Utica Comets vs Charlotte Checkers preview

The Utica Comets will set an AHL record with a win on Friday night.

Normally, a team’s twelfth game of the regular season would not have a playoff like atmosphere about it – but most teams do have the chance to do what the Utica Comets can do this Friday night.

This Friday night, the Comets are going for their twelfth consecutive win to start the season to break the AHL record they tied on Wednesday night by defeating the Rochester Americans. Their opponent for the potential recording breaking game at the Adirondack Bank Center will be the Charlotte Checkers, who are the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers.

The Checkers enter the game sitting in third place in the AHL Atlantic Division with a 7-5-1-0 record. Offensively, they are lead by center Alexander True, who leads the team in points with thirteen, assist with seven, and is tied for the team lead in goals with Cole Schwindt at six each. True’s thirteen points also have him tied for ninth in the AHL scoring race with eleven other players.

In goal, Christopher Gibson and Joey Daccord have split the duties for the Checkers. Gibson has a record of of three wins and three losses, including one shutout, a GAA of 3.37 and a save percentage of .903. Daccord has made five appeareances so far this season, compiling a record of three wins and two losses to go with a 2.38 GAA and .919 save percentage.

The Utica Comets tie AHL record with win

The Utica Comets are the only remaining undefeated team in the American Hockey League with a record of 11-0-0-0. They have done this despite losing key contributors like Alexander Holtz, Fabian Zetterlund, Brian Flynn, Tyce Thompson, Jesper Boqvist, and Chase DeLeo to either callup or injury. Fortunately for Utica, Frederik Gauthier and Marian Studenic, who replaced Thompson and Boqvist, have been excellent with Comets since their arrival. coach Kevin Dineen is getting the absolute most of this team by instilling a “next man up” attitude in response to the losses and the team is getting contributions from all four of it’s lines.

Despite missing the past four games, Chase DeLeo still leads the Comets in scoring with one goal and eleven assists in only seven games played. After DeLeo, Joe Gambardella and Nate Schnarr are tied for second on the team with eight points each. Gambardella leads the team in goals scored with six.

The backbone of Utica Comets win streak has no doubt been the teams goaltending. Nico Daws and Akira Schmid have established themselves as being among the very best goaltenders in the American Hockey League. Daws has won all six of his starts this season, with sparkling 2.17 GAA and .936 save percentage. For as great as Daws’s numbers are, Schmid’s have been even better. In his five starts this season (all wins), he has an astounding GAA of 1.38 and a save percentage of .951. Both his GAA and save percentage are ranked number one in the AHL.

Friday nights game starts at 7:00pm. Radio coverage begins at 6:30 with the Comets pregame show on 94.9 K-Rock (WKLL). The Television broadcast will be carried by WPNY as well as AHLTV.

Notes: Charlotte is ranked third in the AHL on the power play at 23.9%, and twelfth in the league at 83%. Utica is tied for twelfth in the league on the power play at 20%, and sixth on the penalty kill at 86.8%….Utica has outscored its opponents as a whole this season 45-20, Charlotte has outscored its opponents 45-37….Akira Schmid has made two straight starts in goal for the Comets….Defenseman Robbie Russo has a three game point streak going, including the game winning goal on Wednesday night against Rochester….Defenseman Reilly Walsh has a two game goal scoring streak….Charlotte last played on Wednesday night in Lehigh Valley, the Comets las played on Wednesday night in Rochester. This is the first of four meetings between these two teams this season.

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