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Utica Comets vs Laval Rocket game preview 11-18-2023

The Utica Comets host North Division rival the Laval Rocket on Saturday night for the second of eight regular-season meetings.

The Laval Rocket will visit the Adirondack Bank Center for the first time in the 2023-24 regular season on Saturday night. The Rocket had their three-game winning streak snapped on Friday night in a 3-2 loss at home to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Comets and Rocket have already met once this season, resulting in a 4-1 win on November 1 at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec.

Like the Rocket, the Comets are entering Saturday night’s game coming off of a loss the night before. Utica dropped a 2-1 overtime decision in Springfield to the Thunderbirds. Former Comet and current AHL leading scorer did all of the damage, as he scored both Springfield goals. Despite taking the loss, Erik Källgren played well in net for the Comets, making thirty-seven saves in the losing effort.

The Connecticut Hockey Foundation featured on the Central New York Hockey Report Podcast

Utica and Laval are tied at eleven points in the North Division standings (although the Comets currently have three games in hand). They also have similar records over their past ten games. Utica is 4-4-2-0, while Laval is 4-6-0-0.

With two valuable points on the line Saturday night, here’s the tale of the tape between the Utica Comets and Laval Rocket.

Team Records

Utica Comets

  • Overall Record: 4-4-3-0, 10 Pts.
  • Home Record: 1-2-1-0, 3 Pts.
  • Place in Standings: 7th in the North Division.
  • Head Coach: Kevin Dineen.
  • Goal Differential: +3.

Laval Rocket

  • Overall Record: 5-8-1-0, 11 Pts.
  • Away Record: 2-3-0-0, 4 Pts.
  • Place in Standings: 6th in the North Division.
  • Head Coach: Jean-François Houle.
  • Goal Differential: -8.

Team Offense

Utica Comets

  • Goals For: 34.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.09 – 19th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 300.
  • Shots Per Game: 27.27 – 28th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 10.5% (4 for 38) – 30th in the AHL.

Laval Rocket

  • Goals For: 52.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.71 – 4th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 473.
  • Shots Per Game: 33.79 – 3rd in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 16.3% (13 for 80) – 21st in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Utica Comets

  • 1.) Xavier Parent: 5G + 7A = 12 Pts.
  • 2.) Kyle Criscuolo: 3G + 6A = 9 Pts.
  • 3.) Graeme Clarke: 4G + 3A = 7 Pts.
  • 4.) Justin Dowling: 1G + 6A = 7 Pts.
  • 5.) Simon Nemec: 2G + 4A = 6 Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Graeme Clarke with 41. Clarke is 18th in the AHL in shots.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Graeme Clarke with three. Clarke is 12th in the AHL in PPG.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Graeme Clarke with three.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leaders: Kyle Criscuolo and Shane Bowers with one each.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Xavier Parent with two. Parent is 10th in the AHL in GWG.
  • +/- Leader: Xavier Parent and Tyce Thompson at +5.
  • PIM Leader: Robbie Russo with 12.

Laval Rocket

  • 1.) Joshua Roy: 7G + 11A = 18 Pts. Roy is 2nd in the AHL in points, 9th in assists, and 12th in goals.
  • 2.) Brandon Gignac: 5G +10A = 15 Pts. Gignac is 14th in the AHL in assists and 15th in points.
  • 3.) Sean Farrell: 4G + 8A = 12 Pts.
  • 4.) Mitchell Stephens: 3G + 7A = 10 Pts.
  • 5.) Lias Andersson: 7G + 2A = 9 Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Joshua Roy with 53. Roy is 2nd in the AHL in shots.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Lias Andersson with three. Anderson is 9th in the AHL in PPG.
  • Power Play Points Leader: Joshua Roy with seven.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Nathan Légaré and Strauss Mann with one each.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Joshua Roy with two.
  • +/- Leader: Brady Keeper at +7. Keeper is 15th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Brady Keeper with 35. Keeper is 10th in the AHL in PIM.

Team Defense

Utica Comets

  • Goals Against: 31.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.82 – 9th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 334.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 30.36 – 15th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 87.2% (34 for 39) – 6th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: two – 11th in the AHL.

Laval Rocket

  • Goals Against: 60.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 4.29 – 31st in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 431.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 30.79 – 17th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 78.9% (45 for 57) – 22nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: two – 10th in the AHL.

Goaltenders

Utica Comets

Issac Poulter

  • Record: 4-1-1. Poulter is 13th in the AHL in wins.
  • GAA: 1.92. Poulter is 3rd in the AHL in GAA.
  • Saves: 198.
  • Save Percentage: 0.938. Poulter is 3rd in the AHL in save percentage.
  • Shutouts: 1.

Erik Källgren

  • Record: 0-3-2.
  • GAA: 4.26.
  • Saves: 105.
  • Save Percentage: 0.851.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Tyler Brennan

  • No AHL statistics.

Laval Rocket

Strauss Mann

  • Record: 2-3-1.
  • GAA: 3.58.
  • Saves: 158.
  • Save Percentage: 0.878.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Jakub Dobes

  • Record: 3-5-0.
  • GAA: 4.50.
  • Saves: 213.
  • Save Percentage: 0.862.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Saturday night’s game will be televised on AHLTV, and the radio broadcast will be on 94.9 K-Rock. For more information about the Utica Comets, including schedules and ticketing, visit https://uticacomets.com.

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