UTICA COMETS (1-1) vs. BINGHAMTON DEVILS (2-0)
RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House, 4 p.m.
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter
Today’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Binghamton Devils in the first of two games this season against the top affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. The game will take place in Newark, New Jersey at 4pm.
Last Game: In the season’s first game against the Syracuse Crunch last Saturday, the Comets were defeated on the road by a score of 6-1. Curtis McKenzie had the lone Comets goal while shorthanded late in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
Head-to-Head: Today’s game is the first of the season against Binghamton, a familiar opponent of the Comets. Last season, Utica went 4-3-1 against the Devils splitting in Binghamton with two wins each.
Scouting the Devils: Binghamton opened the season on the road against the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins on February 8 and defeated the Pens in overtime 4-3 when defenseman Reilly Walsh struck at 1:49 for the victory. The Devils yet again took another game in overtime when they defeated Lehigh Valley 2-1 after Brett Seney scored just :24 seconds into the extra period.
At the culmination of the last season, Binghamton ranked 4th in the North Division with a record of 34-24-4 for 72 points which put them one spot and one point behind Utica’s record of 34-22-3-2 for 73 points. Binghamton played 62 games last season, one more game than Utica.
Hot Start: In the season opener last weekend, Kole Lind led the team with two goals against Rochester. Sam Anas registered two assists while Jonah Gadjovich potted his first of the year.
Gillies Stands Tall: Utica goaltender Jon Gillies was not named one of Friday night’s stars of the game but certainly deserved to be in the conversation after 27 saves on 29 shots against Rochester. Gillies, originally drafted by the Calgary Flames and now a member of the St. Louis organization, made several dazzling saves throughout the night including game saving stops late in the third period with his team up by a goal to preserve the victory.
Bouncing Back: After Saturday night’s loss against the Syracuse Crunch, the Comets went back to work with a week of practice in anticipation of a better outcome against the Devils. Head Coach Trent Cull talked to the media about the work in progress. “There are parts of the game where our details aren’t where they should be…We are working on some of our habits and some of our details of our game that we’d like to get stronger.” Cull prefaced his remarks by reminding everyone that the team went ten months without a game and that the season will be a work in progress.
Next Game: The Comets will come home for the first game of the season when Syracuse travels to Utica on Wednesday February 17. The game is scheduled for a 7pm puck drop and will be live on WPNY, AHL TV and 94,9 KROCK. This will be the second game against the Crunch this season and a chance for the Comets to avenge their February 6 loss in Syracuse.