Game PreviewJan 7, 2018
Game Day Info:
Hartford Wolf Pack vs. Utica Comets
Puck Drop: Sunday, Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.
The Hartford Wolf Pack are hosting the Utica Comets for the first time this season at the XL Center. This is the first of three meetings between the two teams in the 2017-18 season. The Pack will next face the Comets for a home game on January 19.
The Comets are coming off a 5-2 win over the Laval Rocket on Friday, and have won only four of their last 12 games. Utica sits in fourth place in the North Division with a 14-13-4-3 record and a 0.515 win percentage.
Last Time Out:
Last night, the Wolf Pack played to a 3-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch at the XL Center. Joe Whitney and Ryan Gropp found the back of the net as the Wolf Pack outshot the Crunch, while Marek Mazanec made 28 saves in net, but the Crunch prevailed.
Thus far, the Pack are 14-16-3-3 on the season with a .472 win percentage, which places them seventh in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Division with 34 points from 36 games played. The Providence Bruins currently lead the division, while the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fall close behind in the tight race.
Players to Watch:
#11 Ryan Gropp
A 21-year-old rookie out of the Western Hockey League, Gropp has produced eight goals and three assists for 11 points in 29 games this season, including one goal against the Syracuse Crunch last night. The left wing helped lead his Seattle WHL team to the playoff title and a Memorial Cup berth last season, and was drafted by the Rangers 41st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft.
#52 Philip Holm
Philip Holm leads active Utica players in points, with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 27 games. The defenseman won a goal medal in the 2017 World Junior Championship with Sweden and spent last season skating in the Swedish Elite League, where he totaled 21 points in 56 games with Vaxjo HC.
Coming Up Next:
The Wolf Pack will hit the road for their next four games, with the next game being a matchup with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this Wednesday. The Pack will be back home at the XL Center January 19 and 21 for matchups against the Utica Comets and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. For tickets and information, visit the Hartford Wolf Pack ticketing site or call 866-762-6451.