Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #29

Utica Comets at Belleville Senators

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 15-10-1-2 Utica Comets hit the road to Belleville to take on the 16-9-1-0 Senators, (Ottawa affiliate) for game number 29 of the season today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. Both teams have 33 points on the season, but the Sens are currently holding down the fourth and final playoff spot available in the North Division, having one more win than the Comets.

The Comets have gone 5-3-0-2 over their previous 10 contests, while the Sens show a record of 8-2-0-0 over that same span and they’ve won their last three games. The Comets will have their hands full today.

The Comets will also be squaring off against a handful of former teammates as the Sens roster is riddled with players who have called Utica home at one time or another. Michael Carcone, Cole Cassels, Joseph LaBate, and Frank Corrado have all spent time with the Comets but currently ply their trade with the Sens.

The Comets are coming off of a 5-1 loss to Binghamton, while the Sens last played to a 4-1 win over the Marlies. Both clubs have outscored their opponents this season. The Comets have scored 99 goals and have allowed 85, while the Sens, for their part, have scored 92 goals and have given up 84.

Utica has been better away from the Adirondack Bank Center this year, going 8-4-0-1 on the road. The Sens show a home record of 7-7-0-0 this season.

The Comets special teams have been stronger than the Sens this season, going 27/111 on the power play, giving themselves a success rate of 24.3% with the man advantage. Their penalty kill has allowed 20 goals while down a man 124 times for a success rate of 83.9%.

Belleville, for their part, shows a record of 20/109 on the power play to give themselves a success rate of 18.3%. Their penalty kill has allowed 24 goals while down a man 122 times for a success rate of 80.3%.

Coming into today’s game, Drake Batherson is the only player in the AHL with more points than Reid Boucher and he leads the Sens with 11 goals and 23 helpers, giving him 34 points in 25 games this year. Josh Norris sits second in Belleville with 11 goals and 10 assists to give himself 21 points in 25 games, while Alex Formenton rounds out their top three with 12 goals and six assists, giving him 18 points in 24 games.

Norris and Formenton are both rookies and Norris leads the first-year players in Ottawa with his 21 points. Brogan Rafferty wears the rookie crown in Utica and sits fourth amongst all AHL rookies with three goals and 19 assists, giving him 22 points in 28 games this season.

Reid Boucher is the top dog in Utica with 19 goals and 14 assists, giving him 33 points in 23 games. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with his nine goals and 15 assists to give himself 24 points in 22 games, while Sven Baertschi rounds out the Utica top three with four goals and 19 assists, giving him 23 points in 16 games played.

Season Series

This will be the first of eight games between the two clubs this season.

Roster News

The shuffle on the backend continues between the Utica Comets and Vancouver Canucks as Jalen Chatfield and Guillaume Brisebois have swapped spots again. This will be Jalen’s second time up with the big club this year, but neither player has played a game for the Canucks yet this season. Brisebois should be an option for the Comets today.

Trent Talk

What did Trent Cull have to say about the Comets’ most recent action and the return of TheBigFella to the lineup?

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
  2. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Undisclosed injury, no timeframe. AHL deal.
  3. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

The two clubs will get underway in Belleville today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for your CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.