UTICA COMETS (30-26-5-2) vs. SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDS (26-25-7-5)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #SPRvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets faceoff against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets were provided 24 saves from Marek Mazanec, but Scott Wedgewood and the Rochester Americans proved too much during a 3-0 loss on Wednesday at Blue Cross Arena.
Head-to-Head: This is the fourth and final meeting between the Comets and Thunderbirds this season. Utica leads the season series 3-0-0-0 and won the most recent contest 4-3 back on February 2. Utica has outscored Springfield 11-6 through three games.
Scouting the Thunderbirds: Springfield comes in with a record of 26-25-7-5 and sits in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. They most recently fell to the Hershey Bears 5-3 Wednesday night. Paul Thompson leads the offense with 50 points, followed by Harry Zolnierczyk with 47 points. Chris Driedger is the leading active goaltender with a record of 11-8-1, a 2.63 goals-against average, and a .919 save percentage.
Conquering the Atlantic: The Comets open up a short two-game homestand against a pair of Atlantic Division foes tonight, and it could not have come at a better time. Utica has earned at least a point in six straight home games and 11 of their last 12 games overall against teams from the Atlantic Division. The Comets are 9-4-3 overall against the Atlantic Division this year.
No Place Like Home: Zack MacEwen has been white hot on home ice. MacEwen is riding a 12-game home point streak coming into tonight, picking up 19 points (5-14-19) during that stretch. The second-year forward has 47 points (20-27-47) in 56 games this season.
Looking to Rebound: Don’t expect Tanner Kero to stay off the scoresheet for long. Kero is on a three-game pointless skid, but has played well against the Thunderbirds this season. He has four points (2-2-4) in three games against Springfield and has not gone more than three games without a point this year. Kero has 49 points (21-28-49) in 57 games this year.
Milestone Watch: Carter Bancks is closing in on a Comets team record. With an appearance in tonight’s game, Bancks will tie Darren Archibald for the most games played as a Comet (304). He has the chance to break the record this tomorrow against Hartford.
Next Game: The Comets go right back at it tomorrow night against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is a 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 TV.