Utica Comets vs Laval Rocket preview

The Comets face another AHL North rival on Sunday.

So far, this season has been a dream come true for the Utica Comets.

With a brand new color scheme and affiliation with the New Jersey Devils, they are off to a 6-0-0-0 start and currently sit in first place in the AHL North Division. A brand new Comets team coached by Kevin Dineen is firing on all cylinders so far in this young season.

This weekend has presented a stiff challenge for the team, however, as they have been tasked with playing three games in three nights. So far, so good for the Comets, as they defeated the Syracuse Crunch on the road Friday night, then downed the Toronto Marlies at home on Saturday night. Up next is another AHL North rival, the Laval Rocket, when they pay a visit to the Adirondack Bank Center on Sunday.

The Rocket enter the game with a 4-4-1-0 record, which puts them in sixth place in the North Division. They are led offense by center Laurent Dauphin, who has eight points so far this season – six of which are goals. They recently received a huge addition to their offensive firepower in the form of Cole Caufield. The 2021 Hobey Baker Award winner, was reassigned to the Rocket by their parent team, the Montreal Canadiens, and will certainly be someone the Comets will need to look out for.

Utica Comets keeps rolling with victory over the Toronto Marlies

In goal, Laval sports a tandem of Cayden Primeau and Michael McNiven. Primeau is the teams usual starter, he has a record of 3-3 with a 2.53 GAA and .903 save percentage. In his three games played so far this season, McNiven has a record of 1-1-1 with a 3.47 GAA and a .882 save percentage. Primeau was in net for the Rocket last night, making twenty-two saves in a 4-0 loss, so McNiven is expected to get the start against the Comets.

Center Chase DeLeo leads all Comets scorers with ten points (one goal, nine assists). Although he is in New Jersey now, Alexander Holtz still technically leads the team in goals scored with five. On the current roster, Tyce Thompson, Joe Gambardella, and Aarne Talvitie have each lit the lamp three times to pace the club in goals scored.

Goaltending has been a rock solid component of the Comets hot start so far this season. Both Nico Daws and Akira Schmid sport 3-0 records, with Daws having a 2.34 GAA and a .932 save percentage, while Schmid sports a 1.31 GAA and a save percentage of .953. Schmid made the start in goal for the Comets last night against Toronto, so expect to see Daws back in net on Sunday versus the Rocket.

On special teams, the Rocket power play is operating at a 14.7% efficiency rate, while their penalty kill is at 84.2%. The Comets lead the AHL in both special teams categories, as they are 33.3% on the power play and their penalty kill is at 92%.

The game is scheduled to start at 5pm EST. It will be broadcast on television on WPNY and AHLTV. On the radio, the game will be carried on 94.9 K-Rock (WKLL). Comets play by play announcer Jason Shaya will be on the call.

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