The Binghamton Senators and Utica Comets play their third game between one another within in a week’s time as both clubs were victorious on the road in the first two. The Comets, with the best record in the AHL with twice as many points as the Sens, are attempting to win their 8th in only 11 games while Binghamton will be looking to even up their road record at 3-3 and elude landing in the basement of the East in the first of three games in four days coming up for Binghamton.
(3-5-2, 8 pts) Tied for 4th in East Division
(7-1-2, 16 pts) 1st in North Division
Utica Memorial Auditorium
RADIO: 96.9 FM, 680 AM. AHL Live
Each club has split the first two games winning on their opponent’s home ice, Utica 3-2 winners last Wednesday and Senators 4-3 OT win on Halloween.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jacob Markstrom, UTI – It should be his turn in net as he lost his bid for the shutout record and eventually the game to Binghamton last weekend, but still sporting a 4-0-1, 0.99 GAA and a 0.963 SA% record good for third in the AHL.
Chris Wideman, BNG – The CCM/AHL Player of the Week & CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October is off to an incredible start with a league leading 7 goals and 6 assists in 10 games, tied for second overall in points behind Kris Newbury of Hershey (15), while ahead of all defensemen in the AHL in goals and points.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Senators Slow Start Out of the Gate – Up and mostly down start to the season as the club continues to chip away at it. Tough losses with the club involved in 8 out of 10 games resulting by a single goal. Special team play has improved on both ends, but goaltending and overall defensive play is still a factor for their early season lumps.
2. Comets Best Team in the League? – Other then splitting the two games with the Sens, Utica has played two teams with a .500 record, Toronto Marlies 3 gms, 2-0-1, and the San Antonio Rampage 2 gms, 2-0-0, a below .500 team the Adirondack Flames 2 gms, 2-0-0 and 1 gm loss to the Texas Stars, the only club with a winning record. Hmmm..a ‘light’ schedule after breaking it all down.
3. Special Teams A Big Factor – Senators improved their power play rating going 4-9 over this past weekend and move up to 19th place with a 14.6%, while the PK is respectable at 87%, tied for 10th. The Comets took a tumble on their penalty kill going from #1 to a tie for 5th at 88.9%, while their PP is ranked 16th at 16.3%.
B-SENS TWEET OF THE GAME
*Cover Pic Courtesy of Alicia Strauch