The Comets go for their third consecutive win when they take on the Laval Rocket in a key North Division matchup for the second time in five days. The Comets and Rocket each have 37 points as they battle for position in the division.
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Place Bell, Laval, Qubec
Broadcast: 94.9 FM KROCK / AHL Live
Game updates on Twitter: @OD_Comets
Records: Comets 15-13-4-3 (37 points, 4th place in the North Division based on points, with three games in hand on Laval); Laval 15-16-5-2, 37 points, 4th in the North based on points).
Season series: The Comets lead the series 3-1-0-0 after winning 5-2 on Jan. 10 in Utica. Wednesday is the last meeting between the teams in Laval. They teams play three more times this season in Utica.
About the Comets: Utica has won back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game at the end of November. The Comets have earned at least a point in 15 of the last 19 games (9-4-4-2) despite players in and out of the lineup because of a host of injuries. … The Comets are 2-6-0-1 in games played on Wednesday this season. Both of the wins have come at home. … With Reid Boucher’s hat trick Sunday was the first of his career. His output pushes his total to 16, which is tied for 10th most in the AHL. His career-best is 22 goals in 2013-14. … Michael Carcone, who is coming off his first three-point game in the AHL, has at least a point in 9 of the last 13 games and has a three-game point streak (3-2-5). … Thatcher Demko, who was named an All-Star last week, has not lost in regulation in his last six starts (4-0-2, 1.95 goals-against average). In those starts, he has only allowed more than two goals time. He is 2-1-0 with a 2.64 GAA against Laval this season.
About the Rocket: Laval has won four of its last 6 games following a 3-1 victory over Binghamton on Saturday. They are 5-4-1-0 in their last 10 games. … The Rocket are 1-5-1 in their last seven home games dating back to Dec. 6. They are 7-9-2-1 at home this season. … Chris Terry’s 40 points lead the league. He has 18 points (6-12-18) in his last 11 games. … Charlie Lindgren has started four of the last six games for the Rocket. He is 0-1-1 with a 2.91 GAA this season against the Comets.
Comets Injuries: Carter Bancks (lower body). He was spotted on crutches after Friday’s games. Cam Darcy has also recently missed time with an injury and illness. The following have recently considered week-to-week: Griffen Molino (lower body), Joe LaBate (upper body), Alex D’Aoust (lower body), Jayson Megna (upper body), Jaime Sifers (wrist) and Wacey Hamilton (upper body). Yan-Pavel Laplante (upper body) is out indefinitely. Evan McEneny is expected to be out through the regular season.
Deals: Reid Boucher was assigned to the Comets on Sunday. … Michael Chaput was recalled by the Canucks on Saturday. He will need to clear waivers in order to return to the Comets.
Comets active leaders: Reid Boucher 16-13-29
Philip Holm 6-12-18
Zack MacEwen 3-13-16
Michael Carcone 9-5-14
Alex D’Aoust 7-6-13
Comets goaltenders: Thatcher Demko 2.40/.925/12-6-5
Richard Bachman 3.51/.875/3-7-2
Laval leaders: Chris Terry 18-22-40
Matt Taormina 2-27-29
Nikita Scherback 6-15-21
Adam Cracknell 10-7-17
Jeremy Gregoire 5-11-16
Laval goaltenders: Charlie Lindgren 3.06/.898/6-9-6
Michael McNiven 3.28/.892/5-5-1
Zachary Fucale 3.54/.879/4-2-0
UTI - 28/155 – 18.1%, 11th
LAV - 30/173 – 17.3%, 14th
UTI – 24/164 – 85.4%, 7th
LAV – 40/177 – 77.4%, 28th