Utica Comets Pre-Game
Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Utica Comets
Friday, January 10th, 2020
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific
The 21-12-2-2 Utica Comets will welcome the 13-18-1-4 Lehigh Valley Phantoms today for game number 38 at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific.
The Comets, who have had issues down the middle this season, announced today that they have added center John Stevens to their roster in a deal with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers that will send future considerations the other way. We do not know yet what those future considerations will be, but they would likely involve another player on an AHL deal at some point.
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) January 10, 2020
The team also announced the TheBigFella is on his way back to Utica.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) January 10, 2020
These two clubs are at the opposite end of the spectrum in many categories, but the Comets will have to be careful not to take the Phantoms lightly. The Comets have gone 6-3-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Phantoms show a record of 3-7-0-0 over that same span, although both teams are coming off of a win.
Utica last played to a 3-2 win over Belleville, while Lehigh Valley is coming off of a 4-2 win over the Marlies.
The Comets have a better record on the road than they do at home this year, but Lehigh Valley is the opposite, so this will be an interesting battle on that front today. The Comets have gone 9-7-2-1 at home this year, while the Phantoms show a record of 4-13-0-2 on the road.
Lehigh Valley has allowed their fair share of goals this year and sits with a minus-23 goal differential, while the Comets, for their part, are at plus-18.
Utica’s special teams are better as well as they’ve gone 34/150 on the power play to give themselves a success rate of 22.7% with the extra man, while their penalty kill has allowed 28 goals while down a man 163 times for a success rate of 82.8%.
The Phantoms, meanwhile, show a record of 16/136 on the power play, giving them a success rate of just 11.8% while up a man. Their penalty kill has been a bit better, allowing 25 goals while down a man 128 times, giving them a success rate of 80.5%.
Greg Carey paces the Phantoms attack with nine goals and nine helpers, giving him 18 points in 34 games, while former Comets forward Cal O’Reilly sits second with two goals and 13 assists to give himself 15 points in 26 games. Morgan Frost rounds out their top three with six goals and eight assists, giving him 14 points in 19 games.
Frost is also the Phantoms’ rookie leader, while Brogan Rafferty holds that title in Utica with his five goals and 27 assists to give himself 32 points in 37 games.
Reid Boucher leads the Comets, as well as the rest of the AHL with 21 goals and 20 assists, giving him 41 points in his 32 games played. Rafferty’s 32 points have him sitting in second place for Utica, while Sven Baertschi rounds out their top three with his eight goals and 23 assists to give himself 31 points in 25 games.
Scratched Last Game For Utica
- Francis Perron: W/C – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. NHL deal.
- Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Lower-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
- Seamus Malone: W/C – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
- Carter Camper: C – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.
- Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
- Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Served one-game suspension. AHL deal.
- Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
- Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
This will be the second of two games between these clubs this season. Utica took the first game by a score of 4-2 when the teams hooked up for a game in Lehigh Valley.
Olli Juolevi led all scorers with two points in the first game, while 12 others picked up one.
Mikey DiPietro picked up the win for Utica, showing a goals-against-average of 2.00 along with a 0.917% save percentage for his efforts. JF Berube took the loss for the Phantoms, posting a GAA of 3.05 along with a save percentage of 0.842%.
Neither team had any luck with special teams in game one as the Comets went 0/3 with the extra man and the Phantoms went 0/2.
The two clubs will get after it today in Utica at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.
Word is that Canucks General Manager Jim Benning will be in the building to take in today’s action, so it would be a good day for young players like Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich, Brogan Rafferty, etc to have a big game.