UTICA COMETS (23-13-2-2) vs. HARTFORD WOLF PACK (23-9-3-5)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #HFDvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets host the Hartford Wolf Pack for the second time this week in game two of Save of the Day Foundation Week. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Comets raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first period but would surrender five unanswered of their own before Lukas Jasek scored in overtime to give the Comets a 6-5 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Justin Bailey recorded his second hat trick in three games, while Nikolay Goldobin and Brogan Rafferty chipped in one goal apiece. Michal DiPietro made 34 saves in the win.
Head-to-Head: This is the third meeting the Comets and Wolf Pack this season. The two teams have split the season series thus far. The Comets are 4-3-1-1 at home against Hartford in the last five years.
Scouting the Wolf Pack: Hartford comes in with a record of 23-9-3-5 and sits in first place in the Atlantic Division. Vinni Lettieri leads the offense with 34 points, followed by Steven Fogarty and Danny O’Regan with 25 points. Adam Huska is the leading active netminder with a record of 8-4-4, a 2.86 goals-against average, and a .900 save percentage.
Justin-Credible: Justin Bailey has been on fire lately. Bailey has recorded a hat trick in two of his last three games and 10 goals and 13 points in last 10 games. He has also surpassed his goal and point totals from last season in 15 fewer games. The forward has 30 points (10-11-30) in 39 games this season.
Showing Out: Brogan Rafferty is showing out this season. Rafferty recorded a four-point night on Wednesday that included a dazzling shorthanded goal. He also has seven points (1-6-7) in his last four games. The rookie leads all defensemen and ranks second among rookies with 37 points (6-31-37) in 40 games this year.
Under the Radar: Olli Juolevi is quietly having a strong season. Juolevi has three points (0-3-3) in his last four games and eight points (1-7-8) in his last nine games and has surpassed his point total from last season. The defenseman has 16 points (1-15-16) in 31 games.
Special Teams Battle: Special teams have played a big factor in both contests between the Comets and Wolf Pack so far this year, so look for that to remain the same tonight. Utica went 2-4 on the man advantage in Wednesday win and killed all four penalties. The Comets power play is running at 28.6% against Hartford, while the penalty kill is a perfect 12 for 12.
Next Game: The Comets are back at it tomorrow night against the Cleveland Monsters. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at the Box Office, over the phone by calling (315) 790-9070, or online at www.empirestatetix.com. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.