Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets host the Belleville Senators. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Comets fell to the Toronto Marlies by a score of 7-3. The Comets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before the Marlies stormed back with four unanswered goals. The Comets fought back to get within one before the Marlies put the game away with a pair of shorthanded goals. Reid Boucher tallied two goals and Zack MacEwen picked up a goal and an assist. Tanner MacMaster chipped in with two assists. Ashton Sautner, Tanner Kero, and Jonathan Dahlen all picked up an assist. Richard Bachman made 32 saves.
Head-to-Head: This is the first meeting of the Comets and Senators. Utica and Belleville split last year’s season series with each team winning three games. The Comets are 17-8-3-2 all-time against Ottawa’s AHL Affiliate.
Scouting the Senators: The Senators finished in sixth place in the North Division last season with a record of 29-42-2-3. Belleville returns three of their top four scorers from last season in Filip Chlapik, Nick Paul, and Jim O’Brien. Veteran goalie Mike McKenna joins Marcus Hogberg between the pipes for the Senators.
Right Where He Left Off: Reid Boucher continues to light it up in a Comets uniform. Boucher tallied two goals in last night’s season opener including a power play goal 59 seconds into the game. The veteran forward has scored 27 goals in 47 career games with Utica.
Power Up: Despite last night’s loss, the Comets power play got off to a hot start. The power play struck a minute into the game and finished with a 33.3% conversion rate. The Comets operated at 18% on the man advantage last season.
Riding High: Tanner MacMaster carried over his stellar play from last season. MacMaster suited up in 18 games and recorded 11 points including playoffs after signing an ATO last season. The forward kept it going last night with a pair of assists.
First As A Comet: Several players made their Comets debut last night. Tanner Kero, Adam Gaudette, Olli Juolevi and Jesse Graham all played their first game in a Utica jersey. Kero also picked up his first point as a Comet, notching an assist.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Friday, October 12 when the Charlotte Checkers come to town. Puck drop is a 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.