UTICA COMETS (15-13-7) vs. LAVAL ROCKET (15-16-7)
Place Bell, 7:30 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 Laval Rocket. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 5-1 Sunday night at the XL Center. Reid Boucher put the Comets up 1-0 at the 4:35 mark of the first period, blasting a loose puck past Alexander Georgiev. David Dziurzynski and Jalen Chatfield tallied the assists. Boucher struck again with a power play marker with 5:59 to go in the first. Philip Holm and Michael Carcone picked up the assists. Michael Carcone extended the lead to 3-0 with a power play strike of his own with 12:20 remaining in the middle frame. Boucher and Cole Cassels had the assists. Ryan Gropp cut the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal 12 minutes into the third period. Boucher netted a hat trick a minute later, tipping a shot from Dylan Blujus. Zack MacEwen also tallied an assist. Carcone notched the empty netter to secure the win. Tony Cameranesi and Darren Archibald had the assists. Richard Bachman made 31 saves to improve his record to 3-7-2.
Head-to-Head: This is the fifth meeting between the North Division rivals this season. Utica leads the season series 3-1-0 and won the most recent contest 5-2 on January 5. The Comets are outscoring the Rocket 15-11 through four games.
Scouting the Rocket: Laval comes in with a record of 15-16-7 and sits in fifth place in the North Division. Chris Terry leads the offense with 40 points, followed by Matt Taormina with 29 points. Charlie Lindgren is their top goaltender with a record of 6-9-6, a 3.06 goals-against average, and a .898% save percentage.
He’s Back: Reid Boucher was reassigned to the Comets Sunday and immediately made his presence felt. Boucher tallied four points (3-1-4) in the 5-1 win over Hartford. The forward leads all Comets scorers with 29 points (16-13-29) in 26 games this season and was named to the 2018 AHL All-Star roster.
White Hot: Michael Carcone has played a huge role in the Comets’ offense lately. Carcone has picked up at least one point in 10 of the last 13 games and is currently riding a three-game point streak. The second-year forward has totaled 14 points (9-5-14) in 28 games this season.
Back On Track: After going five straight games without a power play goal, the Comets have begun to right the ship. Utica has notched a goal on the man advantage in two consecutive games and are 3-10 overall in those games. The Comets’ power play ranks 11th in the AHL at 18.1%.
Hard to Beat: Thatcher Demko has been one of the toughest goalies to beat over the last couple weeks. Demko has not lost in regulation in six consecutive starts and has only allowed more than two goals once during that stretch. The All-Star netminder holds a record of 4-0-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .940% save percentage in his last six starts.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Friday night as they faceoff with the Syracuse Crunch in game five of the Galaxy Cup series. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic will be hosted at the newly renovated Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The two-day event includes the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 28, followed by the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony on Monday, January 29 and the 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge later that evening. The Skills Competition and the All-Star Challenge will take place in downtown Utica; all other events during the All-Star Classic will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. For tickets to the two-day event, visit empirestatetix.com.