COMETS OPEN UP 2018-19 CAMPAIGN AGAINST DEFENDING CHAMPSOct 5, 2018
UTICA COMETS (0-0) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (0-0)
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets open up the 2018-19 campaign against the Toronto Marlies. Puck drop is at 7:10 p.m.
Last Game:The Comets fell 4-0 to the Marlies in Game Five of the North Division semi-finals after two statement wins on home ice.
Head-to-Head: This is the first meeting of the North Division rivals since the Marlies eliminated the Comets in the first round of the North Division semi-finals last season. Toronto won last year’s regular season series 5-2-0-1. Utica is 16-17-3-2 all-time against Toronto.
Scouting the Marlies: The Marlies finished first in the North Division with a record of 54-18-2-2 and are the reigning Calder Cup champions. Notably, Chris Mueller and Dmytro Timashov as well as Timothy Liljegren all return to the ice for the Marlies. Former Comets Jordan Subban and Griffen Molino are also on the roster. Netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo returns to the Marlies after being loaned to Chicago where he racked up an overall record of 13-13-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.
Back For More: The Comets welcome back 21 players who suited up for at least one game in Utica last season. Among those players include, Zack MacEwen, Jonathan Dahlen, Kole Lind, Michael Carcone, veteran netminder Richard Bachman, and last year’s leading scorer, Reid Boucher.
Welcome To Utica: In addition to the returning players, the Comets welcome some fresh faces. Rookies Adam Gaudette, Jonah Gadjovich, Petrus Palmu, and Olli Juolevi will get their first taste of AHL action. All will look to make an immediate impact starting tonight.
It’s Finally Here: This is the first time in team history the Comets will open up a season on home ice. It is also the fourth time in the last five seasons that Utica and Toronto will square off on opening night. The Comets are 1-4 in season opening games, with their lone win coming in a 2-1 win over the Marlies to start the 2014-15 season.
Special Teams Duel: Tonight’s battle also pits the top two penalty kills from last season against each other. The two teams also tied in power play rankings with both teams operating at 18% last year. Expect special teams to be a huge factor in tonight’s contest.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Belleville Senators. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV. Be sure to come out to Galaxy Fan Fest before the game from 3-6 p.m. on the Aud Plaza.