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Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #33

Utica Comets at Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

The 18-10-2-2 Utica Comets will hit the road to Lehigh Valley to take on the Phantoms, (Philadelphia affiliate) for game number 33 today at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific. The Comets are coming off of a 6-5 overtime loss to Hershey, while the Phantoms last played to a 4-2 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Utica shows a record of 5-2-1-2 over their previous 10 games, while the Phantoms have gone 3-7-0-0 over that same span. The Comets have had better luck away from the Adirondack Bank Center this year, showing a record of 10-4-0-1 on the road. The Phantoms, for their part, have gone 9-3-1-2 at home.

Goal differential favours the Comets in this game as Utica has outscored their competition by a count of 117-110, while the Phantoms have been outscored 87-73 so far this year.

The Comets also have the better special teams between the two clubs this year, going 32/132 on the power play for a success rate of 24.2% with the extra man. Their penalty kill has also been better, allowing 25 goals while down a man 139 times for an 82.0% success rate.

The Phantoms power play has gone 14/117 to give them a success rate of 12.0% with the extra man, while their penalty kill has allowed 23 goals while down a man 106 times for a success rate of 78.3%.

Greg Carey is the top dog in Lehigh Valley with nine goals and eight helpers, giving him 17 points in 29 games this year. Former Comets forward Cal O’Reilly sits second with two goals and 13 assists to give himself 15 points in 24 games, while Mikhail Vorobyev rounds out their top three with his five goals and nine assists, giving him 14 points in 19 games this year.

Morgan Frost is the Phantoms’ top rookie with five goals and seven assists, giving him 12 points in 16 games. Brogan Rafferty wears the rookie crown in Utica with four goals and 25 helpers to give himself 29 points in 32 games.

Reid Boucher is tops in Utica with 20 goals and 18 assists, giving him 38 points in 27 games, while Rafferty’s 29 points have him sitting in second place. Nikolay Goldobin is third with 11 goals and 17 assists, giving him 28 points in 26 games.

Season Series

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

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.
  2. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  3. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

The Comets had a healthy roster last game, but they saw Kole Lind take a puck up high and leave for repairs. He should be available to the team today, however, Francis Perron took a stick in the eye and I’m not expecting him to be in the lineup today. With the Comets at their vet limit in yesterday’s contest, that leaves Dyson Stevenson as the man most likely to draw back in for today’s game.

Roster News

The Comets announced today that they have summoned Tanner Sorenson from Kalamazoo of the ECHL.

The two clubs will get after it at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific today in Lehigh Valley. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.