Utica Comets vs Belleville Senators Game Preview 04-16-2022

The Utica Comets face another North Division rival on Saturday night that is desperate to stay in the playoff race.

The Utica Comets (40-18-7-1, 88 points, 0.667 points percentage – first place in the North Division), broke a four-game losing streak on Friday night by defeating the Syracuse Crunch – a team that needs wins to stay in the thick of the North Division playoff race. On Saturday night, they will face the Belleville Senators (35-27-4-0, 74 points, 0.561 points percentage) at the Adirondack Bank Center. The Senators are a team that is clinging to the fifth spot in the North Division and also in desperate need of wins to stay in the playoff race. This is the sixth and final regular-season matchup between the two teams with the Comets winning three of those games.

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It should be a party-like atmosphere at the Adirondack Bank Center as it will be “Roaring 20’s Theme Night” with the home team wearing jerseys inspired by Utica Club beer and much more. On the ice it will be anything but a party, as the Comet’s magic number to clinch the North Division title is down to five and the Senators are desperate for points to stay in the playoff race. With another potentially intense game on the docket, here’s the “tale of the tape” for the Utica Comets against the Belleville Senators.

Offense.

Utica

  • Goals For (overall): 230 (4th in the AHL).
  • Goals For (home): 118 (6th in the AHL).

Leading scorers:

  1. Chase DeLeo: 16 goals and 34 assists = 50 points.
  2. Alexander Holtz: 24 goals and 25 assists = 49 points.
  3. Reilly Walsh: 8 goals and 31 assists = 39 points.
  4. Robbie Russo: 3 goals and 29 assists = 32 points.
  5. Ryan Schmelzer: 16 goals and 14 assists = 30 points. Nolan Foote: 13 goals and 17 assists = 30 points.

Alexander Holtz leads the team in shots with 151. Graeme Clarke and Reilly Walsh lead the club in game-winning goals with three each. Fabian Zetterlund and AJ Greer are still with the New Jersey Devils so they are not included among the current offense stats. According to Ben Birnell of the Daily Sentinel, Frederik Gauthier will not return this Saturday night so he is not included either.

Belleville

  • Goals For (overall): 197 (18th in the AHL).
  • Goals For (away): 99 (12th in the AHL).

Leading scorers:

  1. Jake Lucchini: 20 goals and 27 assists = 47 points.
  2. Egor Sokolov: 19 goals and 25 assists = 44 points.
  3. Andrew Agozzino: 18 goals and 17 assists = 35 points.
  4. Zach Senyshyn: 19 goals and 14 assists = 33 points.
  5. Roby Jurventie: 11 goals and 22 assists = 33 points.

Sokolov leads the Senators in shots 157. Sokolov and Senyshyn lead in game-winning goals with five each.

Defense and Goaltending.

Utica

  • Goals Agaginst (overall): 183 (6th in the AHL).
  • Goals Against (home): 86 (8th in the AHL).

Goaltenders:

  • Akira Schmid has a record of 21-8-4 with a GAA of 2.49, a 0.915 save percentage, and two shutouts. He is ranked 6th in the AHL in wins, 12th in GAA, 13th in save percentage, and 15th in shutouts.
  • Mareks Mitens has a record of 7-7-2 with a GAA of 3.33, and a save percentage of 0.890.

Belleville

  • Goals Against (overall): 201 (16th in the AHL).
  • Goals Against (away): 96 (8th in the AHL).

Goaltenders:

  • Logan Flodell has a record of 0-1-1 with a GAA of 3.61, and a save percentage of 0.881.
  • Filip Gustavsson has a record of 9-6-1 with a GAA of 2.50, a save percentage of 0.913, and two shutouts. He defeated the Comets in both of his starts against them last week.
  • Kevin Mandolese has a record of 9-5-0 with a GAA of 3.12 and a 0.901 save percentage.
  • Michael McNiven has a record of 4-4-2 with a GAA of 3.97, a save percentage of 0.870 and one shutout.

Special Teams – Power-Play.

Utica

  • Overall: 48 goals in 215 opportunities for a success rate of 22.3% (5th in the AHL).
  • Home: 22 goals in 112 opportunities for a success rate of 19.6% (16th in the AHL).

The power-play leaders for the Comets are:

  • Points: Chase DeLeo with 18.
  • Goals: Alexander Holtz with 6.
  • Assists: Reilly Walsh with 14.

Belleville

  • Overall: 48 goals in 252 opportunities for a success rate of 19.0% (19th in the AHL).
  • Away: 25 goals in 119 opportunities for a success rate of 21.0% (11th in the AHL).

The power-play leaders for the Senators are:

  • Points: Egor Sokolov with 14.
  • Goals: Lassi Thomson, Jake Lucchini, and Sokolov with 6.
  • Assists: Zac Leslie with 12.

Utica Comets Call Ups Continue to Shine for the New Jersey Devils

Special Teams – Penalty Kill.

Utica

  • Overall: 38 goals allowed in 208 times shorthanded for a success rate of 81.7% (10th in the AHL).
  • Home: 13 goals allowed in 104 times shorthanded for a success rate of 87.5% (2nd in the AHL).
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 12 (4th in the AHL).
  • Shorthanded Goal Leader: Aarne Talvitie with two.

Belleville

  • Overall: 47 goals allowed in 276 times shorthanded for a success rate of 83.0% (7th in the AHL).
  • Away: 23 goals allowed in 142 times shorthanded for a success rate of 83.8% (6th in the AHL).
  • Shorthanded Goals Scored: 9 (10th in the AHL).
  • Shorthanded Goal Leader: Cole Rienhardt with three.

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

The latest episode of Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast will feature a doubleheader of guests! First up will be one of the in-game hosts for the Utica Comets Brennan Miller to chat about the Comets and the upcoming playoffs, what goes into preparing all the presentations throughout a game (there’s a lot to it), the upcoming “Roaring 20’s Night” with the Utica Club themed jerseys and much more! Then, the Voice of the Berglund Center for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs Roy Chambers makes his return to update us on the Rail Yard Dawgs and the SPHL Playoffs!

Help us grow the show by subscribing on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts! Check out https://martysillegalstick.com for articles and everything about Marty’s Illegal Stick Hockey Podcast!

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