COMETS GO EAST TO BATTLE SPRINGFIELDDec 21, 2018
UTICA COMETS (15-13-2-1) vs. SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDS (15-8-2-3)
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets finish up a three-game road trip with a tilt against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop at the MassMutual at 7:05 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets extended their point streak to six games as they used come-from-behind dramatics on their way to a 4-3 overtime win against the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday at Bojangles’ Coliseum. Brendan Gaunce, Evan McEneny, Reid Boucher, and Darren Archibald all scored for Utica. Thatcher Demko came up with 33 saves in the win.
Head-to-Head: This is the second contest between the Comets and Thunderbirds this season. Utica won the first matchup 5-2 back on December 7. The Comets are 5-3-1-0 all-time against Springfield.
Scouting the Thunderbirds: Springfield comes in with a record of 15-8-2-3 and sits in third place in the Atlantic Division. The most recently beat the Syracuse Crunch 3-2 Wednesday night. Anthony Greco leads the active roster with 25 points, followed by Paul Thompson with 21 points. Samuel Montembeault is the top goaltender with a 11-4-2 record, a 2.73 goals-against average, and .913 save percentage.
Red Hot: Brendan Gaunce has been a man on a mission since his return from Vancouver last month. Gaunce has seven points (2-5-7) in his last four games and 12 points (6-6-12) in his last 12 games. He has also racked up three multi-point games in his last four. The forward has 13 points (7-6-13) in 15 games with the Comets this year.
Lu-kashing In: Lukas Jasek has been on a roll. Jasek is riding a four-game point streak and has nine points (2-7-9) in his last 10 games, including two multi-point nights. The rookie forward has 16 points (7-9-16) in 25 games this season.
Killing Them Softly: The Comets penalty kill is starting to round into form. Utica has killed off seven straight penalties and 15 of their last 17 overall. The Comets kill ranks 10th in the AHL at 82.3%.
Playing His Part: Thatcher Demko has played a big role in Utica’s recent success. Demko is 4-0-1 in his last five starts with a 2.19 goals against average and .928 save percentage. He has also won four of his last five starts, surrendering more than two goals only once. Overall, Demko is 6-3-1 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.
Next Game: The Comets return home tomorrow night when they face the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is a 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.