12/16/18 – Utica Comets vs. Charlotte Checkers

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!


Starting Lineup


Jasek Kero Boucher
MacMaster Gaunce Archibald
Gadjovich Cameranesi Arseneau
Darcy Bancks Lind
Brisebois McEneny
Dirk Graham
Blujus Saucerman
Thatcher “motherfucking” Demko


RE: Benchings

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.

Zack MacEwen


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.

Injury Report
Chatfield Dahlen Hamilton Juolevi Sautner Sifers Woods
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.



1st period


Comets in Blue



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.


2nd Period



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.


3rd Period



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




Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Lukas Jasek 5v5
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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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


What’s Next?


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!

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