COMETS WRAP UP SEASON SERIES AGAINST CHECKERSDec 18, 2018
UTICA COMETS (14-13-2-1) vs. CHARLOTTE CHECKERS (22-6-1-0)
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Charlotte Checkers for the final time this year. Puck drop at Bojangles’ Coliseum is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets increased their season-long point streak to five games, but fell in overtime to the Charlotte Checkers by a 2-1 margin on Sunday at Bojangles’ Coliseum. Lukas Jasek scored the lone goal for the Comets and Thatcher Demko made 24 saves in the loss.
Head-to-Head: This is the fourth and final meeting between the Comets and Checkers this season. Charlotte has won all three meetings so far this season, most recently taking a 2-1 decision in overtime on Sunday. Utica has been outscored 9-5 in the season series.
Scouting the Checkers: Charlotte comes in with a record of 22-6-1-0 and sits in first place in the Atlantic Division. Offensively, Janne Kuokkanen leads the Checkers with 27 points, followed by Andrew Poturalski with 26 points. Alex Nedeljkovic is the top netminder with a 14-4-1 record, a 2.78 goals-against average, and .896 save percentage.
Just Killin’ It: The Comets penalty kill is starting to right the ship. Utica has killed of 11 of their last 13 penalties over the last three games, including a 3-3 performance on Sunday. Furthermore, the Comets have not allowed a power play goal against the Checkers, killing off all 11 penalties in three games against Charlotte. The Comets kill ranks 11th in the league at 81.7%.
Streaking: The career year for Zack MacEwen continues. MacEwen is riding a three-game point streak and has points in nine of his last 10 games. He has already topped his career high in goals with 13 this year already. On top of that, he is only 10 points shy of matching his career high of 33 that he set last season. The second year forward has 23 points (13-10-23) in 29 games this season.
Finding A Groove: Lukas Jasek is quietly having a strong season. Jasek is currently on a three-game point streak, picking up four points (2-2-4) in those three games. Additionally, the forward has six points in his last seven games. The rookie has collected 15 points (7-8-15) in 24 games this year.
Chipping In: Brendan Gaunce’s strong season continues. Gaunce has four points in his last three games and five points in his last five games. He also has not gone longer than one game without a point. The forward has 10 points (6-4-10) in 14 games with the Comets this year.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice Friday night when then hit the road to battle the Springfield Thunderbirds. Puck drop at the MassMutual Center is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHLTV.