Oh man the Farmies are back!!!! Yay!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how long this week has felt, I’ve absolutely been ITCHING to write about the farm, and let me tell you a lot has happened since we last caught up with our rookies, young guns and family down on the Farm!
Tanner Kero returns from his brief call-up stint with the big boys club, where he was kept on the bench in the event Horvat too was unable to slide into the lineup.
Sliding into tonight’s lineup also is Luke Schenn, who FINALLY makes his debut after being held up by the eastern storm front that also caused last Saturdays game to be moved to an afternoon start due to how brutal the winter weather was.
We’re also seeing the return of Jalen Chatfield, who’s been out with a broken foot since November 17th, and certainly, the team he is returning to tonight is radically different than the one he was playing for back on the 17th…Since Chatfield went down with injury, we’ve seen the losses of Carcone, Archibald, Bachman, Juolevi and Sautner… his return is a welcome relief to the Comets blue line who’ve depended heavily on the admirable play from ECHL call-ups such as Jagger Dirk, Colton Saucerman and Cliff Watson (as of late).
Interesting to note, that in the wake of the Comets now having a higher than average number of Veterans, the team is now going to have to make nightly roster decisions to choose their designated 5 veteran players for each night. With that being said, let’s take a look at tonight’s lineup and get into this last game before the AHL and NHL All-Star Break.
quick note: Colton Saucerman appears to be working the mic with Joe Roberts tonight…not sure if that’s to keep him working for the Comets in any capacity while the D situation sorts itself out with the veteran maximum and IR returnees…not a lot of space for the PTO but obviously the Comets Team loves the guy.
Sliding out of the lineup due to veteran restrictions is Jaime Sifers. Sifers although a bit on the slower side, has been a key component to Uticas 2nd PK unit and is one of the few who actually have a hard hitting game, so it’ll be interesting to see how Schenn fills that void.
Also sliding out are MacMaster and Gadjovich. Gadj has played quite impressively as of late (at least in my eyes) so his benching seems kind of unfair to me…but with healthy bodies coming back into the lineup, he’s
Also I’m really not a fan of that Chatfield/Watson pairing…Watson has looked slow and completely out of his depth while with the Comets, so sticking him with a guy who’s returning off a huge layoff with a FOOT injury no less seems like a disaster waiting to happen…Would’ve preferred Saucerman because he’s much more capable in his own end
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||undisclosed||Out for the season||His fucking faaaaaaaaaaace|
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 white
- Giveaways and takeaways galore!; Zack MacEwen(#15) has a chip pass to Jonathan Dahlen(#54) hit an Amurk forward and they begin a drive to the net, but he’s quick on his backcheck and disrupts the setup pass, Dylan Blujus(#8) then has his clearing attempt picked up on the blue line which leads to another set up pass being disrupted close, this time by Evan McEneny(#2)
- Kole Lind(#13) with speed outraces his man to negate the icing call allowing Vincent Arseneau(#18) to setup Luke Schenn(#23) for his first shot on goal as a Comet
- McEneny(#2) gets a long ice flip to Reid Boucher(#24) who sets up Pyatt(#20) on the opposite wing to get a backhand on net
- Comets go to the penalty kill off a Kero slashing minor
- First unit PK: Schenn, Brisebois, Hamilton, Bancks
- Couple early setup chances but the Amurks send both wide of the net
- 2nd unit PK: MacEwen, Chatfield, Gaunce, Blujus,
- Jalen Chatfield(#5) looking like he hasn’t missed any time at all as he blocks a shot on goal with his skate, and quickly chases his own rebound and finishes with a hard check
- Lukas Jasek(#9) showing speed like I’ve never seen from him before as he burns down the left wing to chase a puck dumped into the Amurk zone by Carter Bancks(#34)
- Have to wonder now with the number of guys returning from IR, how hard are our rookies going to play to earn those select few roster spots
- An Amurk defender misses the puck on the blue line leading to a 2 on 1 breakaway for Tom Pyatt(#20) and MacEwen(#15) but the pass is broken up by the defender
- Some nice quick passing from Lind(#13) to Arseneau(#18) who then drops off for Guillaume Brisebois(#55) for the shot on net
- Off a drive to the Amurk net, MacEwen takes a high stick to the face to put Utica on their first powerplay of the night
- MacEwen(#15) kicks the puck along to Dahlen(#54) who sends it cross ice to Boucher(#24) for a shot on goal where a tangled MacEwen can’t hammer in the rebound; streamable runs a little long, but wanted to also highlight McEneny blocked the clearing attempt on the line
- Adam Gaudette(#17) with a slick move in the neutral zone to enter the zone for a shot on goal
- Arseneau(#18) enters the zone on a 2-on-1 with Wacey Hamilton(#36) and a slick give-and-go pass between he and Chatfield(#5) leads to a shot from behind the net from Hamilton that ricochets off the post and out; huge chance off some nice passing from Arseneau and Chatfield
- Tanner Kero(#10) with the jukes as he turns for a perfect centering pass off Pyatt’s(#20) skate that has to get covered up by the Amurk tendy
- Arseneau(#18 )with the takeaway in the Amurks zone for a shot on goal that gets knocked aside; Arseneau looking dangerous in his first period back
- Jasek(#9) misses the stick lift and high-sticks his man to put the Comets on their second PK of the night
- 3 Comets miss clearing the puck leading to a huge scoring chance for the Amurks, Chatfield(#5) with a quick look to see Asplund’s passing lanes then blocks his check at the front of the net to force Asplund into taking the shot; really smart play by Chatfield to block out the one-timer option
- Boucher(#24) putting pressure on the Amurks on the PK draws a tripping penalty to put the Comets on effectively a 2 minute powerplay to start the second period
Score at the end of the first period: 0-0
Damn there was a LOT of chances from both teams in this first period, a lot of creative passing from Utica this period on their odd-man rushes to try and confuse the Amurks tendy but he’s playing solid, as is Kulbakov. Comets 0 for 1 on the powerplay but still manage to outshoot the Amurks 16 to 11 that period.
- Thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever either AHL or NHL seen a benched player work the MIC on a road game for the team that benched him….really bizarre
- early chance on the Comets powerplay as a Boucher(#24) one-timer goes of the inside of the post and to the front of Johansson for the save
- despite several shots on net, the Comets powerplay can’t capitalize
- lol, Rasmus Asplund steps in to stop Arseneau(#18) from exiting the Comets zone but gets absolutely dummied
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Kero(#10) floats behind the Amurks net and then crosses one straight to Boucher(#24) who snaps his 8 game goalless drought and snipes one top corner to give the Comets the lead
- Jasek(#9) forces the giveaway behind the Amurks net leading to a backhander on goal from Gaudette(#17)
- Comets just hemming the Amurks in their own end causing one of the Amurks lines to be caught on the ice for over a minute and a half, lots of sustained pressure from the guys here
- The pressure pays off, after the Amurks ice the puck, in the ensuing faceoff they just straight up shoot it over the glass to put the Comets on the powerplay off the delay-of-game penalty…that’s one way to get the Amurks a chance lol
- Comes after 8 minutes in the second period, outshooting the Amurks 9 to 1…oh man this is great but also scares me because whenever the Comets have this kind of crazy sustained pressure they end up absolutely exhausted and get out possessed like crazy in the final periods..
- I jinxed it, as the Comets get literally nothing going in their two minute powerplay
- Brendan Gaunce(#16) with a huge giveaway as his cross ice pass goes straight on the stick of Jack Dougherty who’s leaving the box, fortunately he loses control of the puck
- Luke Schenn gets called for holding and the Comets are on their 3rd powerplay of the night but the Comets kill it…lot of passes broken up and clearances with some aggressive forechecking to deny the Amurks from getting anything going
- Kulbakov leaves his net to play the puck but the puck dies outside the trapezoid which leads to an awkward return to the net for a save and stoppage in play
- Kulbakov with a nice pick up through traffic off a defensive zone faceoff draw
- The Amurks Andrew MacWilliam lays a big hit on Gaudette(#17) and Bancks(#34) takes exception to the hit and steps in to fight MacWilliam in defense of the Comets young rookie
- No instigator penalty awarded as MacWilliam dropped his gloves first so both pick up fighting majors and we remain on a 5v5
- Here’s Schenn(#23) with an extra step in to deny the Amurks forward from cutting to center for a shot on goal; nice defensive move from Schenn
- Sauceman with a great anecdote about Kulbakov
I don’t think he can say Sauce so he just calls me Santa, so that’s what he calls me, Santa, I don’t know if he can say Sauce or not”
- Kulbakov goes to play the puck from his trapezoid and gets two handed by an Amurk from behind and he goes down and sells the penalty to put the Comets on their 4th powerplay
- MacEwen(#15) with a quick look and pass to Boucher(#24) on the powerplay
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 1-0 Comets
A bit of a rougher half of the period for the Comets, after leading the Amurks in shots 9-1 they give up 19 straight shots against. Fortunately Ivan Kulbakov has been playing great tonight…good vision of pucks and good sense on when to step out to play the puck, bailing his team out pretty hard in that second half. Comets will start the 3rd with a minute left on the powerplay and maintaining the lead off Boucher’s 18th goal of the year.
- Comets get a couple shots off the blue line from Schenn and McEneny but they don’t get much else going
- Aseneau(#18) helping Schenn(#23) try to clear the Comets zone after the team struggles to clear by bowling over an Amurk defender
- Kulbakov with a wicked glove save
- Joe Roberts and Colton Saucerman discussing their respective favorite teams growing up, Avalanche and Red Wings… Roberts brings up his memory of the Red Wings cup winning goal and Saucerman hits him with the, “how they doing this year?” hahaha liking this combo on the mic
- McEneny(#2) with two nice takeaways on the Comets blue line to deny two Amurk zone entry attempts
- Kero(#10) gets stripped of the puck by Wayne Simpson and Kulbakov comes up huge with the glove save to keep this a 1-0 game
- Chatfield(#5) plays it off the boards to Gaudette(#17) who runs through center with speed for a shot on goal
- Chatfield(#5) with a quick dash to break up what could have been a 2 on 0 breakaway feed for the Amurks
- GOAL – ROCHESTER – 1-1 Tie: Brandon Hickey plays the puck down the boards to Danny O’Regan who uses Brisebois(#55) as a screen to go gloveside on Kulbakov and tie the game
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Comets: what a response from the Comets, Kero(#10) gets a shot on the Amurks net that ricochets high and lands on Boucher’s(#24) stick where he turns and wrists one past Johansson
- ALT Angle showing what an absolute snipe Boucher’s shot was
- MacEwen(#15) starting at the Comets blue line outraces two Amurks to catch a Dahlen(#54) dump-in, he then races to the net, shakes them all off and turns for a shot on goal: Jesus this guys a monster on his skates
- I read an interview that said how MacEwen’s biggest areas to improve on last year was his skating, so he sought out and worked with Olympic Bobsled medalist Eli Maceachern for his explosiveness and skating and what we’re seeing this season is the result of that training
- lots of end to end hockey finishing with weak shots that are being easily gloved down by each tendy
- Gaunce(#16 )with a speedy chip and chase to himself and then centers for Boucher(#24) who has to play the body instead of going for the toe-drag
- 2:15 left and the Amurks pull the goalie for the 6 on 5 to try and tie it late
- GOAL – ROCHESTER – 2-2 Tie: The pulled goalie works, but Gaudette(#17) blocks a shot, that comes back to Tennyson who immediately bats in the rebound…Kulbakov appears to lose sight of the puck immediately after the rebound
The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 2-2 Tie
After a tightly contested 3rd period where the Comets see their lead lost, regained and then lost again…they’re just leaving Kulbakov out to dry here tonight, with the team generally having very little success with their zone entries. They DID manage to keep up with Rochesters shots on goal and did find the back of the net once, but man their shots on goal just haven’t been of the same caliber that Rochester has been pumping out. Will be unfortunate if the Comets lose this one in overtime as Kulbakov has been absolutely lights out tonight despite the 2 goals against
- Rasmus Asplund burns Gaunce(#16) along the boards and swings to Kulbakov’s right side quickly but takes too long with his space and misses a golden scoring opportunity
- holy moly a drive from Pyatt(#20) and Gaudette( #17)goes awfully after Gaudette gets shoved down and bowls over Pyatt leading to a 3-on-1 for Schenn(#23) in his first game as a Comet…no pressure
- Schenn(#23) saves the 3-on-1 then sets up Gaudette(#17) for a breakaway on goal but his shot on goal gets saved.
- Kulbakov with an absolute HUGE stick save on Alexander Nylander
- MacEwen(#15) tries to end it himself with a laser beam off Johanssons pads
The Score at the end of the regulation: 2-2 Tie
After 65 minutes of regulation time, we head to the shootout to settle this one…Kulbakov with an astonishing 51 save performance. If they lose here I really don’t think the record will do justice to the game Kulbakov has had tonight…absolute brickwall in overtime while his team tripped over their own feet for the bulk of the time and only managing 2 shots (Gaudettes breakaway and MacEwens slapper). Hopefully some of Kulbys teammates can at the very least score in the shootout for him cause he definitely earned the two points for his team
- Rochester up first Danny O’Regan and Kulbakov makes the pad SAVE
- Utica – Jonathan Dahlen goes backhand and SCORES
- Rochester – Victor Olofsson avoids the Kulbakov pokes and wraps it around Kulby and SCORES
- Utica – Adam Gaudette has one trickle past Johansson to SCORE
- Rochester – C.J. Smith pulls the same move as Olofsson to SCORE
- Utica – Reid Boucher has his shot sticked aside by Johansson for the SAVE
- Rochester – Wayne Simpson shoots it wide of the goal for the SAVE
- Utica – Brendan Gaunce whiffs his shot for the SAVE
- Rochester – Alex Nylander has his shot SAVED by Kulbys pad
- Utica – Tom Pyatt puts it in Johanssons pad for the save
- Rochester – Porter puts it off Kulbakovs chest for the SAVE
- Utica – Evan McEneny with crafty puck handling gets denied by Johansson’s pad
- Rochester – Taylor Leier rips one just below Kulbys blocker side for the GOAL
- Trent Cull with Lind and MacEwen still on the bench rolls out Carter Bancks in the 7th round of the shootout to try and push it to the 8th round… yup that’s 2 goals and 7 assists in 43 games Carter Bancks to the rescue in the shootout
- Utica – Carter Bancks tries the same move that Olofsson and Smith pulled off on Kulbakov but gets poked out by Johansson, securing the win for Rochester
- I shake my head…just …. Shaking my head in disbelief right now.
- lmao, They didn’t even give Kulbakov a fucking star despite stopping 48 of 51 shots, and pushing the shootout to the 8th fucking round…I know the 3 stars thing is a joke but jesus Christ how does someone NOT give him the 1st star
Final Score: 3-2 Rochester Americans via the shootout
|2nd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Tanner Kero||—||5v5|
|3rd||Rochester||Danny O’Regan||Brandon Hickey||—||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Tanner Kero||—||5v5|
|3rd||Rochester||Matt Tennyson||C.J. Smith||Victor Olofsson||5v5|
- Oh man I don’t even know where to begin, the team looked good in the first, but once again they crumble after generating a tonne of sustained pressure for themselves and look lost afterwards. I feel truly awful for Kulbakov cause man he absolutely kept his team in this throughout the entire game, and all he needed was his coach to play someone who can actually score in the clutch moment of the shootout…but he instead picks their captain…despite the fact he can’t score for shit instead of you know…Zack MacEwen who’s having a breakout year as a goalscorer…or Tanner Kero who’s been absolutely lights out at center driving to the net and scoring….or even Kole Lind who’s looked his most dangerous on breakaways to the net… good call dude lol
- Luke Schenn with an impressive game in his debut for the Comets…lot of plays broken up, big body that actually uses it, broke up a tonne of plays on his own, and while he looked good with Brisebois, I can’t help but think that Schenn looks like he should be playing in the NHL instead of the AHL… I feel like his level of play elevated Brisebois….or by that same token, Schenn’s ability made up for Brisebois mistakes and shortcomings, because Schenn was everywhere on the ice tonight and looked solid in both the offensive and defensive zones
- Glad to see Boucher get that monkey off his back… two goals from ridiculous angles that were just absolute snipes…hopefully he picks up where he left off before the drought began and stops overthinking his shot. Guy got 9 shots on net tonight which is the kind of number he was putting up before the drought began on a regular basis
- Solid games from Gaudette, MacEwen and Arseneau as well. I don’t think anyone had an outright BAD night, just looked like the team in general looked a little tired after that sustained brutality in the second and just struggled to find their timing as a group to get anything going.
- Negativity aside, the Comets end their January with a pretty stellar 6-2-1-1 record. With guys like Chatfield and Ashton Sautner returning to the lineup over this all-star break, we could be seeing some more changes to this lineup in the coming weeks as they fine tune things leading up to the final stretch before the Calder Cup playoffs.
Comets Three Stars
- Reid Boucher
- Tanner Kero
Comets take another break until February 1st where they visit the Syracuse Crunch in a battle to secure 2nd place in the North Division. With tonight’s shootout loss, the Comets secured themselves 51 points, and are only edge by Syracuse by virtue of games in hand. The Crunch are on a 4 game winning streak and are crusiing through the North Division with a 63.8% points earned percentage and lead the league with the lowest goals against in the entire league. The team will have to come back from this allstar break well rested and prepared if they want to try and secure themselves that top 3 position for the Calder Playoffs
Anyways that’s it for the Farmies for this week, I’ll see you all next Friday for another recap and review. As always I 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!