UTICA COMETS (19-14-7) vs. HARTFORD WOLF PACK (15-20-6)
XL Center, 7:15 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on the road at the XL Center. Puck drops at 7:15 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets topped the Rochester Americans 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Rochester struck nine minutes into the game with a power play goal off the stick of Kevin Porter. Darren Archibald tied the game at one seven minutes later. Cole Cassels and Michael Carcone picked up the helpers. Cassels gave the Comets a 2-1 lead three minutes into the middle frame. Carcone tallied the assist. C.J. Smith tied the game at two at the 7:11 mark of the third period. Demko and Amerks goaltender, Linus Ullmark, remained perfect down the stretch to send the game to overtime for the sixth time in the season series. Kevin Porter and Reid Boucher traded goals in the first three rounds of the shootout and Nikolay Goldobin netted the game-winning goal in the fourth round to earn the win. Demko finished with 33 saves to improve his record to 15-7-5.
Head-to-Head: The Comets and Wolf Pack have split the season series, with Hartford winning 4-1 on November 18 and the Comets taking a 5-1 decision on January 7. Utica is outscoring Hartford 6-5 through two games and is 5-4-1 all-time against the Wolf Pack.
Scouting the Wolf Pack: Hartford comes in with a record of 15-20-6 and sits in last place in the Atlantic Division. They most recently fell to the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-2 this past Saturday. Cole Schneider leads all active scorers with 24 points, followed by Scott Kosmachuk with 23 points. Marek Mazanec leads the goaltending tandem with a 6-4-1 record, a 3.07 goals-against average, and a .909% save percentage.
Road Success: The Comets continue to be one of the top road teams in the league this season. Utica is riding a four-game road-winning streak into tonight and are unbeaten in six consecutive games away from the Adirondack Bank Center. The Comets are 12-5-3 overall on the road this season.
Back On Track: Cole Cassels and Michael Carcone both ended their pointless skids in style on Wednesday night as they made the number two spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. Carcone registered two assists and Cassels picked up a goal and an assist in the win over Rochester. The big year continues for both players as Carcone has tallied 16 points with a career-high nine goals and Cassels collected a career-high 11 assists and 15 points overall.
Balanced Attack: Utica has gotten offense from everywhere in the lineup this season. The Comets have 14 players with 10 or more points and four players with 20 or more points. Of those 14 players, eight of them have 10 or more assists.
Reaching the Top: With his appearance in Wednesday night’s game, Darren Archibald broke the team record for career games played with the Comets. It was Archibald’s 274th game played in a Comets uniform, surpassing Alexandre Grenier’s 273 games. Including this season, Archibald has racked up 114 points (62-60-114) during his tenure in Utica.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action tomorrow night as they battle the Syracuse Crunch in game six of the Galaxy Cup series on Save of the Day Night. Raffle tickets can still be purchased for a chance to win game-used equipment. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.