UTICA BATTLES BALTIMORE IN PLAYOFF PREVIEW
Today’s Game: Utica City takes on the Baltimore Blast in a matchup that could very well determine the regular season Eastern Division Champion. Kickoff is at 2pm.
Last Game: Utica City Captain Bo Jelovac returned to the lineup and scored two goals to help City rally to beat the Mississauga MetroStars 6-5 Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Mauricio Salles also scored two goals, while Joey Tavernese and Freddy Moojen chipped in one goal apiece. Andrew Coughlin made four saves on nine shots.
Head To Head: This is the sixth and final meeting between Utica and Baltimore this season. Utica leads the season series 3-2, but Baltimore won the most recent matchup 6-2 back on February 24. City has outscored the Blast 28-19 through five games. Tonight’s matchup presents a playoff preview, as the two teams will meet in the First Round of the Ron Newman Cup Playoffs.
Scouting the Blast: Baltimore comes in with a record of 15-6 and sits in a tie for first place in the Eastern Division with Utica. They most recently fell to the Harrisburg Heat 4-3 in overtime last night. Jonatas Melo leads the way offensively with 37 points, followed by Vinicius Dantas with 31 points. William Vanzela is the top goalkeeper with a record of 14-6, a 4.13 goals-against average, and a .757 save percentage.
On The Line: A lot rides on the outcome of today's game. Utica holds a one-game lead over Baltimore in the Eastern Division. A Utica win would clinch the Eastern Division and would make City the first team to dethrone Baltimore in quite some time.
Defensive Machine: Darren Toby has been an anchor defensively for Utica City this season. Toby is second in the league with 35 blocked shots and has also been a big factor in City’s penalty kill being ranked third in the league at 66%. The veteran defender has recorded a career-high 16 points (8-8-16) in 21 games this season.
Bo’s Back: Bo Jelovac wasted no time making an impact after returning from injury last night. Jelovac netted two goals, including the game-tying goal to add to his career season. The defender/forward has 30 points (18-11-30) in 18 games this season.
MORE-ricio: Mauricio Salles’ point streak continues. With two goals last night, Salles extended his point streak to five games. It was also his fourth consecutive multi-point game and he now leads the team in power play goals (5). The forward has 14 points (11-3-14) in 13 games this season.
Next Game: Utica City hits the road for their final regular season game against the Orlando SeaWolves on April 12. Kickoff at Silver Spurs Arena is at 7:35 p.m. The game can be viewed on MASL.tv.