelletier has found his point-producing touch registering an assist in back-to-back games. After playing in 55 games with the Canucks last year, Virtanen has scored twice in the last three games while adding ten shots in the last five games.
First of Many: Second-year forward Marco Roy celebrated his first goal as a Comet on Wednesday night. Last season, the former second round pick tallied eight goals and 12 assists with the Bakersfield Condors. Roy also spent ten games in the ECHL last year with the Norfolk Admirals.
Next Game: The Utica Comets return to Syracuse as the Battle of the Galaxy Cup continues tomorrow. Puck drop against the Crunch is scheduled for 7 p.m.