UTICA COMETS (31-27-9) vs. ROCHESTER AMERICANS (27-37-2)
Blue Cross Arena, 7:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Rochester Americans. Puck drop for the sixth meeting between the two teams is at 7:05 p.m.
Last Game: The Comets are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 defeat to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday afternoon. The first period went scoreless but the Comets peppered Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith with 21 shots. Darren Archibald finally broke through halfway through the second period. His power play tally was assisted by Evan McEneny and Cody Kunyk. 41 seconds later, Sahir Gill tied the game with a power play goal of his own. The Penguins took the lead six minutes into the third period with a goal off the stick of Domenik Simon. The Penguins quelled the Comets’ late rally to secure the victory. Michael Garteig finished with 31 saves and his record falls to 0-3-2 on the year.
Head-to-Head: The Amerks lead the season series 3-2-0-0 and won the most recent contest 3-2 in overtime on February 22. Cole Schneider leads all scorers in the season series with six points.
Scouting the Americans: The Americans come in with a .424 points percentage and sit in sixith place in the North Division. The Amerks are riding a three-game winning streak into tonight’s matchup but are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. Cole Schneider leads the team offensively with 54 points, 12th most in the AHL. Linus Ullmark leads the goaltenders with a 24-26-2 record, a 2.88 GAA, and a .907 save percentage.
End of the Road: Tonight’s divisional tilt marks the end of the Comets’ season long six-game road trip. The Comets are 2-3-0 on the trip and 15-15-3-1 overall on the road this season.
Hit the Reset: After giving up at least one power play goal in the past three games, the Comets penalty kill will look to right the ship against the Amerks. The Comets have killed off nine of the last 10 penalties and 17 of 20 penalties overall against the Amerks. The Comets penalty kill sits 18th in the AHL at 81.7%.
Closing In: Darren Archibald is on the verge of tying a Comets all-time record. Archibald needs one more goal to tie the franchise record for goals in a single season set by Pascal Pelletier in the 2013-14 season. The forward leads the team in goals (21) and is tied for the team lead points (42), both are career highs.
Roster Moves: The Comets have made a number of roster changes over the last two weeks. The club signed forwards Max French (Bentley University) and Brett McKenzie (North Bay Battalion) to ATO’s. In addition, Emerson Clark was returned on loan to Tulsa (ECHL) and Marco Roy was loaned to Alaska (ECHL). The Comets will also get a boost up front as Joseph LaBate returns from his third stint with Vancouver this year.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action tomorrow night as they take on the Rochester Americans at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.