COMETS LOOK TO MELT HERSHEYMar 30, 2018
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Hershey Bears for the second and final this season. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets defeated the Rochester Americans by a score of 3-2 in overtime Wednesday at Blue Cross Arena. Frankie Simonelli put the Comets up 1-0 halfway through the first period. Michael Chaput and Patrick Wiercioch tallied the assists on the power play goal. Zach Redmond tied the game at one three minutes into the second period. Chaput put the Comets back on top with another power play goal at the 14:32 mark of the second period. Simonelli and Wiercioch picked up the assists. Seth Griffith tied the game at two with 16:15 to go in the third period. Chaput scored the game-winning goal with 1:24 remaining in overtime. Demko finished with 31 saves to improve his record to 23-12-6.
Head-to-Head: This is the second time the Comets and Bears will clash this season. Hershey won the previous matchup 3-0 back on March 3. The Comets are 0-2-1 on home ice and 1-5-1 all-time against the Bears.
Scouting the Bears: Hershey comes in with a record of 28-32-9 and sits in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. They most recently fell 6-4 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Chris Bourque leads the offense with 48 points, followed by Travis Boyd with 45 points. Vitek Vanecek is the leading active netminder with a 11-10-2 record, a 2.98 goals-against average, and .890 save percentage.
On Fire: Michael Chaput has been a point machine lately. Chaput has tallied seven points (4-3-7) in his last four games, including two three-point nights. In addition, he is riding a three-game home point streak where he has amassed six points (2-4-6) during that timespan. Overall, the Quebec native leads all active players with 38 points (16-22-38) in 49 games this year.
Home Cookin’: A big reason for Patrick Wiercioch’s huge season can be attributed to his performance on home ice. Wiercioch carries a three-game home point streak into tonight and leads all current Comets’ players in points (21) and assists (15) at the Adirondack Bank Center. Overall, the veteran defenseman has collected 35 points (9-26-35) in 52 games this season.
Near The Top: Thatcher Demko is closing in on a pair of Comets team records. Demko is one win shy of tying Joacim Eriksson for most wins in a single season (24), as well as most career wins (46). Demko is 23-12-6 on the year and has reeled in a total of 45 wins so far in his two-year career.
Power Surge: The Comets power play is starting to turn things around. Utica has scored at least one power play goal in three of the last four games and is 3-10 on the man advantage in their last two games. The Comets power play is tied for 10th in the AHL at 18.2%.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice tomorrow night against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop at the MassMutual Center is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.