Gameday Preview: Stars at Utica Comets

Texas Stars
23-16-10-1, 57 pts
#8 Western Conference
atUtica Comets
29-14-5-1, 64 pts
#3 Western Conference
February 18th at 6:00 PM
Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY

UPDATE: Brendan Ranford added to the callup list.

Utica has been a pretty hot team this seaosn. As we've mentioned before here, ever since the Comets hit the All-Star Break last season, they've been good. By the time they got to the break last year, they were already too far into the hole to make it back. This year, they started hot and have stayed pretty warm.

Coming out of this year's All-Star Break, they hit a bit of a skid. After the ASG, which was hosted in Utica, the Comets lost four straight. Of course, when you're in a place like Utica was, you can afford to lose a few. That string of losses pushed the loss column into double digits on the season. So... it's all relative.

Since then, the team is 5-2. They've still dipped behind the surging Milwaukee Admirals in the standings and would like to get the full two points here.

The Stars have also been on a hot streak here. In their last ten games, they've collected 16 points with a 7-1-1-1 record. Missing some of their top talent due to Dallas callup wasn't as much of an issue against woebegone Iowa. Depth scoring became primary scoring thanks to the hot streak that Greg Rallo is on. Gemel Smith and Derek Hulak have also stepped up recently for the club.

Utica is currently in possession of all of their top weapons, including leading scorer and former Star Dustin Jeffrey (15-21=36).

Stars injury/call up report:
Jokipakka, McKenzie, Ritchie, Ranford (call up)
Fortunus, Faksa, Glennie (injury)

Blog (official): Comet Tales
Newspaper: Utica Observer-Dispatch
Twitter: @UticaComets