Tonight's Game: The Rochester Americans come into the Adirondack Bank Center with an overall record of 8-11-2-1 while having lost their last six games in a row. They are ranked second from the bottom of the North Division of the Eastern Conference. The Comets shook off a 7-1 loss on the road against the Syracuse Crunch with a 2-1 overtime win at home on Wednesday. The Comets are 5-5 in their last 10 games played and are currently ranked fourth in the North Division. Entering tonight's game, the Comets hold a record of 7-1 at home.
Last Game: The Utica Comets grinded out a 2-1 win over interstate rival, the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. The win came just a few days after the Crunch victory over the Comets on Sunday afternoon in Syracuse by netting seven goals in a 7-1 win. Wednesday’s game was much different as rookie goalie Joel Hofer held the Crunch to just a single goal after he came in relief of starting netminder Jake Kielly who was injured in the first period. The Comets held the pace for most of the game and were finally rewarded in the third period after Jonah Gadjovich tipped home his team leading 13th goal on the season. The Crunch answered late in the third to force overtime. It was Gadjovich again who put home the game's deciding goal, his 14th of the season after he deflected a pass off his skate and into the net past Crunch netminder Spencer Martin.
Scouting the Americans: The Americans come to town this Friday night trying to end a six game losing streak. The two teams know each other all too well as this will be the ninth meeting between the teams. Rochester’s points leader, Remi Elie will look to rewrite the script for the Americans and add on to his 17 points (9G, 8A) in 21 games. During their six game losing streak forward Michael Mersch has continued to stay red hot and is second on the team in points with 16 (8G, 8A).
Mike DiPietro Returns: Recently reassigned by Vancouver from the Canucks Taxi Squad, Mike DiPietro is poised to return to the Comets crease. DiPietro spent the 2019-20 season with Utica, posting a 2.79 GAA and a .908 SV% over 36 games as a rookie. He boasted a 21-11-2 record in goal for the Comets. A native of Windsor, Ontario, DiPietro was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by Vancouver. He has since played 2 NHL games including one in the 19-20 campaign. DiPietro is a product of the OHL, having spent four seasons with the Windsor Spitfires and 17 games with the Ottawa 67’s. He was also a member of team Canada at the 2019 World Junior Championships.
Hofer Saves the Day: During the first period of Wednesday Night's game at home against Syracuse, goaltender Jake Kielly suffered an unfortunate lower body injury that took him out of the game. Backing up that night was Joel Hofer was thrust into the action and came up with one glorious save after another. When the smoke cleared on the evening, Hofer ended as the game's second star making 25 saves on 26 shots including game saving stops in the overtime period. Hofer, a rookie drafted by the St. Louis Blues, won his second straight home appearance for the Comets