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2023 Calder Cup Playoffs

AHL North Division Round 1 Preview: Laval Rocket vs. Utica Comets

AHL North Division Round 1 Preview: Laval Rocket vs. Utica Comets

LAVAL, QC – Separated by just four points, the Utica Comets and the Laval Rocket found their way into the playoffs just as the regular-season window closed. Thanks to a run that gave them wins in eight of their last 10, Laval shouldered through an injury bug season to slip into the playoffs. Utica’s 7-10 record to end month two was enough of a wakeup call for the New York team to turn things around in December and January.

Regular Season Results:

Utica: 35-27-6-4 (4th in North)

Laval: 33-29-7-10 (5th in North)

Series Schedule:

Wednesday, April 19 – Utica at LAVAL, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 21 – Laval at UTICA, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 22 – Laval at UTICA, 7:00 p.m.

Season Series recap:

The Rocket have jetted their way by the Comets five times throughout the 2022-23 regular season. During the six games, the Rocket downed the Comets twice in overtime and lost once in a March clash.

The name of the game is Rocket, and Anthony Richard registered 10 points through four games against the Comets, with six of those being assists. His goaltenders split between Cayden Primeau and Kevin Poulin, each registered impressive save percentages, with Primeau holding down a 0.935 SVS% and Poulin gathering a 0.927 SVS%.

How Utica Wins:

Hold the line. Simply put, the Comets need to make sure they don’t let the Rocket into the offensive zone. They can’t so much as entertain the idea of puck possession in the defensive zone, and their goaltending stats show that.

One of their bright spots through the season was Nico Daws, but his poor performance against them in February makes me think twice about letting anything in against the starter. Six goals and a .854 svs% make me wonder if he’s rattled.

How Laval Wins:

Remember, you got here. Plain and simple, these guys are on fire. Remember what it was like when you barely scraped together wins at the mid-point of the season, and then think about the players you have now that you didn’t before.

Richard should help with that.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2023 season!

    Zack Power covers the Toronto Marlies for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMarlies.

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