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Utica Comets vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins game preview

The Utica Comets and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins meet on Friday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. It is the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams.

The Comets enter Friday night’s game riding a four-game winning streak. After struggling for much of November, the team has found its stride in December. During their current winning streak, they have outscored their opponents by a margin of 18-9, and have surrendered only one goal in each of their last three games.

Utica welcomed back goaltender Nico Daws last Friday night, as he played his first game of the season and earned a 4-1 victory over the Bridgeport Islanders. Two days later, goaltender Erik Källgren left Sunday afternoon’s game against Syracuse with an apparent lower-body injury. It is unclear how much time he will miss.

The CNY hockey schedule for December 15, 2023

The Penguins are coming off a 4-1 win in Syracuse on Wednesday night against the Crunch. They are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division and are 5-4-1-0 in their last ten games.

A former Comet will be wearing the visitor’s black and gold uniforms on Friday night. Defenseman Jack Rathbone had a brief but memorable stint with Utica in the 2020-21 season. In eight games played for the Comets, he had two goals and seven assists.

The television broadcast for Friday night’s game will be on AHLTV, and radio coverage will be on 94.9 K-Rock. For more information about the Utica Comets, including ticketing and schedules, visit https://uticacomets.com. Here’s the tale of the tape between the Utica Comets and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Team Records

Utica Comets

  • Overall record: 10-8-3-0, 23 Pts – 6th in the North Division.
  • Home record: 5-3-1-0, 11 Pts.
  • Goal Differential: +3.
  • Head Coach: Kevin Dineen.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • Overall record: 12-9-3-0, 27 Pts – 5th in the Atlantic Division.
  • Away record: 6-5-0-0, 12 Pts.
  • Goal Differential: -4.
  • Head Coach: J.D. Forrest.

Team Offense

Utica Comets

  • Goals For: 67.
  • Goals Per Game: 3.19 – 14th in the AHL.
  • Shots: 540.
  • Shots per Game: 28.10 – 27th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 10.3% (8 for 78) – 32nd in the AHL.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • Goals For: 69.
  • Goals Per Game: 2.88 – 22nd in the AHL.
  • Shots: 676.
  • Shots Per Game: 28.17 – 25th in the AHL.
  • Power Play: 20.4% (20 for 98) – 10th in the AHL.

Top Five Scorers + Individual Leaders

Utica Comets

  • 1.) Graeme Clarke: 9G + 9A = 18Pts.
  • 2.) Xavier Parent: 7G + 10A = 17Pts.
  • 3.) Max Willman: 7G + 6A = 13Pts.
  • 4.) Kyle Criscuolo: 4G + 9A = 13Pts.
  • 5.) Ryan Schmelzer: 4G + 9A = 13Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Graeme Clarke with 69. Clarke is 15th in the AHL in shots.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Graeme Clarke with three.
  • Power Play Points: Graeme Clarke and Xavier Parent with four each.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leader: Shane Bowers with two. Bowers is 8th in the AHL in SHG.
  • Game Winning Goals: Graeme Clarke with four. Clarke is 3rd in the AHL in GWG.
  • +/- Leader: Joe Gambardella at +10. Gambardella is 18th in the AHL in +/-.
  • PIM Leader: Arnaud Durandeau with 25.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • 1.) Rem Pitlick: 7G + 11A = 18 Pts.
  • 2.) Ty Smith: 4G + 14A = 18Pts.
  • 3.) Alex Nylander: 8G + 5A = 13Pts.
  • 4.) Sam Houde: 4G + 8A = 12 Pts.
  • 5.) Xavier Ouellet: 1G + 11A = 12Pts.
  • Shots Leader: Ty Smith with 62.
  • Power Play Goals Leader: Rem Pitlick with five. Pitlick is 13th in the AHL.
  • Power Play Points Leaders: three are tied with eight each.
  • Shorthanded Goals Leaders: Matt Filipe and Joona Kappanen with one each.
  • Game Winning Goals Leader: Jack Rathbone with two.
  • +/- Leader: Taylor Fedun and Xavier Ouelett at +4 each.
  • PIM Leader: Taylor Fedun with 30.

Team Defense

Utica Comets

  • Goals Against: 64.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.05 – 19th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 616.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 29.33 – 14th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 88.0% (66 for 75) – 1st in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: four – 6th in the AHL.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

  • Goals Against: 73.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.04 – 17th in the AHL.
  • Shots Allowed: 692.
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 28.83 – 11th in the AHL.
  • Penalty Kill: 87.4% (81 for 93) – 2nd in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: two – 17th in the AHL.

Goaltenders

Utica Comets

Isaac Poulter

  • Record: 8-3-1. Poulter is 11th in the AHL in wins.
  • GAA: 2.36.
  • Saves: 335.
  • Save Percentage: 0.920. Poulter is 11th in the AHL in save percentage.
  • Shutouts: 1.

Nico Daws

  • Record: 1-0-0.
  • GAA: 1.00.
  • Saves: 31.
  • Save Percentage: 0.969.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Erik Källgren

  • Record: 1-5-2.
  • GAA: 4.21.
  • Saves: 186.
  • Save Percentage: 0.853.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Joel Blomqvist

  • Record: 6-4-2.
  • GAA: 2.61.
  • Saves: 321.
  • Save Percentage: 0.904.
  • Shutouts: 0.

Magnus Hellberg

  • Record: 4-3-0.
  • GAA: 2.73.
  • Saves: 177.
  • Save Percentage: 0.912.
  • Shutouts: 0
This episode of the Central New York Hockey Report Podcast is our Utica Comets holiday party! We hand out presents (awards) to the Comets that have been good so far this season, and maybe even a few to those who have been Naudie as well! We also present Santa with a Utica Comets wishlist for the rest of the season!

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