COMETS LOOK FOR PAYDAY IN HERSHEYJan 7, 2017
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets faceoff against the Hershey for the second and final game this season at 7:00 p.m.
Last Game: The Comets jumped out to an early lead with a score from Colby Robak on the power play. The lead vanished after a Devils' goal late in the period. In the middle of the second period, Alexandre Grenier found a bouncing puck in the slot for his ninth of the year to regain the lead. Curtis Valk added another goal just 14 seconds into the third on a one-timer. At 11:54 of the third, the Comets' lead was closed to just a goal. Wacey Hamilton ended the scoring with an empty netter with 1:29 left. Richard Bachman made 23 saves for the win.
Head-to-Head: The Hershey Bears defeated the Comets on November 16 by a score of 4-2. Nathan Walker tallied two goals, including the game winning goal. Liam O’Brien and Domenic Monardo each collected multi-point efforts but are no longer on the active roster. Curtis Valk and Darren Archibald tallied one goal and one assist in the game.
Scouting the Bears: Hershey ranks fourth in the Atlantic Division and also possesses the fourth best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference. Offensively, the team is led by Travis Boyd, Chris Bourque and Christian Thomas who is tied for fifth in the league with 15 goals. Vitek Vanecek and Joe Cannata have split duties in net during the course of the season. Vanecek, a rookie, owns better numbers with a record of 9-5-4, a 2.17 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. The Bears are the second most penalized team in the AHL. A highly offensive team, Hershey has averaged the second most goals per game in the AHL.
Rear-View Mirror: The Comets ended a nine-game winless streak last night with a 4-2 win. The skid tied an AHL season-high, matching the Rockford IceHogs streak from November 23 to December 10. It also concluded a six-game winless streak on home ice. This skid tied three other teams for the longest streak of the season in the AHL.
Bach to the Win Column: Last night’s win was the first since November 19 for netminder Richard Bachman. The goaltender made just his second start since sustaining an injury in that win. His first game back from injury was an overtime loss to St. John’s on December 30. Bachman has not allowed more than two goals in the three starts and owns a save percentage of .925 in that span.
Kunyk of Time: Cody Kunyk has tallied an assist in each of his last three games. The forward has totaled two goals and nine assist in 20 games with the Comets this year. In 2014-15, he tallied ten goals and 16 assists in 69 games with the Syracuse Crunch.
Even-Keeled: Alexandre Grenier tallied a goal and an assist in last night’s win. The forward has not gone more than two games without a point, which occurred three times this season. He enjoyed a five-game point streak from December 3 to December 14 where he totaled an assist in each game and also a goal.
Game Winning Bonus: Curtis Valk scored last night’s game winner via a one-timer for his second point in as many games and his fifth point in the last six contests. He collected a goal and an assist on December 28 against St. John’s for his first multi-point effort since November 18.
No Looking Bak: Colby Robak snapped a six-game pointless drought with a goal on New Year’s Eve. Prior to that, he tallied an assist in four straight games. Last night, the defenseman collected a goal and an assist for the first multi-point performance since November 25.
Next Game: Utica finishes the weekend of games tomorrow with a 5:05 p.m. faceoff against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The matchup will be the first of two meetings at the PPL Center this season.