UTICA COMETS (1-2) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (2-1)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #TORvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Toronto Marlies in Game Four of the North Division Semifinals. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets defeated the Toronto Marlies by a score of 5-2 Wednesday night. Reid Boucher put the Comets up 1-0 eight minutes into the game. Wacey Hamilton extended the lead to 2-0 two minutes later. Cole Cassels converted on a breakaway at the 12:59 mark of the opening frame. Calle Rosen put the Marlies on the board with 9:31 remaining in the third period. Tyler Motte made it 4-1 with 5:25 to go in regulation. Colin Greening cut the deficit to two a minute later. Cassels sealed the win with an empty net goal with 1:40 to go. Thatcher Demko finished with 35 saves to earn the win.
Head-to-Head: The Marlies lead the series 2-1, but the Comets won the most recent contest 5-2 Wednesday night. Toronto is outscoring Utica 10-9 through three games. The home team has won every game so far in this series.
Scouting the Marlies: Colin Greening, Trevor Moore, Dmytro Timashov, Martin Marincin, and Ben Smith are all tied for the team lead with three points through three games. Goaltender Garret Sparks has started all three games and owns a 2-1 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.
Gold Standard: Nikolay Goldobin is quietly having a strong series. Goldobin has picked up at least one point in every game this postseason and leads all scorers with four points (0-4-4) in three games. The forward has posted six points (2-4-6) in 11 career playoff games.
Immediate Impact: Reid Boucher made his presence felt in his first game back since his return from Vancouver. Boucher blasted a one-timer that broke the water bottle of Marlies netminder Garret Sparks for a power play goal last night. It was his first playoff goal in two seasons.
Steadying The Ship: Thatcher Demko has been a rock so far in this series. The second year netminder has made 30 or more saves in all three games, including a number of back-door point blank saves. Demko is 1-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in his first taste of professional playoff action.
Backs To The Wall: The Comets will look to stave off elimination once again. However, they will have their work cut out for them. Since 2012, the Marlies are 8-3 in Game Four’s and 9-4 when they have a chance to clinch the series. The Comets are 4-2 all-time in elimination games.
Next Game: If they win tonight, the Comets will return action for Game Five against the Marlies Sunday afternoon. Puck drop at the Ricoh Coliseum is at 4 p.m. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.