Happy Sunday everybody, instead of doing what I probably should be doing, which is, shop for everyone I know and love, I’m gonna veg out, watch some farm team action in Charlotte North Carolina, maybe try pick up some World Juniors tickets online, and then watch the Office for the rest of the day while I lament my decision to not attempt any Christmas shopping!
The Checkers have won five straight games, with their streak being extended last night against the Hartford Wolf Pack. The Comets can capitalize on what should be a tired Charlotte team who are playing less than 15 hours after their last game ended! This might prove difficult though as APPARENTLY, Zack MacEwen has been suspended for a game for a hit on Nick Lappin that led to injury. I roll my eyes at this league because somehow THAT warrants a suspension but Kurtis Gabriel hopping the boards to attack MacEwen from behind gets nothing …. Fortunately, thank god, Eric Tangradi WAS suspended for his boarding of Jonathan Dahlen that gave him a concussion….I’m assuming the fact that this was his 2nd major injury caused to a Utica Comet in less than a week played into a longer suspension, but still, 3 games is a joke for a concussion, and 1 game for breaking a dudes face is an even bigger joke.
That news in mind lets take a look at the starting lineup…with both Dahlen AND MacEwen out of the lineup, the Comets are going to have problems with 5v5 scoring so it might be a game devoid of highlights. Fingers crossed they make me eat my words!
|Thatcher “motherfucking” Demko|
For the first time in what feels like forever, there are actually no, non-injury related benching’s for this morning’s game. The only healthy player out is MacEwen for his ridiculous 1 game suspension.
RE: INJURY REPORT
As I said Jonathan Dahlen joined the IR after picking up a concussion against Binghamton, Jamie Sifers ALSO picked up an injury in the Binghamton game, unspecific what it was though.
|lower body||Concussion||concussion||knee||his fucking faceeeeeee||lower body||lower body|
Streamable Clarity Improvement Notice
Continuing with last issues theme, going to be Players full name (jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) then every sub sequential play featuring that player it’ll be last name(jersey number) – place in streamable (if not outright obvious) I’m also going to reduce the amount of hyperlink in the GOAL streamables, since that’s what I think MOST people are here for and don’t want some gaudy blue taking up the screen.
Comets in Blue
- Audio ONLY coming out of one channel so don’t worry its not your headphones/speakers etc. IT’S THE AHL
- Why its my old friend Greg McKegg! With a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg!
- Comets on a delayed penalty, and a passback from Lukas Jasek(#9) almost ends up like on one of those TSN Worst Sports Errors of the Year highlights
- On an offensive zone start for the powerplay, Cull rolls out MacMaster, Kero and Archibald….really odd combo as a #1 pp unit
- Next powerplay unit is 4 left hand shooters and Reid Boucher(#24) predictable play set up as only Boucher can really hammer a one timer. Here’s Tanner Kero(#10) with a nice tip to Boucher who gets the first real one-timer on the powerplay
- Comets on the powerplay; Tanner MacMaster(#19) – bottom left of streamable – gets called for holding, putting the Comets on a 4-on-4
- Colton Saucerman(#39) with a nice hit on Martin Necas
- Guillaume Brisebois(#55) picks off the puck on the Comets penalty kill and leads a break-in attempt to kill the remainder of the penalty
- Boucher(#24) with a nice little sidestep to dump it into the Checkers end; Jasek(#9) gets a nice centering pass to Keo(#10)
- Jonah Gadjovich(#22) with some good speed on a chip and chase
- Comets back on the PK off a Cam Darcy(#11) tripping minor, the 3rd to the Comets in 6 minutes of play
- Brendan Gaunce(#16) clears the puck then catches up to it to pressure the Checkers player
- Evan McEneny(#2) has a long ice pass tipped perfectly by Darren Archibald(#25) straight to the front of the net, but Gaunce(#16) just can’t get to it in time; really nice setup from Archie
- Kole Lind(#13) cuts to the top of the circle instead of parking in front of the net, where a Carter Bancks(#34) shot rebounds for a golden opportunity had Lind stayed there
- Gaunce(#16) with a great solo effort drive to the net, almost gives the Comets the lead AND baits a tripping penalty to put the Comets on the powerplay
- 1st Powerplay unit is again 4 left handed shots and 1 right hander
- Jasek(#9) takes a high hit to the head…amazingly he was fine
- Jesse Graham(#64) gets checked behind the net while holding the puck, but Gaunce(#16) picks it up and centers it for Lind(#13) who can’t settle it as traffic plugs up the area
- Gadjovich(#22) with a big hit to start his shift
- Checkers with a great scoring chance broken up by Gaunce(#16) hitting them with the classic MayRay fall down and things happen maneuver
- McEneny(#2) with a nice little toe drag to set up a shot on net from the top of the circle
- Its probably standard stuff to people who play hockey but as someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to grow up playing hockey; little things like this along the boards how Jasek(#9) maintains control of the puck while under pressure is really neat to me
- per the above, if ilke stuff like the above is super inconsequential and I don’t know it, please let me know, because I don’t want to flood these reviews with “the little things” if the little things aren’t even things at all educate me my fellow Canucklers
- Comets almost get a gift from god when Bancks(#34) blocks a pass that deflects right in front of the net, but Darcy(#11) doesn’t see it coming and can’t get their fast enough to capitalize
Score at the end of the first period: 0-0 Tie
Competent first period from a team missing two of its top playmakers on the team; Really good penalty killing but also a very sub-par powerplay. I imagine it’s kind of hard to get a powerplay going when you only have one real one-timer option in Boucher on the right side, and your right side is Tanner MacMaster whose passing hasn’t quite been there today. Also I’m not certain, but I think this is the first Farmies where a first period ends with NO goals being scored. I’m too lazy to double check all my Farmies so I’m just gonna say yes….yes it is.
- Demko with a glove save on Charlotte’s Trevor Carrick
- Demko with a quick move of his right pad to stop the wraparound attempt
- Jasek(#9) maintains control and gets a long ice pass to Boucher(#24) who dings it off the Checkers tendy
- Good shift from Arseneau(#18) and Gadjovich(#22) in the Checkers end
- Dylan Blujus(#8) loses his stick and stutters on whether to back check without it or change off; the resulting odd man rush leads to a glorious scoring opportunity for Charlotte that Demko absolutely robs them of with a split pad save
- A shot attempt from Darcy(#11) trickles past the Checkers goaltender and Lind(#13) is ALMOST there to put it in
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Tanner Kero(#10) forces a turnover and Jasek(#9) is there to pick It up and sink it for his 7th goal of the season
- ALT angle of the Jasek goal
- Demko handles the puck while under pressure as if he was a defender
- Gadjovich(#22) with a nice saucer man to Saucerman(#39) but the Sauce fans on his shot man
- Arseneau(#18) gets a hit on Carrick, and gets challenged by Renouf but doesn’t bite; Arseneau missed 15 games with a broken hand the last fight he got in, so probably a good call haha
- Comets on the powerplay; Thatcher takes a shot to (I’m assuming) an unprotected shot and appears to be in some discomfort after
- Kero(#10) robbed as he picks up the redirect of a Boucher(#2 4)shot on goal
- alt angle of said robbery
- Demko to Jasek(#9) to Lind(#13) who sauces it to Gaunce(#16) who elects to pass to Bisebois(#55) with barely any space remaining instead of just shooting for himself; really nice scoring chance
- Jasek(#9) – bottom left corner of streamable – almost forces the turnover in the Checkers end with some aggressive forechecking
- Saucerman(#39) to Blujus(#8) with the one-timer; the sauce follows up with a shot of his own through traffic
- Lind(#13) with some pressure on Jake Bean; gets the takeaway to Kero(#10) who backhands it on net
- MacMaster(#19) gets called for his second penalty of the night with a tripping minor on Charlotte’s Cliff Pu
- Comets in the waning seconds of the penalty kill; a shot deflected off Demkos pad comes dangerously close to going in but Saucerman(#39) clears it
- Thatcher goes to catch the puck but can’t control it, gets a highlight reel backwards save to keep the Comets lead; holy fuck what a save
- GOAL – CHARLOTTE – 1-1 Tie: Archibald(#25) loses his stick, and the Comets leave two Checkers players to the left of Demko who can’t get muscled out by Jesse Graham(#64)
- ALT angle of the goal
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 1-1 Tie
Lot of quality chances for the Comets, lots of good play set up but just no execution, or the right bounces or whatever…also MacMaster is just really putting this team at a disadvantage with the lack of discipline. Two nearly identical penalties isn’t doing his team any favors.
- end-to-end play after 5 minutes of play but no real chances being generated yet
- Charlotte doing a good job to get sticks in the way of any Comets shot attempt
- Gaunce(#16) with a nice feed to Bancks(#34) but he can’t handle the puck through traffic
- Solid hit from Arseneau(#18) leads to a giveaway and some prime scoring chances for Utica
- Oh man, such a good scoring opportunity for Blujus(#8) off a tip pass from Gaunce(#16)
- No audio after the end of a scheduled timeout
- Archibald(#25) with the “wtf are you doing?” play of the night as he passes to a Checkers player in front of the Comets net
- Jagger Dirk(#4) sets up Lind(#13) who drives to the net but cant find the back of it
- Graham(#64) with wheels for the break-in attempt, feeds it to Gadjovich(#22) whose backhand misses the net
- Bancks(#34) with the break-in gets it to Darcy(#11) all alone who can’t settle the puck in time to get a decent shot
- Lind(#13) alone on the circle but his shot goes completely wide
- McEneny(#2) loses control of the puck that leads to a scoring opportunity for Charlotte.; in the melee around the net the refs call for a penalty shot after Jasek clears the puck out of the crease with his hand
- Slow-mo of the melee; watch Jasek as he comes in behind a lying down Demko and throws out the puck
- Demko with a huge penalty shot save to keep this game tied
- despite his otherwise solid game tonight, barring any more injuries; that probably just got Jasek benched for Tuesdays game
- Blujus(#8) steps up to play the puck but it gets past him and the Checkers get another scoring opportunity
Score at the end of the third period: 1-1 tie
For the first time in a while we are going to overtime. Utica and Charlotte had an even amount of chances and shots on net, but the Comets towards the end of the 3rd looked desperate trying to get ANYTHING going offensively as Charlotte was just all over their sticks, trying to disrupt any prime shooting attempts.
- GOAL – CHARLOTTE – 2-1 Checkers: The Comets break-in attempt gets denied by Roland McKeown, who’s tip gets to Aleksi Saarela ends up in the back of Demko’s net as Saarela goes 5-hole to end it quick in OT.
FINAL SCORE: 2-1 Checkers
|2nd||Charlotte||Morgan Geekie||Roland McKeown||Patrick Brown||5v5|
|OT||Charlotte||Aleksi Saarela||Roland McKeown||—||3v3|
- This was a tough game for Utica against Charlotte who prove why they are the best team in the AHL right now. Super sound defensively with clutch goaltending…nearly every one of Utica’s shots on net had a Checker’s stick touch the puck after release, they truly don’t make it easy on forwards to get offense going
- Tanner MacMaster had a rough game, between having no scoring luck, he was 0/4 on shot attempts and picked up two very undisciplined penalties. One which ruined a Comets powerplay, and the other which seemed to give Charlotte some serious momentum and led to an eventual goal on his next shift. He’s going to have to pick up his game in the wake of Dahlen’s absence if Cull is going to continue to slot him on the 2nd line.
- Besides his hand pass gaffe; Jasek continues to prove why he’s one of the teams more dangerous wingers every night, a low-key quality playmaker. Unfortunately the team collectively was having no luck hitting the net. Hopefully Cull see’s past the hand-pass and doesn’t pull any punishment benching bullshit with him
- Reid Boucher picked up his second pointless game of the season as he was surprisingly VERY quiet tonight…only 1 registered shot on net; he did pick up some penalty kill time which I thought was surprising cause he isn’t exactly renowned for his quick defensive play
- Despite a lot of scoring opportunities he created, Archie had so many blunders tonight, the near assist on a charlotte goal in his own end, constantly late to the play while defending, I can’t tell if he’s exhausted or what, but this game and last game he’s just looked so lethargic on certain shifts
Comets Three Stars
- Thatcher Demko – see last editions Farmies for reasons why Thatcher is number 1. 27/29 shots saved plus a penalty shot save as well. Team left him hanging on the game-tying goal as they left the much smaller Jesse Graham to hold off to Checkers players on Demkos left side, and for the first time ever since I’ve started watching him play, he let in a softie in overtime; which is pretty astonishing given how many shots he’s faced since returning to the lineup.
- Jonah Gadjovich – sure his skating still isn’t the best, but the guy does play with hustle every shift, he was aggressive along the boards and on the forecheck, and didn’t look SO out of place on the backcheck either, so yah his skating could use work but so could Brock Boeser’s…his game is coming along with every game he cracks the lineup, I hope his solid play tonight earned him a slot on Tuesday. 3 shots on goal plus some really nice passes to his blue-liners for one-timers tonight, seems to be a staple of his gameplay as I’ve seen him do it multiple times in his games.
- Kole Lind – dude wanted to score badly tonight, like REALLY fucking badly…some of his one-timer attempts were way off, so the guy needs to work on his accuracy, but he was trying and despite SOME positioning errors, he was generally at the right place at the right time tonight, just this Charlotte team man is so fucking good…like clearly a really defensively sound team, so being able to bring them to overtime is an accomplishment for a team missing so many key pieces of their lineup. Considering when they HAD their FULL lineup they were losing in regulation by 1 or 2 goals…so this was a good one from the Comets
The Comets are back in action Tuesday night as they run it back against Charlotte. With Zack MacEwen returning to the lineup, the Comets add some much needed 5v5 pressure. Whether Dahlen comes back is a total mystery, the longer he takes the better though, I don’t want guys rushing concussion recoveries to play AHL hockey…no thank you…too many goons. I really hope Cull rides the hot hand and keeps Demko in net, the guy kept them in this one, and apparently Bachman is a carrer 0-4 vs. the Checkers, so maybe play it safe and ride the wave of Demko’s stellar play.
Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, any feedback, improvement suggestions, content or highlights you’d like me to focus/pick out during games, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide during the next Farmies!