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Utica Comets VS Rochester Americans game preview 01-25-2024

The Utica Comets Travel to Rochester for an interstate matchup 

On Friday, January 26th, the Utica Comets will travel two hours west to face off against their interstate rival the Rochester Americans. The game will take place at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester at 7:05 PM. Utica is coming off a 5-2 loss against the Laval Rocket, while the Rochester Americans are coming off a big 7-3 win against the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Americans are on a three-game win streak and are 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games. As for the Comets, they’re amidst a three-game losing streak and are 4-3-1-2. The Americans are winning the season series 4-1-1. 

Rochester Americans 

The Americans were dominant in their last outing, winning 7-3 against the Springfield Thunderbirds while outshooting them 41-17. They are on a three game winning streak and in those games, they have scored 14 goals. Their offense is led by Jiri Kulich and Isak Rosen, both named to their first all-star games coming up on February 4. Kulich, the 28th pick in the NHL 2022 Entry Draft, is currently riding a three-game point streak. He had six points in those three games, including a hat trick. As for Isak Rosen, the 20-year-old Swede is on a six-game point streak. He has recorded nine points in that span.  

As for the goaltending, Rochester has a triumvirate consisting of Dustin Tokarski, Eric Comrie, or Devin Cooley. Eric Comrie, who was just reassigned by Buffalo, has appeared in three games for the Americans. In those three games, his record is 2-1. He currently has a 1.67 GAA and 0.951 SV%, including one shutout. Devin Cooley has been splitting the net with Dustin Tokarski, playing in 12 games. He has a record of 6-4-2 with a 3.58 GAA and 0.897 SV %. Finally, Dustin Tokarski has gotten the most starts and has a record of 7-6-2, he holds a 3.36 GAA and a .891 SV%. Tokarski won his last start and passed Nick Damore for 12th all-time for AHL wins with 212. 

One important factor for the Americans to win is ensuring they get out to a lead early. The Americans have a record of 8-3-0-1 when leading after the first period, and are 11-0-0 when leading after two. This will be a struggle for the Comets if they go down early since they only have two come-from-behind wins this season. 

Utica Comets 

The Comets dropped their most recent matchup vs Laval Rocket 5-2, extending their losing streak to three games. In that game, they were outshot 33-29 and Brian Halonen scored both goals. The Comets will also be without forward Justin Dowling and defenseman Daniil Misyul, who recalled by the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. The Comets called up Erik Middendorf from Adirondack to help fill the roster. He has recorded zero points in three games played in Utica this season.  

New Jersey Devils recall two players from the Utica Comets

A key for Utica in this game is going to be the special teams. With the powerplay recording another tally on Wednesday, that makes it their 9th goal in 10 games. The Comets were perfect on the penalty kill against Laval, killing all four Rocket power plays. The penalty kill could be a chance for the Comets to generate some offensive opportunities since the Americans have allowed the third most shorthanded goals. Meanwhile, the Comets have scored the fifth most goals while being a man down in the AHL.  

One final factor to consider is the home and away records. When they are away from the Adirondack Bank Center, Utica has a record of 6-8-3-0. The Americans, on the other hand, have a record of 11-7-1-1 at home. The Comets have also lost their past three straight road matchups. 

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

Here are more in-depth stats for tonight’s matchup between the Rochester Americans and Utica Comets. 

Team Records

Utica Comets

  • Overall record: 14-16-4-3, 35 Pts. – 7th in the North Division.
  • Away record: 6-8-3-0, 15 Pts.
  • Goal Differential: -12
  • Head Coach: Kevin Dineen

Rochester Americans

  • Overall record: 19-13-3-1, 42 Pts. – 4th in the North Division
  • Home record: 8-6-2-0 18 Pts.
  • Goal Differential: -11
  • Head Coach: Seth Appert

Team Offense

Utica Comets

  • Goals For: 114
  • Goals Per Game: 3.08 – 17th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 1041.
  • Shots per Game: 28.14 – 27th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 15.5% (21 for 142) – 30th in the AHL.

Rochester Americans

  • Goals For: 121.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.36 – 7th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 1030.
  • Shots per Game: 28.61 – 24th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 20.5% (23/112) – 7th in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Utica Comets

  • 1.) Graeme Clarke: 15G + 13A = 28Pts. Clarke is 19th in the AHL in goals.
  • 2.) Xavier Parent: 9G + 19A = 28Pts.
  • 3.) Ryan Schmelzer: 8G + 18A = 26Pts.
  • 4.) Kyle Criscuolo: 8G + 14A = 22Pts.
  • 5.) Joe Gambardella: 5G + 14A = 19 Pts
  • Shots Leader: Graeme Clarke with 105.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Graeme Clarke and Brian Halonen with four.
  • Power Play Points: Xavier Parent with 10
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Shane Bowers and Ryan Schmelzer with two.
  • Game Winning Goals: Graeme Clarke with five.
  • +/- Leader: Ryan Schmelzer at +6.
  • PIM Leader: Samuel Laberge with 51.

Rochester Americans

  • 1.) Isak Rosen: 10G + 16A = 26 Pts.
  • 2.) Lukas Rousek: 7G + 19A = 26 Pts.
  • 3.) Jiri Kulich: 16G + 8A = 24 Pts.
  • 4.) Brandon Biro: 11G + 11A = 23 Pts.
  • 5.) Mason Jobst: 9G + 12A = 21 Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Jeremy Davies with 83.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Jiri Kulich with 6.
  • Power Play Points: Brandon Biro with 12.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Justin Richards with 2.
  • Game Winning Goals: Jiri Kulich with 4.
  • +/- Leader: Nikita Novikov at +8.
  • PIM Leader: Jeremy Davies with 43.

Team Defense

Utica Comets

  • Goals Against: 126
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.41 – 28th in AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 1118.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 30.22 – 20th in AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 85% (109/130) – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Socred: 6 – 5th in the AHL.

Rochester Americans

  • Goals Against: 132
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.67 – 30th in the AHL
  • Shots Allowed: 1191.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 33.08 – 32nd in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 76% (104/136) – 29th in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 6- 6th in the AHL.

Goaltenders

Utica Comets

Isaac Poulter

  • Record: 10-5-1
  • GAA: 2.68
  • Saves: 432
  • Save Percentage: .908
  • Shutouts: one

Akira Schmid

  • Record: 2-3-4
  • GAA: 3.65
  • Saves: 263
  • Save Percentage: 0.887
  • Shutouts: none

Erik Källgren

  • Record: 1-5-2
  • GAA: 4.21
  • Saves: 186
  • Save Percentage: .853
  • Shutouts: none

Rochester Americans

Dustin Tokarski

  • Record: 7-6-2
  • GAA: 3.36
  • Saves: 419
  • Save Percentage: .891%
  • Shutouts: None

Devin Cooley

  • Record: 6-4-2
  • GAA: 3.58
  • Saves: 376
  • Save Percentage: .897%
  • Shutouts: None

Eric Comrie

  • Record: 2-1-0
  • GAA: 1.67
  • Saves: 97
  • Save Percentage: .951%
  • Shutouts: 1
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