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Utica Comets at Rochester Americans game preview 11-03-2023

The Utica Comets visit the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on Friday night to face the Americans for the second time in less than a week.

The Utica Comets needed a solid road win, as they embarked on a two-game road trip earlier this week. That’s precisely what they got on Wednesday night, as they defeated the Laval Rocket at Place Bell by a score of 4-1.

Forward Xavier Parent led the way on offense with a hat trick – the first of the season for the Comets. Parent is in his first full season in Utica (he played fourteen games with the team last season). Given the opportunity to play more with the roster upheaval of the offseason, the twenty-two-year-old has taken full advantage thus far. He now leads the team in scoring with four goals and four assists for eight points.

Utica will need Parent to stay hot. As a team, they have been having trouble generating offensive opportunities – due in part to the fact they are second to last in the league in shots per game. Despite the difficulties generating chances, the Comets have outscored their opponents 7-3 in the third period.

The Comets also got a spectacular performance from goaltender Issac Poulter on Wednesday night. Poulter turned aside thirty-five shots in picking up the win and has been outstanding all season. He is second in the AHL in save percentage and third in GAA.

Poulter’s excellent play couldn’t have come at a better time for Utica. Expected starter Nico Daws is still expected to be out until December, and Erik Källgren has struggled mightily. Poulter has stabilized the goaltending in Utica as they look to turn around a slow start.

The Comets also announced they have recalled forward T.J. Friedmann from the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL.

The Rochester Americans

The Rochester Americans got off to a hot start this season on the strength of their potent offense. The Americans are second in the American Hockey League in goals per game, and fourth on the power play. The problem for Rochester has been keeping the puck out of the net.

The Americans have yet to allow less than three goals in any of their eight games played this season. In their first meeting last Saturday, Rochester led Utica 5-2 in the second period. They nearly lost the game, however, as they allowed the Comets to get two more goals before ultimately winning 5-4.

The latest episode of the Central New York Hockey Report Podcast is now available. In segment two we discuss the Utica Comets and are the Rochester Americans for real? Utica Comets: 28:44 – 33:59 Is Rochester for real/Syracuse Crunch: 34:00 – 42:58

The leaky defense was on full display when the Syracuse Crunch came to town on Wednesday night. The Crunch lit the lamp seven times in their 7-2 win. The Americans still lead the North Division, but now have a goal differential of -3. They are also last in the league on the penalty kill.

Despite the defensive struggles, the Rochester offense cannot be overlooked. Jiri Kulich is off to a red-hot start as he is second in the league in goals with seven. He and Isak Rosen lead the team in points with ten.

The Amerk’s offense is getting big contributions from its defense corps as well. Jeremy Davies and Kale Clague each have seven points, tying them for third among all AHL defensemen in points. Davies is also twelfth in the league in shots with twenty-seven.

Friday night will be the second of twelve meetings between the teams this regular season. Here’s the tale of the tape between the Utica Comets and Rochester Americans.

Team Records

Utica

  • Overall Record: 2-2-2-0, 6 Pts.
  • Away Record: 2-1-1-0, 5 Pts.
  • Place in Standings: 6th in the North Division.
  • Goal Differential: -1.
  • Head Coach: Kevin Dineen.

Rochester

  • Overall Record: 5-2-1-0, 11 Pts.
  • Home Record: 2-1-1-0, 5 Pts.
  • Place in Standings: 1st in the North Division.
  • Goal Differential: -3.
  • Head Coach: Seth Appert.

Team Offense

Utica

  • Goals For: 18.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.0 – 19th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 147.
  • Shots Per Game: 24.5 – 31st in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 16.7% (3 for 18) – 20th in the AHL.

Rochester

  • Goals For: 35.
  • Goals Per Game: 4.38 – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Shots: 249.
  • Shots Per Game: 31.13 – 12th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 28.6% (8 for 28) – 4th in the AHL.

Episode #7 of the Central New York Hockey Report Podcast is live

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Utica

  • 1.) Xavier Parent: 4G + 4A = 8 Pts.
  • 2.) Max Willman: 3G + 3A = 6 Pts.
  • 3.) Chase Stillman: 3G + 2A = 5 Pts.
  • 4.) Graeme Clarke: 3G + 1A = 4 Pts.
  • 5.) Topias Vilen: 0G + 4A = 4 Pts.
  • Shots leader: Graeme Clarke with 24.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Graeme Clarke with 3. Clarke is tied for third in the AHL in power-play goals.
  • Power Play Points: Graeme Clarke with 3.
  • Shorthanded Goals: N/A.
  • Game Winning Goals: Xavier Parent and Robbie Russo with 1 each.
  • +/- Leader: Xavier Parent at +6. Parent is 6th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Robbie Russo with 12.

Rochester

  • 1.) Jiri Kulich: 7G + 3A = 10 Pts. Kulich is 2nd in the AHL in goals and 8th in points.
  • 2.) Isak Rosen: 4G + 6A = 10 Pts. Rosen is 10th in the AHL in points and 15th in goals.
  • 3.) Mason Jobst: 4G + 3A = 7 Pts.
  • 4.) Jeremy Davies: 2G + 5A = 7 Pts.
  • 5.) Kale Clague: 1G + 6A = 7 Pts. Clague is 20th in the AHL in assists.
  • Shots Leader: Jeremy Davies with 27. Davies is 12th in the AHL in shots.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Aleksandr Kisakov and Mason Jobst with 2 each.
  • Power Play Points: 3 are tied with 3 each.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Justin Richards with 1. Lukas Rousek has 1 as well but has been recalled to Buffalo.
  • +/- Leader: Linus Weissbach at +5. Weissbach is 17th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Joseph Cecconi with 28. Cecconi is 6th in the AHL in PIM.

Team Defense

Utica

  • Goals Against: 18.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.0 – 19th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 183.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 30.5 – 15th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 84.0% (21 for 25) – 13th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored (team): 0.

Rochester

  • Goals Against: 38.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 4.75 – 30th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 272.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 34.0 – 28th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 64.7% (22 for 34) – 32nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored (team): 2.

Goaltenders

Utica

Issac Poulter

  • Record: 2-0-1.
  • GAA: 1.57 – Poulter is 3rd in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 116.
  • Save Percentage: 0.951 – Poulter is 2nd in the AHL in save percentage.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Erik Kallgren

  • Record: 0-2-1.
  • GAA: 5.79.
  • Saves: 48.
  • Save Percentage: 0.787.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Rochester

Devin Cooley

  • Record: 3-1-1.
  • GAA: 4.96.
  • Saves: 151.
  • Save Percentage: 0.883.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Michael Houser

  • Record: 2-1-0.
  • GAA: 4.96.
  • Saves: 83.
  • Save Percentage: 0.838.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Friday night’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. EDT. Television coverage will be on AHLTV, and the radio broadcast will be on 94.9 KRock. For more information about the Utica Comets, including schedules and ticketing, visit https://uticacomets.com.

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