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Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #35

Springfield Thunderbirds at Utica Comets

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday season with family and friends! 2020 is here and the Comets are starting the year on a six-game point streak.

Your 20-10-2-2 Utica Comets will host the 18-16-2-0 Springfield Thunderbirds, (Florida affiliate) for game 35 of the season today at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific.

The Birds show a record of 4-4-2-0 over their previous 10 contests and are coming off of a 5-4 shootout win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while the Comets have gone 7-2-1-0 over that same span and last played to a 3-2 win over Rochester.

The Comets show a record of 9-6-2-1 at home this year, while Springfield has gone 7-9-1-0 on the road.

Both clubs have outscored their competition this season with the Birds showing a goal differential of plus-five. The Comets, for their part, have outscored their opponents by 20 goals this year.

The Comets power play has been better than Springfield’s as they have gone 34/141 to give themselves a success rate of 24.1% with the extra man. Their penalty kill has allowed 26 goals while down a man 147 times for an 82. 3% success rate.

Springfield has gone 27/152 on the power play, giving them a success rate of 17.8%. Their penalty kill has allowed 25 goals while down a man 146 times for an 82.9% success rate to top the Comets, if ever so slightly.

Owen Tippett leads all Thunderbird scorers with 12 goals and 13 helpers, giving him 25 points in 36 games this season. Daniel Audette sits second with seven goals and 14 assists to give himself 21 points in 33 games, while Anthony Greco rounds out their top three with 10 goals and nine helpers, giving him 19 points in 34 games.

Tippett is also the rookie leader in Springfield with his 25 points, while Brogan Rafferty stands as the league’s top-scoring defender while leading all Comets rookies with five goals and 25 assists to give himself 30 points on the season.

Reid Boucher leads the league, and the Comets, with 20 goals and 20 assists to give himself 40 points in just 29 games, while Sven Baertschi sits second with seven goals and 23 assists, giving him 30 points in 22 games. Rafferty’s 30 points have him rounding out the Comets top three.

Season Series

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

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Francis Perron: W/C – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. NHL 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.
  7. Carter Camper: C – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.

Comets News

The AHL announced their All-Star rosters today and the Comets will be well represented with Reid Boucher and Brogan Rafferty making the squad. Boucher finished 2019 with 40 points in 29 games to lead the AHL, while Rafferty’s 30 points in 34 games were good enough to lead all AHL defenders. Congrats to both men on their All-Star nod.

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