COMETS WRAP UP 2018 AGAINST ROCHESTERDec 29, 2018
UTICA COMETS (16-16-2-1) vs. ROCHESTER AMERICANS (20-10-2-0)
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets wrap up up 2018 against the Rochester Americans. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell behind early and stumbled all the way as they dropped a 10-1 decision to the Syracuse Crunch on Friday at the War Memorial. Vincent Arseneau scored the lone goal for the Comets. Ivan Kulbakov made 24 saves in the loss.
Head-to-Head: This is the fifth meeting between the Comets and Americans this season. Rochester leads the season series 3-1-0-0 and won the most recent matchup 5-2 back on December 5. Rochester has outscored Utica 19-8 through four games.
Scouting the Americans: Rochester comes into tonight’s contest atop the North Division with a 20-10-2-0 record. They most recently beat the Toronto Marlies 5-1 last night. C.J. Smith and Victor Olofsson lead the offense with 28 points, followed closely by Zach Redmond with 26 points. Adam Wilcox is the leading active netminder with a 7-3-1 record, a 2.93 goals-against average, and .899 save percentage.
American Spirit: Reid Boucher has been lethal against Rochester. Boucher has two points in two games this year against the Americans. Including last season, Boucher has nine points (4-5-9) in his last 11 games against Rochester. Boucher leads the Comets with 29 points (16-13-29) in 23 games this season.
Keep It Clean: It will be imperative for Utica to stay out of the box tonight. Utica has allowed six power play goals in four games against Rochester this season. The Americans also come in with the 11th best power play in the league and have scored five power play goals in their last two games. Utica’s eighth ranked kill has played well though, killing off 23 of their last 25 penalties.
Power Outage: The Comets power play has struggled this month. The Comets have not scored a power play goal in two of their three games and are 2-32 over their last eight games, with both goals coming in the same game. The Comets may get a reprieve tonight as they face Rochester’s 24th ranked penalty kill. Utica is 3-16 (18.8%) on the man advantage in four games against the Amerks and rank 13th in the AHL at 20.1%.
Breaking Out: Several of the Comets big guns have gone silent over the last few games. Expect Zack MacEwen, Tanner Kero, and Brendan Gaunce to break though as all three skaters have not gone more than three games without a point. Kero has recorded 27 points in 35 games this year, MacEwen 26 points in 34 games, and Gaunce has 15 points in 19 games.
Next Game: The Comets open up 2019 with a Galaxy Cup showdown against the Syracuse Crunch. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.