UTICA COMETS (18-10-1-2) vs. HERSHEY BEARS (16-9-2-3)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #HERvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets return from the holiday break to battle the Hershey Bears. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets were provided some late-game heroics from Olli Juolevi as they skated to a 4-3 win on Saturday night at Blue Cross Arena. Sven Baertschi, Vincent Arseneau, and Jonah Gadjovich also scored for Utica. Richard Bachman made 23 saves to pick up his first win of the season.
Head-to-Head: This is the second meeting between the Comets and Bears this year. Utica won the previous matchup 2-1 in a shootout back on October 26. Utica is 4-6-1-0 in the last five seasons against the Bears.
Scouting the Bears: Hershey comes in with a record of 16-9-2-3 and sits in third place in the Atlantic Division. They most recently beat the Springfield Thunderbirds 3-2 on Sunday. Mike Sgarbossa leads the offense with 26 points, followed by Matt Moulson with 20 points. Vitek Vanecek is the leading goaltender with a record of 9-4-1, a 2.20 goals-against average, and a .915 save percentage.
Spreading the Wealth: A big part of the Comets’ success this season can be attributed to getting points from everywhere in the lineup. All but two players have played a game this year have recorded at least one point. Additionally, 11 players have accumulated 10 or more points and six players have 20 or more points. Three players (Reid Boucher, Nikolay Goldobin, and Justin Bailey) have scored 10 or more goals this season.
Riff-Raff: Brogan Rafferty’s stellar rookie season continues. Rafferty is riding a three-game point streak coming into tonight, with all three of those games being multi-point efforts. He has picked up seven points (1-6-7) during his streak. The rookie defenseman leads the league in points from a defenseman and is tied for the league lead in rookie scoring with 29 points (4-25-29) in 31 games.
On Fire: Reid Boucher is scorching hot. Boucher increased his point streak to 13 games with an assist last Saturday, bringing his point total to 19 points (7-12-19). He has also picked up six multi-point games during his streak. The forward leads the league with 37 points (20-17-37) in 26 games this season.
Road Warriors: The Comets have been a good team on the road this season. Utica has won three of their last four games, scoring four or more goals in those three wins. Overall, the Comets are 10-4-0-1 on the road this year.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action tomorrow night on the road against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.