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Utica Comets at Bridgeport Islanders game preview

The Utica Comets visit the Bridgeport Islanders on Saturday night looking for their first win of the season.

The Utica Comets will play their second consecutive road game on Saturday night when they hit the ice at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Their opponent, the Bridgeport Islanders, will be coming off of three consecutive road games themselves and will be celebrating the home opener of their 2023-24 season.

The Comets will be facing an old friend on Saturday night. Forward Brian Pinho, who called Utica home last season, signed with the Islanders this offseason. Pinho is off to a hot start this season, as he has one goal and four assists in three games played. In fifty-three games for Utica last season, he had ten goals and eighteen assists.

Utica will also need to be on the lookout for Ruslan Iskhakov. Like Pinho, the dynamic forward is off to a hot start as well – he has two goals and three assists in three games played thus far.

The CNY Hockey Report podcast: Utica Comets season preview

Last season’s leading scorer Graeme Clarke is back for the Comets and has picked right up where he left off. He has a goal and an assist so far in the two games the Comets have played.

The newcomers have been helping to drive the offense as well for the red and black. Cal Foote, Max Willman, and Justin Dowling, like Clarke, all have two points as well.

Simon Nemec, the 2022 number-two overall draft pick of the New Jersey Devils, did not play in the Comets last game on Sunday. He exited the season-opening game against Syracuse and has been out of the lineup since then. He is practicing with the team (albeit in a non-contact jersey), but the timetable for his return is unknown at this time. Nemec’s absence is problematic for Utica, as he is expected to help drive the offense from the blue line even more now that Reilly Walsh is in the Boston Bruins organization.

The television broadcast for Saturday night’s game will be on AHLTV, and radio coverage will be on 94.9 KROCK. Here’s the tale of the tape for the Utica Comets at the Bridgeport Islanders.

Team Records

Utica

  • Overall Record: 0-1-1, 1 point
  • Away Record: 0-1-0
  • Place in the Standings: 7th place in the North Division
  • Goal Differential: -4
  • Head Coach: Kevin Dineen

Bridgeport

  • Overall Record: 1-2-0-0, 2 points
  • Home Record: 0-0-0-0
  • Place in the Standings: 7th place in the Atlantic Division
  • Goal Differential: -3
  • Head Coach: Rick Kowalsky

Team Offense

Utica

  • Goals For: 5
  • Goals Per Game: 2.5
  • Shots: 57
  • Shots Per Game: 28.5
  • Power Play: 11.1% (1 for 9)

Bridgeport

  • Goals For: 8
  • Goals Per Game: 2.67
  • Shots: 90
  • Shots Per Game: 30.0
  • Power Play: 9.1% (1 for 11)

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Utica

  • 1.) Graeme Clarke: 1G + 1A = 2Pts
  • 2.) Cal Foote: 1G + 1A = 2Pts
  • 3.) Max Willman: 1G + 1A = 2Pts
  • 4.) Justin Dowling: 0G + 2A = 2Pts
  • 5.) Five tied at 1 point each
  • Shots Leader: Graeme Clarke with 15
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Graeme Clarke with 1
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: N/A
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: N/A
  • +/- Leader: Justin Dowling and Max Willman at +1 each
  • PIM Leader: Robbie Russo with 8

Bridgeport

  • 1.) Ruslan Iskhakov: 2G + 3A = 5Pts
  • 2.) Brian Pinho: 1G + 4A = 5Pts
  • 3.) Dennis Cholowski: 1G + 2A = 3Pts
  • 4.) Kyle MacLean: 2G + 0A = 2Pts
  • 5.) Grant Hutton: 0G + 2A = 2Pts
  • Shots Leader: William Dafour with 12
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Arnaud Durandeau with 1
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: N/A
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Ruslan Iskhakov with 1
  • +/- Leader: Ruslan Iskhakov at +3
  • PIM Leader: Arnaud Durandeau with 6

Team Defense

Utica

  • Goals Against: 9
  • Goals Against Per Game: 4.5
  • Shots Allowed: 59
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 29.5
  • Penalty Kill: 81.8% (9 for 11)
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 0

Bridgeport

  • Goals Against: 11
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.67
  • Shots Allowed: 96
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 32.0
  • Penalty Kill: 83.3% (10 for 12)
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 0

Goaltenders

Utica

Erik Källgren

  • Record: 0-1-1
  • GAA: 6.35
  • Save Percentage: 0.758
  • Saves: 25
  • Shutouts: 0

Issac Poulter

  • Record: 0-0-0
  • GAA: 1.25
  • Save Percentage: 0.962
  • Saves: 25
  • Shutouts: 0

Bridgeport

Jakub Skarek

  • Record: 1-1-0
  • GAA: 3.01
  • Save Percentage: 0.897
  • Saves: 52
  • Shutouts: 0

Ken Appleby

  • Record: 0-1-0
  • GAA: 4.14
  • Save Percentage: 0.892
  • Saves: 33
  • Shutouts: 0

For more information about the Utica Comets, visit https://uticacomets.com.

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