UTICA COMETS (16-14-7) vs. BINGHAMTON DEVILS (11-20-6)
Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, 7:05 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Binghamton Devils. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Syracuse Crunch by a score of 3-2 Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Daniel Walcott gave the Crunch a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game, deflected a shot over Thatcher Demko. Carter Verhaeghe registered the assist. Adam Comrie blasted a one-timer to tie the game at one with 7:13 to go in the opening frame. Ashton Sautner and Dylan Blujus picked up the assists. Michael Bournival regained the lead for the Crunch at the 18:14 mark of the first period. Matthew Peca and Erik Condra were credited with the assists. AHL all-star Reid Boucher tied the game at two three minutes into the middle frame, potting a rebound past Crunch goaltender Connor Ingram. Patrick Wiercioch and Zack MacEwen tallied the assists. Verhaeghe netted a power play goal two and a half minutes into the third period to give the Crunch a 3-2 lead. Ingram shut the door on the Comets to secure the win. Demko finished with 30 saves and his record fell to 13-7-5.
Head-to-Head: This is the third meeting of the Comets and Devils this season. Utica and Binghamton have split 2-1 victories, with Binghamton winning on November 3, and the Comets earning the win on December 15. The Comets are 9-12-3 all-time against New Jersey’s AHL affiliate.
Scouting the Devils: The Devils come in with a record of 11-20-6 and sit in last place in the North Division. Jacob MacDonald is the leading scorer with 30 points, followed by Nick Lappin with 23 points. Ken Appleby leads the goaltending tandem with a record of 5-8-2, a 3.21 goals-against average, and .888% save percentage.
Road Warriors: The Comets have been one of the better teams away from home this year. Utica carries a four-game road point streak into tonight’s matchup. The Comets are 10-5-3 away from the Adirondack Bank Center this season.
Back With A Vengeance: Reid Boucher has been on a tear since returning from Vancouver. Boucher is riding a three-game point streak into tonight and has collected six points (4-2-6) during that span. He leads the Comets offense with 31 points (17-14-31) in 28 games this season.
Penalty Kill Dominance: The Comets penalty kill continues to excel over the last month. Over the last 11 games, the Comets are 41-44 on the penalty kill. The Comets kill ranks seventh in the AHL at 85.7%.
Making Strides: Zack MacEwen continues to play a big role in the Comets offense. MacEwen has tallied five points (1-4-5) in his last seven games. The rookie forward is fourth on the team in points, collecting 17 points (3-14-17) in 32 games this season.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Monday afternoon against the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at Blue Cross Arena is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic will be hosted at the newly renovated Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The two-day event includes the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 28, followed by the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony on Monday, January 29 and the 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge later that evening. The Skills Competition and the All-Star Challenge will take place in downtown Utica; all other events during the All-Star Classic will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. For tickets to the two-day event, visit empirestatetix.com.