Utica Comets at Cleveland Monsters Series Preview April 19th and 20th.

The Utica Comets visit the home of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for two games against the Cleveland Monsters with a chance to lock up the North Division Regular Season title.

The Utica Comets (40-19-7-1, 88 points, 0.657 points percentage) have an opportunity to wrap up the number one seed in the North Division for the AHL Playoffs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when they play the Cleveland Monsters (24-33-8-5, 61 points, 0.436 points percentage) in a two-game set at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. They have a magic number of three to clinch the North Division crown, so a win and at least an overtime game will do the trick. These two games will be the final two times these teams will meet this season, as Cleveland has been eliminated from playoff contention. The Comets have won four of the six games they have played so far, but the Monsters have won the last two meetings.

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The Comets continue to be without leading scorer Fabian Zetterlund, as well as AJ Greer and Kevin Bahl, as the trio is still with the New Jersey Devils. They will also most likely be without Frederik Gauthier, as he has missed the last six games due to injury and may not be back until the playoffs. Utica has recently brought in forwards Brian Halonen and Garrett Van Wyhe via the college free agent route, and with the Adirondack Thunder’s ECHL season over, the team has announced more help is on the way (please see the tweet below).

With the Comets playing for a division title, and the Monsters playing for pride, here’s the tale of the tape for the two-game series kicking off on Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio.

Offense.

Utica

  • Goals For (overall): 231 – 4th overall in the AHL.
  • Goals For (away): 112 -7th overall 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. Holtz is 4th among AHL rookies in goals, 7th in points, 15th in assists.
  3. Reilly Walsh: 8 goals and 31 assists = 39 points. Walsh is 9th among AHL defensemen in points, and tenth in assists.
  4. Robbie Russo: 3 goals and 30 assists = 33 points. Russo is 13th among AHL defensemen in assists.
  5. Nolan Foote: 14 goals and 17 assists = 31 points.

Alexander Holtz leads the team in shots with 154, while Graeme Clarke and Reilly Walsh lead in game-winning goals with three each.

Cleveland

  • Goals For (overall): 186 – 28th overall in the AHL.
  • Goals For (home): 88 – 31st overall in the AHL.

Leading scorers:

  1. Jake Christiansen: 12 goals and 30 assists = 42 points. Christiansen is 1st among AHL defensemen in goals, 4th in points, and 12th in assists.
  2. Tyler Angle: 10 goals and 26 assists = 36 points.
  3. Justin Scott: 14 goals and 16 assists = 30 points.
  4. Tyler Sikura: 12 goals and 18 assists = 30 points.
  5. Trey Fix-Wolansky: 12 goals and 14 assists = 26 points.

Christiansen leads the Monsters in shots with 162 and Sikura leads the club in game-winning goals with four.

Defense and Goaltending.

Utica

  • Goals Against (overall): 187 – 6th overall in the AHL.
  • Goals Against (away): 97 – 6th overall in the AHL.

Goaltenders:

  • Akira Schmid has a record of 21-8-4 with a GAA of 2.49, 0.915 save percentage, and two shutouts. He is 6th in the league in wins, 12th in GAA, 13th in save percentage, and 14th in shutouts.
  • Mareks Mitens has a record of 7-8-2 with a GAA of 3.31, and a 0.888 save percentage.
  • Brandon Kasel has no AHL record. He had a record of 8-15-2 with a GAA of 3.56, a save percentage of 0.895, and one shutout for the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL this season.

Cleveland

  • Goals Against (overall): 247 – 28th overall in the AHL.
  • Goals Against (home): 122 – 29th overall in the AHL.
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Goaltenders:

  • Jet Greaves has a record of 11-11-2, with a GAA of 2.90, a 0.906 save percentage and one shutout. He has won both of his starts against the Comets this season.
  • Cam Johnson has a record of 4-8-3, with a GAA of 3.32 and a 0.879 save percentage.
  • Linden Marshall has a record of 0-1-0 with a 4.50 GAA and a 0.854 save percentage.

Special Teams/Power-Play.

Utica

  • Overall: 22.0% (48 goals in 218 opportunities) – 5th in the AHL.
  • Away: 25.2% (26 goals in 103 opportunities) – 4th in the AHL.

Chase DeLeo leads the Comets in power-play points with eighteen. Alexander Holtz leads the team in power-play goals with six, while Reilly Walsh leads in power-play assists with fourteen.

Cleveland

  • Overall: 16.4% (37 goals in 225 opportunities) – 27th overall in the AHL.
  • Home: 11.1% (13 goals in 117 opportunities) – 31st overall in the AHL.

Jake Christiansen leads the Monsters in power-play points with fourteen and power-play assists with ten. Kevin Stenlund leads the team in power-play goals with five.

Utica Comets vs Belleville Senators 04-16-2022 Three Observations

Special Teams/Penalty Kill.

Utica

  • Overall: 82.0% (38 goals allowed in 211 times shorthanded) – 10th overall in the AHL.
  • Away: 76.0% (25 goals allowed in 104 times shorthanded) – 27th overall in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals: 12 – 4th overall in the AHL.

With AJ Greer and his four shorthanded goals scored currently with the Devils, Aarne Talvitie and Frederik Gauthier lead the team in shorthanded goals scored with two each.

Cleveland

  • Overall: 79.4% (53 goals allowed in 257 times shorthanded) – 21st overall in the AHL.
  • Home: 82.8% (21 goals allowed in 122 times shorthanded) – 10th overall in the AHL.
  • Shorthanded Goals: 9 – 12th overall in the AHL.

Carson Meyer and his three shorthanded goals are currently with the Columbus Blue Jackets, leaving the Monsters with six skaters that have one shorthanded goal each.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday night’s games are scheduled to begin 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 pm on 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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