UTICA COMETS (30-23-10) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (44-16-2)
Ricoh Coliseum, 4 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #UTIvsTOR
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Toronto Marlies. Puck drop at Ricoh Coliseum is at 4 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Belleville Senators by a score of 4-3 Saturday night at Yardmen Arena. Filip Chlapik gave the Senators a 1-0 lead three minutes into the game. Ciampini doubled the lead six minutes later. Andrew Cherniwchan cut the lead to 2-1 with 2:08 remaining in the opening frame. Griffen Molino and Guillaume Brisebois picked up the assists. Cam Darcy tied things up at two less than two minutes into the second period. Patrick Wiercioch and Dylan Blujus tallied the assists. Jack Rodewald regained Belleville’s lead with 1:05 to go in the middle frame. Chlapik scored an empty netter with a minute to go. Cherniwchan would respond 45 seconds later to bring the Comets back to within one. Jaime Sifers and Wacey Hamilton registered the assists. Bachman finished with 26 saves and his record fell to 10-12-4.
Head-to-Head: This is the sixth meeting between the Comets are Marlies this season. Toronto leads the season series 4-1-0 and won the most recent matchup 4-3 back on December 22. The Comets have been outscored 18-14 through five games this year. The Marlies clinched a playoff spot on March 10.
Scouting the Marlies: Toronto comes in with a record of 44-16-2 and sits atop the North Division. They most recently topped the Belleville Senators 3-1 Friday night. Ben Smith leads the active roster with 50 points, followed by Chris Mueller with 42 points. Calvin Pickard leads all active netminders with a record of 19-8-0, a 2.08 goals-against average, and a .924% save percentage.
Making His Mark: With two goals last night against Belleville, Andrew Cherniwchan scored his fifth and sixth of the year. That tops his 2016-17 total of four and now sits one away from his career high of seven, which he reached in 2014-15 with Providence. The fifth year forward has six points (6-0-6) in 27 games with the Comets this season.
Good Timing: Carter Bancks returned to the lineup just in time to face the Marlies, a team he’s played well against. Bancks has totaled five points (1-4-5) in five games against Toronto, which leads all Comets players in the season series. The Comets’ captain has 13 points (2-11-13) in 34 games this year.
On Fire: Cam Darcy continues his hot streak. With a goal last night, Darcy now has points in three of his last four games and has collected four points (3-1-4) during that timespan. The Massachusetts native has collected has 23 points (6-17-23) in 43 games this year.
Back on Track: The Comets penalty kill was able to right the ship after allowing three power play goals Friday night. Utica turned in a perfect 3-3 performance last night at Belleville. In addition, they have killed off 10 of their last 14 penalties. The Comets kill ranks fourth in the AHL at 85.6%.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action Friday night as they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.