COMETS HOST DEFENDING CHAMPION CHECKERSOct 18, 2019
UTICA COMETS (3-0-0-0) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS (2-2-0-0)
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the defending champion Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets used six goals from six different skaters en route to a 6-2 thumping of the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Mikey DiPietro stopped 16 shots in the win. Jonah Gadjovich, Dylan Blujus, Francis Perron, Reid Boucher, Zack MacEwen, and Vincent Arseneau were the goal scorers for Utica.
Head-to-Head: This is the first meeting between the Comets and Checkers this season. Charlotte claimed last year’s season series, winning three of four contests against Utica. Morgan Geekie led last year’s series with four points, while Reid Boucher led all Comets scorers with three points. Utica is 2-5-1-0 in the last five seasons against Charlotte.
Scouting the Checkers: Charlotte comes in with a record of 2-2-0-0 and sits in fifth place in the Atlantic Division. They most recently beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-1 last Saturday. Morgan Geekie leads the active roster with five points, followed by Roland McKeown with four points. Anton Forsberg is the top goalie with a 2-0-0 record, a 1.50 goals-against average, and .953 save percentage.
As Good as Gold: Nikolay Goldobin has been on a tear since returning to Utica. Goldobin recorded three assists in Wednesday’s win over Syracuse and was all over the ice. Dating back to the 2017-18 season, Goldobin is on a three-game point streak and has recorded at least one point in 12 of his last 14 games in a Comet uniform. The forward has four points (0-4-4) in two games this season.
Leading the Way: Three games into the season and Reid Boucher has already found himself on top on the league leaderboards. Boucher ranks second in the league in goals and is tied with nine other players for the league-lead in points. The veteran forward has six points (5-1-6) in three games so far this year.
First of Many: A pair of firsts took place in Wednesday night’s win. Mikey DiPietro won his first professional game between the pipes and defenseman Josh Teves recorded his first pro point with an assist in the third period. While DiPietro wasn’t very busy, he made a number of key saves at key moments during the game. Teves has been solid on the back end so far, recording three shots on goal and a +5 rating.
Killing Them Softly: The Comets penalty kill has gotten off to a great start this season. Utica has killed off 11 of their 13 penalties so far this season, including a perfect 5-5 Wednesday night. The penalty kill unit will be tested again tonight as Charlotte’s power play clocks in at 29.4% this season.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action tomorrow night against the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Be sure to arrive early for Day Two of Oktoberfest on The Plaza. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.