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Previously for Utica-The Comets stepped onto the ice against their North Division rival, Belleville Senators for the final time in the regular season inside the Adirondack Bank Center on Saturday night and were defeated by a score of 4-1.
In the first period, Nolan Foote gets the scoring started with a wrister from the point for his 14th of the year at 15:49. Putting the Comets up 1-0. That concluded all the scoring for the first period.
In the second period, the Senators tied the contest after a wrister from the Comets blue-line by forward Viktor Lodin beats Mareks Mitens at 6:34. As the period progressed, Senators forward Clark Bishop raced into the zone and centered the puck to teammate Logan Shaw who beat goaltender Mitens with a wrister from the slot at 19:45. The late goal put the Senators up 2-1 after forty minutes of play.
In the final period of regulation, the Senators added an empty net goal to help seal their victory when Scott Sabourin struck for a tally at 19:14. Belleville forward Mark Kastelic added another goal with just seven seconds left and help the Senators defeat Utica, 4-1.
Comets Leading Scorers: The team’s leading scorers heading into the weekend is Chase DeLeo, scoring 16 goals and 34 assists for 50 points in 50 games played. Second in team scoring is rookie Alex Holtz with 24 goals and 25 assists for 49 points in 49 games played. Leading Comets defenseman in scoring is Reilly Walsh leads all d-men in scoring with eight goals and 31 assists for 39 points in 66 games. Defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon leads the team in plus/minus with a +22 rating.
Special Teams Ranking: Heading into the week, the Comets begin with the 5th ranked power play operating at 22.%. On the penalty kill, Utica ranks 10th in the league at 82%.
The North Division: The Comets have five games remaining in the schedule with 66 games played so far this season. They currently hold a record of 40-19-7 -1 which gives them 87 points and a winning percentage of .657. This leads all teams in the North and the Eastern Conference. The team closest to the Comets in winning percentage is the Laval Rocket with a .597.
Roster Movies: It was announced today by Utica Comets General Manager, Dan MacKinnon, that the team has signed four players to Professional Tryout Contracts including forward Luke Stevens, goaltender Brandon Kasel and defensemen Tim Theocharidis and Jarrod Gourley.
Stevens, 25, skated in 31 games for the Adirondack Thunder scoring seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points this season. The Duxbury, Massachusetts native skated in eight games for Utica registering two assists in that time. The four-year product of Yale University was originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth-round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Kasel, 25, hails from Ithaca, New York and played his collegiate career with Skidmore College. This season with Adirondack, Kasel has skated in 27 games with a record of 8-15-2 holding a .895 save percentage and 3.56 goals against average. Kasel played junior hockey for the Syracuse Stars which later became the Utica Junior Comets. The Stars program started in 1985 and includes former NHL goaltender and President of the Utica Comets, Robert Esche as an alumnus. Brandon played U-18 Midgets in 2014-2015 and one year of Junior Hockey for the Stars in 2015-2016.
Theocharidis, 23, finished his senior year at Arizona State University after playing for Bowling Green for three previous three seasons. Theocharidis, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, hails from Pickering, Ontario skated in 171 Division I college games scoring 30 goals and 73 assists for 103 points. In four games with the Thunder, the left-shooting defenseman registered one assist. He skated in five games with Utica but did not register a point.
Gourley, 22, hails from Calgary, Alberta and spent three seasons at Arizona State University before joining the University of Connecticut for his fourth season of NCAA hockey. After completing his senior season, he joined the Adirondack Thunder and skated in his first 10 professional games scoring one goal and one assist in that time.