UTICA COMETS (18-19-8) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (22-21-3)
The Utica Memorial Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Toronto Marlies for the second time this year at the AUD. Puck drops at 7 o’clock.
Last Game: The Comets fell 4-2 to the Toronto Marlies. Darren Archibald got the Comets on the board about halfway through the opening period with a power play strike from Curtis Valk and Evan McEneny. Kerby Rychel tied the game with three minutes left in the first with a power play goal. Byron Froese took the lead for the Marlies just a minute into the middle frame, but Colby Robak would knot the game up at two with under a minute left in the second period from Michael Carcone and McEneny. Rychel retook the lead for the Marlies with another power play goal and Rich Clune would seal the game with a late empty netter. Richard Bachman made 21 saves and his record fell to 9-10-2 on the year.
Head-to-Head: The Marlies lead the season series, winning four of the five matchups this year. Most recently, the Marlies took a 4-2 victory Tuesday night at the Ricoh Coliseum. Andreas Johnsson leads all players with eight points.
Scouting the Marlies: Toronto currently sits in third place in the North Division with .511 point percentage and have won seven of their last ten games. Brendan Leipsic leads the team with 38 points in 34 games, followed by Kasperi Kapanen with 33 points. Garret Sparks leads the goaltending tandem with an 11-6-0 record, a 2.08 goals against average and a .925 save percentage
Finding His Groove: Evan McEneny has enjoyed a recent uptick in his offensive production. McEneny has picked up eight points in his last nine games. The rookie defenseman has tallied 11 points total this season.
Record Chasing: Jordan Subban is closing in on a Comets single season franchise record. Subban needs four more power play goals to tie the record set by Pascal Pelletier in the 2013-2014 season. The defenseman has seven power play goals this season, tied for second most in the AHL among defensemen.
Not In Our House: The Comets penalty kill at home has been outstanding this season. The unit is ninth in the league at 85.9% on home ice. Overall, the Comets man down ranks 16th overall with an 82% conversion rate.
Personal Record: With a goal against Toronto on Tuesday, Darren Archibald surpassed his career high of 14 goals in a single season. The forward is having his best offensive season to date, totaling 15 goals and 15 assists in 45 games this year.
Next Game: The Comets will be back in action tomorrow night as they hit the road to play the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop from the MassMutual Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.