GALAXY CUP: THE RETURN OF THE CRUNCHJan 11, 2017
UTICA COMETS (12-16-6) vs. SYRACUSE CRUNCH (18-9-6)
Utica Memorial Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK Desktop or Mobile
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Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets do battle with Syracuse Crunch in game five of the Galaxy Cup series. Puck drop for the fifth meeting between the North Division rivals is at 7 o’clock.
Last Game: The Comets suffered a 4-1 setback to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The first period went scoreless, but the Phantoms jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the last five minutes of the middle frame on goals from Travis Sanheim and Will O’Neill. Taylor Leier made it 3-0 just 3:39 into the final period. Alexandre Grenier would answer four minutes later to bring the Comets back to within two. T.J. Brennan’s empty net goal in the final minute sealed the victory for Lehigh Valley.
Head-to-Head: The Comets and Crunch have split the first four games between each other this season. Most recently, Syracuse came away with a 4-3 shootout win in their last meeting on December 10th. The Comets have outscored the Crunch 11-10 this season.
Scouting the Crunch: The Crunch sit atop the North Division with 42 points and are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the St. John’s IceCaps last Saturday. Defenseman Matt Taormina leads the Crunch offensively with 32 points, followed by Yanni Gourde with 26 points. Adam Wilcox leads the way in net with a 13-5-2 record, 2.55 goals against average, and a .901% save percentage.
On Fire: Curtis Valk, Colby Robak, and Alexandre Grenier have been red hot recently. The three each have a four-game point streak and have combined for 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) over that timespan. In addition, Grenier carries a four-game goal streak into tonight’s matchup.
Hittin’ the Road: After tonight’s game, the Comets will hit the road for a five-game road trip to four different cities in the course of a week. The Comets next home game is January 25th against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Need a Spark: The Comets will be looking to jumpstart their power play against the Crunch after scoring only eight goals in 51 attempts over the last month. Utica has been successful with the man advantage against the Crunch this season, converting on 35% of their power play opportunities.
Nice Having You Bach: Since his return from injury on December 30th, Richard Bachman has been stellar between the pipes. In three starts since returning, Bachman holds a 1-1-1 record with a 2.33 goals against average and .919% save percentage.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Friday night as they hit the road to begin a five-game road trip starting against the Providence Bruins. Puck drop from the Dunkin” Donuts Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.