UTICA COMETS (10-9-2) vs. SYRACUSE CRUNCH (10-9-3)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #SYRvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Syracuse Crunch in game two of the Galaxy Cup series. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 in a shootout Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena. Tanner Fritz broke the scoreless tie with 33 seconds remaining in the middle frame, burying a one-timer past Thatcher Demko. Sebastian Aho and Stephen Gionta were credited with the assists. Joseph LaBate squeezed a shot past Kristers Gudlevskis to tie the game at one with 18 seconds left in regulation. Jayson Megna and Cam Darcy picked up the assists on the goal to send the Comets to overtime for the third consecutive game. Overtime went scoreless despite a late Comets power play and the game would head to a shootout. Reid Boucher and Tanner Fritz traded goals in the second round before Michael Carcone netted the shootout winner in the fifth round. Demko finished with 32 saves and his record improves to 8-5-2.
Head-to-Head: This is the second contest of the season between the North Division rivals. The Comets took game one by a score of 3-2 back on October 14. Utica leads the all-time series 17-11-2-3.
Scouting the Crunch: The Crunch come in with a record of 10-9-3 and have won six straight games. Matthew Peca leads the active roster with 13 points, followed by Michael Bournival with 12 points. Louis Domingue is the leading goaltender with a record of 4-2-0, a 2.17 goals-against average, and a .923% save percentage.
Streak vs. Streak: There is more than just two points on the line heading into tonight’s contest. The Comets come in with a five-game point streak and have won four of their last five games. Syracuse is riding a six-game winning streak and has won seven of their last 10 overall.
On Fire: Jayson Megna and Cam Darcy have stepped up their offensive game lately. Megna is riding a four-game point streak . Darcy carries a three-game point streak into tonight, which ties a career high for him.
Shutting Them Down: The Comets penalty kill has turned things around over the last few games. The Comets have not allowed a power play goal in four of their last five games and have killed off 20 of their last 24 penalties total. The penalty kill ranks 17th in the league at 82.7%.
Young Guns: With the rash of injuries to the Comets this year, Zack MacEwen and Alexis D’Aoust have been two big benefactors of increased ice time. McEwen most recently tallied two assists in a 7-6 overtime loss to Bridgeport on December 1. The rookie forward has also collected four assists over his last six games. D’Aoust has collected two points over the last five games as well as an expanded role on special teams.
Next Game: The Comets return to the ice Saturday night as they hit the road to take on the Providence Bruins. Puck drop at the Dunkin Donuts Center is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.