Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #41

Hartford Wolf Pack at Utica Comets

Friday, January 17th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 23-13-2-2 Utica Comets will welcome the 23-9-3-5 Hartford Wolf Pack, (New York Rangers affiliate) back to town today for game number 41 at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. The two clubs played on Wednesday with the Comets hanging on for a 6-5 overtime win.

The Pack has gone 7-2-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets show a record of 6-3-1-0 over that same span. Hartford hasn’t been as good on the road as they have been at home this year, showing a record of 7-8-3-3 away from home. The Comets, for their part, have gone 11-8-2-1 at home this season.

Both clubs have outscored their competition this year with Hartford showing a plus-9 goal differential while the Comets are a plus-18.

When the two clubs last played on Wednesday, Hartford had the better penalty kill, but that has changed after the Comets shut them down at every opportunity last time out. Utica has gone 37/165 with the man advantage this year, giving them a success rate of 22.4%. Their penalty kill has allowed 30 goals while down a man 176 times for an 83.0% success rate.

The Wolf Pack has allowed 22 goals while down a man 129 times for an 82.9% success rate. They’ve scored 21 goals while up a man 159 times for a 13.2% success rate.

Vinni Lettieri leads all Wolf Pack scorers with 17 goals and 17 assists, giving him 34 points in 40 games this year. He also led the last game with nine shots on goal, so he is one to keep an eye on today. Steven Fogarty sits second with nine goals and 16 assists, giving him 25 points in 33 games, while Danny O’Regan rounds out their top three with nine goals and 16 assists as well, in 40 games.

Joey Keane is Hartford’s rookie leader with six goals and 16 assists, giving him 22 points in 39 games. The Comets will be without their rookie points leader today as Brogan Rafferty is out with an undisclosed injury. Rafferty put up four points in his last outing and set up the overtime-winner by Lukas Jasek… so it will be interesting to see what this injury is and how long he will be out for. As such, your current rookie leader on the Comets is fellow defender Olli Juoevi with his one goal and 15 assists, giving him 16 points in 31 games.

Reid Boucher leads the league with 22 goals and 22 assists, giving him 42 points in 35 games this year, while Rafferty sits second with 37 points in 40 games. Nikolay Goldobin rounds out the top three with 13 goals and 21 assists to give himself 34 points in 34 games.

Season Series

This will be the third game of the series with each of the teams coming away with a win so far. Hartford took game one by a 3-1 score, while Utica took a 6-5 win in overtime.

The Comets have shut down all 12 Hartford power plays in this series, while going 2/7 on the man advantage against the Pack.

Brogan Rafferty leads the series with four points… he got all four of those in Wednesday’s contest but will not be available to the team today. Justin Bailey, Reid Boucher, Vinni Lettieri, Vincent LoVerde, Darren Raddysh, and Boo Nieves have all put up three points over the two games. Five others have managed two points.

Mikey DiPietro has played both games against Hartford this year, going 1-1 while posting a 3.91 goals-against-average along with a save percentage of 0.899%. Adam Huska started both games for Hartford, winning game one and getting yanked in game two after allowing five first period goals. He has a record of 1-0 along with a 4.50 GAA and a 0.850% save percentage. Tom McCollum played mop-up duty on Wednesday and took the loss while posting a 1.37 GAA and a 0.933% save percentage for his efforts.

Roster Moves

With Dylan Blujus already out and with the mysterious Rafferty injury, the Comets announced today that they have summoned Matt Petgrave from the ECHL’s Brampton Beast. Petgrave has an AHL deal with Utica, but unlike the rest of their AHL depth players, he is under contract with Brampton rather than Kalamazoo.

Petgrave suited up for 12 games with the Comets last year and picked up a goal and an assist for his efforts while on a PTO, (professional tryout offer). He is a left-shot defender who Trent Cull used on the right side for the bulk of those 12 games last year. He has six goals and 24 assists in 36 games for Brampton this season.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Francis Perron: W/C – Upper-body injury, (eye) week-to-week. NHL deal.
  2. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Lower-body injury, (ankle) week-to-week. AHL deal.
  3. Seamus Malone: W/C – Upper-body injury, (shoulder) day-to-day. AHL deal.
  4. Wacey Hamilton: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) 6-8 weeks. AHL deal.
  5. Sven Baertschi: LW – Lower-body injury, (high ankle sprain) week-to-week. NHL deal.
  6. Dylan Blujus: RD – Upper-body injury, (chest), day-to-day. AHL deal.
  7. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  8. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  9. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

The two teams will get after it today in Utica at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for your CanucksArmy Post-Game Report following today’s action.