UTICA COMETS (4-1-0-1) at SYRACUSE CRUNCH (1-3-1)
Upstate Medical University Arena, NY
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter
Tonight’s Game: The Comets make their first trip to Syracuse since the second game of the season when they lost a 6-1 in the Crunch home opener. Utica is coming off a 7-2 victory at home against Rochester while the Crunch last played on February 20 in a 3-2 loss at home against the Americans.
Last Game: With the game tied at 2-2 heading into the final period of regulation last night, a five goal outburst by the Comets propelled them to a 7-2 victory against their division rival Americans. Jonah Gadjovich finished the night with two goals including the game winner and an assist while John Stevens netted the first two goals of the game for Utica. John Gillies secured his third win of the season in four games played and rookie defenseman Jack Rathbone assisted on three goals in his debut.
Head-to-Head: In two games against the Crunch, the Comets are 1-1 with the home team winning each outing. The Comets victory came during their home opener with a 5-2 victory. The Comets scored the first four goals of the game before Syracuse tallied two times in the third period. It wouldn’t be enough and the Comets skated away with the win. Jonah Gadjovich potted two goals while Sam Anas registered two assists and goaltender Jon Gillies made 17 saves on 19 shots.
Scouting the Crunch: The leading scorers for the Crunch are center Alex Barre-Boulet who has three goals and an assist while fellow center Aleski Heponiemi has four assists in three games this season. Gabriel Fortier, who twice scored against the Comets in Syracuse’s home opener is tied with Barre-Boulet for the team lead with three goals. Goalie Samuel Montembeault has played in four the games this season including the victory against Utica back on February 6. He also was the losing netminder at the Adirondack Bank Center on February 17 allowing four goals on 19 shots.
Gadjovich Finding the Net: Forward Jonah Gadjovich is scoring goals seemingly every night. With two goals last night including the game winner, he now has six goals in as many games. Last night was also a three point affair for Gadjovich when he registered his first assist of the season. With his six tallies, he leads the team in goals scored and is ranked third in the entire AHL.
Lineup Shakeup: Forwards Sam Anas, Nathan Walker and Dakota Joshua were recalled by St. Louis to the NHL taxi squad earlier this week. Defenseman Steve Santini was also recalled by the Blues. Rookie defenseman and Harvard University defenseman Jack Rathbone made his professional debut against the Americans last night. Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the fourth round in 2017, 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.
Rathbone Debuts: A Vancouver draft pick in the fourth round during the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Jack Rathbone spent two seasons at Harvard University before entering the ranks of the Comets earlier this week. Rathbone made his presence felt with three helpers on the night in his debut. Though he hadn’t played in a game since the suspension of last year’s collegiate season, Rathbone dazzled all night against Rochester to help the Comets win their second home game of the year.
Next Game: The Comets take the trip to Rochester in the middle of next week as they face the Amerks for the fourth time this season and the third time inside Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. The puck drop is at 7:05 and you can watch it all on AHL TV or listen live on KROCK 94.9 FM.