COMETS TAKE ON CRUNCH IN SATURDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWNJan 12, 2019
UTICA COMETS (20-17-3-1) vs. SYRACUSE CRUNCH (21-11-2-1)
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Syracuse Crunch in Game Five of the Galaxy Cup series. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Comets and Sound Tigers went blow-for-blow but Bridgeport would come out on top with a 4-3 overtime victory Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Wacey Hamilton, Tom Pyatt, and Zack MacEwen scored for the Comets. Ivan Kulbakov made 27 saves in net.
Head-to-Head: This is the fifth meeting between the Comets and Crunch this season. The North Division rivals have split the series, with each team winning two games each. Utica won the most recent contest 4-2 last Wednesday.
Scouting the Crunch: Syracuse comes in with a record of 21-11-2-1 and sits in second place in the North Division. They most recently fell to the Cleveland Monsters 4-3 in a shootout last night. Carter Verhaeghe leads the way offensively with 42 points, followed by Cory Conacher with 38 points. Eddie Pasquale is the leading goaltender with a record of 12-6-3, a 2.70 goals-against average, and .902 save percentage.
Closing In: Zack MacEwen’s career year continues. MacEwen is three points shy of tying his career-high in points (33). He has also already topped his previous career best in goals and is eight points back of his career high in assists. MacEwen has 30 points (15-15-30) in 40 games this year.
Breakthrough: Jonathan Dahlen has finally put an end to his pointless skid. Dahlen tallied an assist last night to breakout of his four-game scoreless skid. Dahlen has 19 points (8-11-19) in 37 games this season.
Power Outage: The Comets power play has struggled so far in January. Utica scored on the man advantage last night, but are only 3-1 on the power play over the last five games. The Comets power play ranks 14th in the league at 19.7%.
Streaking: Brendan Gaunce has quietly been playing very well. Gaunce is currently riding a six-game point streak, collecting seven points (3-4-7). He also has two points in two games against the Crunch. The forward has 22 points (11-11-22) in 25 games with the Comets this year.
Home Cookin’: The Comets are rolling on home ice over the last two weeks. Utica is on a three-game point streak at home, outscoring opponents 11-9. The Comets are 9-9-1-0 at home this year.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice Wednesday night for a rematch with the Crunch and the first game of Save of the Day Week. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the tickets exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.