Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #30

Laval Rocket at Utica Comets

Friday, December 20th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 16-10-1-2 Utica Comets will welcome the 15-12-3-1 Laval Rocket, (Montreal affiliate) to the Adirondack Bank Center today for game number 30 at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific.

These two clubs are fairly evenly matched coming into this game as Utica shows a record of 5-3-0-2 over their previous 10 contests while the Rocket have gone 4-5-0-1 over that same span.

The Rocket last played to a 3-2 shootout loss to Rockford, while the Comets are coming off of a 4-3 win over Belleville. Once again, the teams are closely matched for today’s game when we peep what Laval has done on the road and what Utica has done at home this year. Laval shows a road record of 6-5-2-0 on the road this season, while the Comets have gone 7-6-1-1 at home.

The teams don’t match up so well in terms of goal differential as the Comets have outscored their opponents by a margin of 103-88 this season, while the Rocket have allowed 93 goals while scoring 86.

The Comets have the better special teams between the two clubs, going 29/117 on the power play for a success rate of 24.8% on the man advantage, while their penalty kill has allowed 21 goals while down a man 129 times for an 83.7% success rate.

The Rocket, for their part, have gone 28/141 with the extra man, giving them a success rate of 19.9%. Their penalty kill has allowed 24 goals while down a man 132 times for an 81.8% success rate.

Riley Barber is the top dog in Laval with six goals and 12 helpers, giving him 18 points in 21 games this year. Jake Evans sits second with five goals and 12 assists to give himself 17 points in 31 games, while Lukas Vejdemo rounds out their top three with eight goals and eight helpers, giving him 16 points in 30 games.

Ryan Poehling leads the Laval rookie crew with five goals and seven assists, giving him 12 points in 26 games this year. Brogan Rafferty leads all Comets rookies with three goals and 21 assists to give himself 24 points in 29 games. That has the right-shot blueliner on pace for a 63 point season.

Reid Boucher leads… well, everyone in the AHL with 20 goals and 14 assists, giving him 34 points in his 24 games played this year. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 10 goals and 16 assists, giving him 26 points in 23 games, while Kole Lind rounds out the top three with eight goals and 16 helpers to give himself 24 points in 29 games. Kole is also on pace for a 63 point campaign.

Season Series

The two clubs have squared off twice this season with each team coming away with a win in Laval. Laval took the first game 6-4, while Utica took game two by a 4-2 margin.

The Comets ran away with the special teams battle over the first two games, going 4/9 on the power play and allowing just one goal on seven Laval man-up situations.

Carter Camper leads the series with five points, while Riley Barber sits second with four. Nikolay Goldobin, Jonah Gadjovich, Francis Perron, and Mattew Peca have all picked up three. Guillaume Brisebois, Kole Lind, Jake Evans, Otto Leskinen, and Gustav Olofsson have each earned a pair of points over the first two games of the series.

Micahel DiPietro took the win for Utica, posting a 2.00 goals-against-average along with a 0.953% save percentage, while Zane McIntyre took the loss while posting a 6.00 GAA along with a save percentage of 0.813%.

The Rocket have also used two netminders in the series with Cayden Primeau earning the win while putting up a 4.00 GAA and a 0.857% save percentage. Charlie Lindgren took the loss while posting a GAA of 3.07 along with a save percentage of 0.880%.

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. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  6. Francis Perron: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

Roster News

Josh Leivo was run into the boards in last night’s Canucks game and looks to have sustained a knee injury as a result. It looks like Zack MacEwen’s return to Utica was short-lived as Rick Dhaliwal of TSN1040 let us know this morning that TheBigFella has been summoned by the big club once more.

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