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Last Night Went Well: The Utica Comets stepped onto the ice on the road against their division rival looking to avenge their overtime loss from last weekend; and that’s exactly what they did when they defeated them by a 4-1 score last night.
Utica winger Alex Holtz started the scoring on the night after he fired a rocket of a one-timer setup by Aarne Talvitie at 1:52. The puck sailed past Syracuse goalie Huge Alnefelt and gave the Comets a 1-0 lead. Akira Schmid, who stepped on the ice for the Comets for his first AHL game since early December, made 11 saves in the first period.
The Comets scored to extend their lead while on the power-play during the second period and it was Nolan Foote who slammed home a rebound opportunity as a flurry of shots found their way towards Alnefelt. Foote’s goal, his sixth of the season, put the Comets up 2-0 at 6:47. Utica wasn’t done in the second and it was Fabian Zetterlund who finished a give-and-go with Foote at 16:08. Zetterlund’s tally gave him sole possession of the team lead in goals scored with 12 on the season. The Comets left the second period up 3-0.
In the final period of regulation, Comets forward Nate Schnarr deposited an empty net goal at 15:12 which tied him with Zetterlund for the team lead in goals at 12 and the Crunch got one to erase the possible shutout for Schmid at 17:46 on the shot by defenseman Sean Day. Akira Schmid ended the game as the number one star making 34 saves on 35 shots and the Comets earned their 21st victory of the season.
Kevin Dineen Milestone: With his next coaching victory, Comets bench boss Kevin Dineen will register his 400th win as a head coach in both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. Dineen started coaching in Portland in the AHL during the 2005-2006 season before landing in Florida with the NHL. After becoming an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks, Dineen moved onto San Diego of the AHL and then here in Utica where the team started off in record setting fashion with 13 straight victories, breaking an AHL record for best start in league history.
Comets Leading Scorers: The team’s leading scorer heading into tonight’s game is Chase DeLeo who has registered six goals and 22 assists for 28 points in 21 games played. Following him is Fabian Zetterlund with a team leading 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in 26 games played. Nate Scharr is tied with Zetterlund for the team lead in goals scored with 12 and trails Zetterlund in the points department by two with 23 points in 27 games this year. Reilly Walsh leads all d-men in scoring with four goals and 18 assists for 22 points in 28 games. Tyler Wotherspoon leads the team in plus/minus with a +21 rating.
News for You: The Utica Comets, in coordination with the Providence Bruins and the American Hockey League announced today that next week’s game, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, January 26th will now take place one day earlier on Tuesday, January 25th.
The game against the Bruins will remain a 7:00 PM puck drop inside the Adirondack Bank Center. Tickets purchased for Wednesday’s game will be valid for Tuesday night. Single game ticket buyers will also be able to exchange their tickets for a voucher for a future game if they cannot attend. The box office will open at 10 A.M. Saturday, if fans have any questions or would like to exchange their ticket they can call us at 315-790-9070.