COMETS HEAD EAST TO BATTLE HARTFORDNov 17, 2018
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets hit the road to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop at the XL Center is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: Despite throwing 34 shots on goal, the Comets were shutout 4-0 by the Syracuse Crunch Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Ivan Kulbakov got the start but was pulled in favor of Connor LaCouvee after surrendering 3 goals on 13 shots. Kulbakov’s record falls to 5-5-2 on the season.
Head-to-Head: This is the second meeting between the Comets and Wolf Pack this season. Utica won the first meeting 4-3 in a shootout last Friday. The Comets are 6-4-2-1 all-time and 3-2-1-0 on the road against Hartford.
Scouting the Wolf Pack: Hartford comes in with a record of 5-8-1-2 and sit in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. They most recently topped the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-3 in overtime Wednesday afternoon. Steven Fogarty leads the way offensively with 14 points, followed by Peter Holland with 11 points. Marek Mazanec is the leading goaltender with a 3-4-2 record, a 3.11 goals-against average, and .889 save percentage.
Road Warrior: Reid Boucher is a point machine away from home. In four road games this season, Boucher has six points (3-3-6), including a three-point performance. Boucher led the team in road points last season with 28 (14-14-28). He currently has 13 points (9-4-13) in 10 games this season.
Keeping It Close: The Comet and Wolf Pack have played some tight games over the last few seasons. Dating back to the 2015-16 season, 10 of the last 13 games between Utica and Hartford were decided by one goal, with five of those games needing overtime or a shootout to determine a winner. The two teams are coming off a shootout thriller last Friday so expect another close game.
Milestone Watch: A pair of Comets forwards are closing in on career achievements. Tanner Kero is two points shy of 100 career AHL points and Carter Bancks is three assists away from his 100th career AHL assists. Kero leads the team with 14 points (5-9-14) while Bancks has tallied two points (0-2-2) in 17 games this year.
Lockdown: The penalty kill has been stellar for the Comets. Utica has only allowed two power play goals in their last five games and have killed off eight of their last nine penalties. Utica’s penalty kill ranks 13th in the league at 82.1%.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night to battle the Laval Rocket. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.