Utica Comets vs Syracuse Crunch Game Preview 03-09-2022

After playing two games in Syracuse over the weekend, the Utica Comets and Syracuse Crunch will meet again, this time in Utica, on Wednesday night.

After a three-day break in the game schedule, the Utica Comets return to action on Wednesday night at the Adirondack Bank Center against a very familiar opponent – the Syracuse Crunch.

The teams have already played ten of their fourteen scheduled meetings in the regular season, and Utica has won eight of those games. The four remaining games will be played in Utica, as all seven contests in the Salt City have already been played.


The Comets enter Wednesday night’s contest with the best record in the Eastern Conference with a 33-11-5-0 record good for 71 points and a points percentage of .724. To break that down even further, at home they are 18-5-2-0. Starting Wednesday night the Comets next three games will be at home.

The Comets have five players with thirty points or more, led by Chase DeLeo’s forty one (twelve goals and twenty-nine assists). Closely trailing DeLeo are: Fabian Zetterlund with forty (twenty goals and twenty assists), Alexander Holtz with thirty-eight (twenty goals and eighteen assists), AJ Greer with thirty-six (sixteen goals and twenty assists), and Reilly Walsh with thirty-four (six goals and twenty-eight assists). Zetterlund and Holtz lead the team in goals scored, which is also the sixteenth most in the AHL DeLeo leads the club in assists, and is fourteenth overall in the league in that category. Zetterlund and Holtz also lead the team in shots with 120 and 107 respectivley.

Utica Comets Fly By the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday Night

Gabriel Dumont leads the Crunch in points by a wide margin with forty-six – which also ties him for fifteenth most in the league. Dumont is trailed by Charles Hudon (twenty goals and twelve assists) and Cole Koepke (fifteen goals and seventeen assists) with thirty-two points each, and Alex Barre-Boulet and Sean Day, who each have six goals and twenty-five assists for thirty-one points each. Dumont leads the team in goals scored while Barre-Boulet and Day lead the club in assists.

Akira Schmid is the undisputed starting goaltender for the Utica Comets and has a record of 16-3-2 with a GAA of 2.25 and save percentage of .927 to go with two shutouts. His GAA ranks fourth in the AHL and he currently has the best save percentage in the entire league. He started and won both of the past weekend’s games in Syracuse.

Schmid is backed up by Mareks Mitens, who has a record 5-5-1 to go with a 3.66 GAA and .874 save percentage.

Syracuse has trio of goaltenders to guard their net. Hugo Alnefelt has a record of 9-5-4 with a 3.06 GAA and .882 save percentage. Amir Miftakhov carries a record of 6-8-3 to with a GAA of 2.92 and save percentage of .895 and one shutout. The third goaltender to suit up for the Crunch is Max Legace who is 6-7-0 on the season with a 3.36 GAA and .866 save percentage. Alnefelt started both games against the Comets last weekend but was pulled in favor of Legace during the first period on Friday night.

The Comets rank fifth in the AHL on the power play with a success rate of 22.9%, as they have scored 35 goals on 153 power play opportunities (they still have the least amount of power play opportunities in the league). Fabian Zetterlund and Alexander Holtz are the leading power play goal scorers on the team as Zetterlund has seven and Holtz has five.

The Crunch also have a top ten power play as they rank tenth in the American Hockey League with a 20.2% success rate. Of the 168 chances with the man advantage they have had this season, Syracuse has scored on 34 of them. Charles Hudon leads the Crunch in power play goals scored with ten, followed by Gabriel Dumont with seven.

The Unsung Heroes For the Utica Comets

Both the Comets and Crunch have struggled on the penalty kill this season. The Comets rank twenty-first in the league with a success rate of 80.0%, having allowed 32 goals in the 160 times they have been shorthanded – which also the least amount times any team has been shorthanded in the AHL so far this season. Utica has scored seven shorthanded goals this season, AJ Greer has three of them and Joe Gambardella, Ryan Schmelzer, Nolan Foote, and Aarne Talvitie have the others.

The Crunch are second to last in the league with a success rate of 74.5%. They have surrendered 42 goals out of the 165 times they have been shorthanded this season. Antoine Morand, Charles Hudon, Anthony Richard, and Sean Day have each scored a shorthanded goal for Syracuse this season.

Wednesday night’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm EST. Radio coverage begins with the pregame show on 94.9 K-Rock (WKLL) and the television broadcast begins at 7:00 on WPNY and AHLTV.

The latest episode of Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast will have a championship theme as John Moncovich, Brandon Osmundson, Khristian Acosta Justin Allen from the UCHC Champion Utica Pioneers join the show! The champs discuss the season so far, their biggest games, team response to injuries, video games, the support they get in the community, playing in front of the huge crowds at the Adirondack bank Center, and much more!

Later on, we’ll find out what it’s like to be the in-house announcer for hockey games from former central New Yorker and current house announcer for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs of the SPHL Roy Chambers! Roy gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation for a game (there’s a lot more than you think), discusses the Rail Yard Dawgs and the Southern Professional Hockey League, shows off some sweet-looking Rail Yard Dawgs gear, and more!

Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast – By the Fans, For the Fans of Mohawk Valley Hockey! Timestamps: Utica Pioneers: 00:0056:45 Roy Chambers: 58:351:41:54 Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and at https://martysillegalstick.com.

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