Tonight’s Game: The Comets come into tonight’s game losing back to back contests for the first time this season. After a month long shutdown, they jumped back into the season at home against the Rochester Americans and dropped the contest by a 4-2 score. The following night in Syracuse, the team lost 5-1 against tonight's opponent. Tonight marks the fifth time these two teams will lockup this season with the Comets holding a 2-2 record. Tonight is only the second trip Syracuse has made to the Adirondack Bank Center. The previous matchup was the home opener back on February 17 with the Comets winning a 5-2 decision.
Last Game: On the road in Syracuse, the Comets lost a 5-1 game to the Crunch. Syracuse came out to a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds into the game and followed up with another goal later in the first period. Comets defenseman Jack Rathbone scored Utica's lone goal on the power-play during the second period but the team couldn't fully close the gap. The game marked the professional debut of Comets goaltender, Joel Hofer who made 28 saves on 33 shots.
Scouting the Crunch: Syracuse is now in the third spot in the North Divison with a record of 10-6-1 for 21 points and a .618 winning percentage. Winger Boris Katchouk leads the Crunch in points with 16 (7G, 9A) in 16 games played. In four games played against the Comets, Katchouk has one goal and two assists. Otto Somppi is second on the team in points with 12 (4G, 8A) in 17 games this season. The Syracuse defense is paced by John Ludvig who has racked up two goals and six assists in 13 games played. Goaltender Samuel Montembeault has a record of 6-3-1 with a .906 save percentage and a 2.59 goals against average. He's played in every game against the Comets going 2-2 along the way.
Gadjovich Leads the Team: Only four times this season has Jonah Gadjovich failed to tally a goal. Leading the team with nine goals in 10 games played, Gadjovich continues to log plenty of ice time for head coach Trent Cull. The last contest against Syracuse was a rare game with Gadjovich not tallying a goal.
Sam Anas Returns: Last season’s AHL scoring leader returns to the Comets after a stint with the St. Louis Blues taxi squad. Anas factored into the scoring in every game this season with one exception. In five games, he has seven assists but has yet to register a goal. With the Iowa Wild the previous four seasons, Anas led the league last year with 20 goals, 50 assists for 70 points in 63 games. In his return to the lineup last week, Anas registered two assists on both Comets goals.
Joel Hofer Debuts: The St. Louis draft pick started his first game last weekend against the Crunch on the road. Despite giving up the first goal 17 seconds into the game, Hofer made a very good showing for the Comets stopping 28 shots on the night including several sparkling saves peppered throughout the contest. Head coach Trent Cull will almost certainly go back with Hofer during at least one of the back to back contests this week at the Adirondack Bank Center against Syracuse.