UTICA COMETS (26-19-4-2) vs. LAVAL ROCKET (19-22-4-4)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #LAVvsUTI
Today’s Game: The Utica Comets do battle with the Laval Rocket for the sixth time this season. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Carter Bancks bobblehead.
Last Game: The Utica Comets picked up a point but fell 5-4 in overtime to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday at Webster Bank Arena. Tanner Kero, Luke Schenn, Jonathan Dahlen, and Brendan Gaunce scored for Utica. Ivan Kulbakov made 27 saves in the loss.
Head-to-Head: This is the sixth meeting between the North Division rivals this season. Utica leads the season series 3-1-1-0 and won the most recent matchup 5-4 back on December 1. The Comets have outscored the Rocket 15-13 through five games.
Scouting the Rocket: Laval comes in with a record of 19-22-4-4 and sits in last place in the North Division. They most recently fell to the Belleville Senators 6-3 last Saturday. Alex Belzile leads the offense with 37 points, followed by Jake Evans with 28 points. Charlie Lindgren is the leading netminder with a record of 8-12-4, a 2.76 goals-against average, and a .889 save percentage.
Rolling: Reid Boucher keeps humming along on offense. Boucher is riding a four-game point streak, picking up seven points (4-3-7). Boucher has also set new career highs in points and assists and is two goals back of tying his career best in goals. The forward leads the Comets with 38 points (23-25-48) in 39 games this year.
Shorthanded Threat: Brendan Gaunce is dangerous when killing penalties. Gaunce scored his third shorthanded goal of the year this Sunday, putting him in a tie for second in the league in shorthanded goals. The forward now has five shorthanded goals in his career. Gaunce has 28 points (15-13-28) in 35 games this season.
Immediate Impact: Luke Schenn has made a valuable impact to the Comets’ blue line since his arrival. Schenn has four points (1-3-4) in six games with the Comets and has been a calming defensive presence as well. The veteran defenseman has 14 points (3-11-14) in 28 total AHL games this season.
Power Surge: The Comets’ power play is back on the upswing. Utica is 6-13 on the man advantage over their last four games and has had two multi-power-play-goal games over that span. The Comets’ power play ranks 10th in the league at 20.3%.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action Saturday night when they hit the road to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Puck drop at Mohegan Sun Arena is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.