ROCHESTER AMERICANS (4-1) at UTICA COMETS (3-1-0-1)
Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY
Watch Live: Channel 20.2. WPNY, AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter
Tonight’s Game: Rochester steps inside the Adirondack Bank Center for the first time this season after splitting the two games at Blue Cross Arena earlier this month. Tonight marks a rematch of last Thursday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Amerks. The single loss Rochester suffered this season came at the hands of the Comets in the opening game of the 2020-21 season by a 3-2 score.
Last Game: For the second time this season, the Comets found themselves in overtime and then a shootout. After a back-and-forth extra period, the game was settled in a shootout with the Americans skating away victorious after their shooters went three-for-three. In the 4-3 loss, the Comets scored all their goals on the powerplay going three-for-four. Lukas Jasek scored his first goal of the season while Carson Focht and Steve Satini registered their first assists of year. Goaltender Jon Gillies made 23 saves on 26 shots.
Head-to-Head: Tonight marks the third time these two teams will face off this season and the first time in Utica. The Comets are 1-0-1 against the Americans so far and are looking to avenge their loss on February 18. Sam Anas leads the team with seven assists in five games while Lukas Jasek is operating at a point-per-game pace with one goal and four assists in five games this season.
Scouting the Americans: The Amerks are tied for first in points in the North Division with the Hershey Bears accumulating eight points in five games with a 4-1 record. Since their opening night loss to the Comets, they’ve won four straight, including February 18 at home against Utica. The team is led in scoring by Jean-Sebastien Dea with three goals and four assists for seven points in four games played. CJ Smith and Oskari Laaksonen are right behind Dea with five points each.
Lineup Shakeup: Both Nathan Walker and Dakota Joshua were recalled by St. Louis to the NHL taxi squad earlier this week. This leaves room for other forwards to jump into the lineup that are looking for playing time. At the time of his recall, Walker was second in goals on the Comets with two and scored in back-to-back games. Joshua scored a highlight reel goal against Syracuse at home on February 17 and has two points in five games. Following those two moves, the Blues recalled Steve Santini and Sam Anas. Anas led the league in assists prior to his departure.
Rathbone Comes to Utica: A defenseman at Harvard University, drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the fourth round in 2017, Jack Rathbone was assigned to the Comets by Vancouver earlier last week. The 21-year-old defenseman from Boston, Massachusetts played 28 games last season for the Crimson put up seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points leading the team in scoring by defensemen.
Next Game: The Comets will head to Syracuse tomorrow to battle the Crunch at 7:00 PM. The game will be available on both AHL TV and 94.9 K-ROCK with the pre-game show beginning at 6:45 PM. The Comets lost the first game in Syracuse on February 6 and defeated them in the rematch at home on February 17.