Mar 16, 2018

UTICA COMETS (30-21-10) vs. LAVAL ROCKET (23-32-8)
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: #LAVvsUTI

Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the Laval Rocket for the final time this season. Puck drops at 7 p.m. 

Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Springfield Thunderbirds by a score of 4-0 Saturday night at the MassMutual Center. Anthony Greco gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period, firing a wrister past Richard Bachman for the shorthanded goal. Ryan Horvat had the assist. Alexandre Grenier extended the lead to 2-0 six and a half minutes into the second period with a power play goal. Jayce Hawryluk made it 3-0 with 3:54 to go in the middle frame. Sam Kurker added a goal 30 seconds later to make it 4-0 Springfield. Bachman finished with 27 saves and his record fell to 10-11-4.

Head-to-Head: This is the last of eight games between the Comets and Rocket this year. Utica leads the season series 5-2-0, but Laval won the most recent contest 5-2 on February 23. The Comets are outscoring the Rocket 24-18 through seven games.

Scouting the Rocket: Laval comes in with a record of 23-32-8 and sits in fifth place in the North Division. They most recently fell 4-0 to the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night. Chris Terry leads the way offensively with 56 points, followed by Matt Taormina with 42 points. Michael McNiven leads all active goaltenders with a 6-13-1 record, a 3.41 goals-against average, and .887% save percentage.

Head Above Water: With their win over Springfield last Friday, the Comets were able to snap a four-game home losing streak. In the process, Utica also improved its home record to .500. The Comets are 13-13-6 at the Adirondack Bank Center this year.

Pat-ing His Stats: Patrick Wiercioch has been a point machine on home ice lately. Wiercioch has seven assists in his last eight home games and eight points total during that span. The veteran defenseman has 28 points (8-20-28) in 45 games with the Comets. The 28 points and 20 assists is the most he has recorded in a season in his professional career.

Northern Success: The Comets have played very well against teams within their division this season. Utica owns one of the best records in the league against their own division, going 24-12-4 against the North. Including tonight, the Comets play seven of their next eight games against teams from the North Division.

Playoff Push: Halfway through March and the Comets are closing in on a playoff spot. The magic number to clinch is down to 11, the second lowest of teams who haven’t clinched yet. The magic number will continue to decrease with any Comets win and/or a Laval loss.

Next Game: The Comets return to the ice tomorrow night against the Belleville Senators. Puck drop at Yardmen Arena is at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.

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