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The Last Time on the Ice: The Comets stepped onto the ice on Tuesday night as the leaders of the North division of the Eastern Conference and they battled the leaders of the North division. The Comets skated away on the strength of four goals and a shutout for Nico Daws victorious 4-0.
In the first period, both teams came out with a lot of energy. It was a fast paced period that featured quality scoring chances on both ends of the ice, but the goaltenders stood strong.
Halfway through the second period, the Comets took the first lead of the game thanks to a power play goal by Chase DeLeo. Michael Vukojevic got things started with an excellent breakout pass to Alexander Holtz. Holtz rushed up the ice and found DeLeo who buried it to put his team ahead by one.
The Comets offense erupted in the third period. It was Ryan Schmelzer who kicked things off with two goals in the span of three minutes. The first goal was assisted by Kevin Bahl and Jeremy Groleau. Just over a minute later, DeLeo fed a pass through the Providence defenseman and right onto the tape of Schmelzer who put one over the shoulder of netminder Jeremy Swayman. At 13:57, Fabian Zetterlund gave the Comets a four-goal lead and Schmelzer picked up his third point of the period with an assist on the goal.
Comets Leading Scorers: The team’s leading scorer heading into the week is Chase DeLeo who has registered eight goals and 25 assists for 33 points in 23 games played. Following him is Fabian Zetterlund with a team leading 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points in 28 games played. Reilly Walsh leads all d-men in scoring with five goals and 21 assists for 26 points in 32 games. Tyler Wotherspoon leads the team in plus/minus with a +21 rating but is off the represent Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Finally, Alex Holtz is currently on a seven-game point streak.
This season against Charlotte: The Comets have faced the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of both the Florida Panthers and Seattle Kraken, three times this season. One game at home inside the Adirondack Bank Center, which took place back on November 19th was the game the Comets took the record for best start in AHL history. On that night, despite going down 1-0 earlier, the Comets roared back with goals from Nolan Foote, Nathan Schnarr (2) and Aarne Talvitie. Goaltender Nic Daws skated away with the win making 23 saves on 24 shots. The Comets once again battled the Checkers, but this time, it was in Charlotte, North Carolina. The results, however, remained the same with the Comets winning both games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
The Standings: The Comets remain atop the North Division with 32 games played and 23 victories. Holding a record of 23-5-4 gives Utica 50 points which is seven ahead of the next team, the Rochester Americans. The Americans have played three more games that Utica as of today. The Comets winning percentage of .781 ranks them at the very top of the entire league. In their last 10 games played, the Comets are 5-4-1.