Tonight’s Game: The Comets are 3-1-1 against the Rochester Americans as the teams collide for first time since March 10. It will be the first Utica game since March 10 after the team followed AHL protocols during the interim period. With the Comets hosting Rochester tonight, they will look to continue where they left off; skating away with a 3-2 shootout victory at home inside the Adirondack Bank Center. Tonight is the 10th game of the season for the Comets holding a record of 6-2-1.
Last Game: The last game the Comets played took place nearly one month ago in the Adirondack Bank Center against the Rochester Americans. Utica came out to a 2-0 lead after goals by Hugh McGing and Jonah Gadjovich in the first period. Rochester clawed back to the tie the game with a goal in each of the next two periods by Jack Quinn and Michael Mersch respectively. With the game tied, numerous chances were exchanged during overtime, but it took a shootout to decide the game with McGing and John Stevens scoring and goaltender Jake Kielly shutting the door on three of four shooters. The Comets skated away with two points and a 3-2 victory.
Head-to-Head: Tonight’s game marks the six battle of the Comets and Americans. The record for Utica is 3-1-1 in the five previous games. Rochester visited the Adirondack Bank Center on February 26 and March 10. On the first night, the contest tied at 2-2, the Comets thundered for five goals in the final period of regulation to skate away with a 7-2 victory. The second game at home against the Amerks resulted in a 3-2 shootout victory with John Stevens registering the winning goal in the shootout with Kielly making 32 saves on 34 shots.
Scouting the Americans: The Americans currently sit fifth in the North Division of the Eastern Conference with 17 points (7-5-2-1). Arrttu Ruotsalainen leads Rochester with 13 points (5G, 8A) in 13 games played. Jean Sebastien Dea is second with 12 points (4G-8A) while Brett Murray is currently in third in scoring with 11 points (6G, 5A) and rookie defenseman Oskari Laaksonen registered nine points (1G, 8A) in 14 games. Rochester goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, leads the team with 12 games played and a record of 6-4-2.
Gadjovich Continues to Score: Only three times this season has Jonah Gadjovich failed to tally a goal. Leading the team with eight goals in nine games played, he's managed to strike for a goal in every game played against Rochester this season (6 goals in 5 games played). During the 7-2 Comets victory back on February 26 at home, Gadjovich was the game’s first star while netting two goals including the game winner.
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. The Quinnipiac product last appearance with Utica was against Rochester on February 5 in which he tallied two assists.