Saturday, Saturday, Saturday Saturday, Saturday, Saturday Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night’s alright …for a Utica Comets away game in Springfield following a tragically disappointing 4-0 loss to the Syracuse Crunch last night.
With the Comets on an uncharacteristically unfortunate losing streak despite an incredibly impressive run through January…the team looks to turn around the bad luck and pick those proverbial monkeys off their backs and try to get themselves out of those slumps and back into the scoring column while maybe picking some points up along the way!
Looks like Trent Cull is going to shake up the lineup a bit tonight. With Gaudette still out with illness it looks like the major shakeups will be who our centers line up with…sliding back in are Jonah Gadjovich, Colton Saucerman and Cam Darcy…while coming out of the lineup are Wacey Hamilton, Cliff Watson, Vincent Arseneau and Dylan Blujus. Can’t say I’m surprised as all 4 brought nothing much to last nights 4-0 loss.
Expecting a very physical, aggressive game against the Thunderbirds tonight, as they do not play a technical, creative style of hockey and instead elect to play very minor-league beer-league bruiser type of hockey in a wear em out kind of way. Will be interesting to see how the Comets combat this with bid bodies such as Blujus, Hamilton and Arseneau out of the lineup.
Some really interesting line shakeups off the start, Kero and Boucher get broken up, which is crazy as they’ve basically been paired since the very beginning…Dahlen also moved off the starting first line in place of Boucher, guess Cull too is hoping to wake-up Dahlen from his slump and get him firing on all cylinders so that he’s more than just a “powerplay guy.” Loving the Saucerman/Chatfield pairing, Saucerman has been undervalued by Cull in his time with the Comets, and I believe brings much more to the dynamic of the team on the ice than Watson. That Gadjovich/Gaunce/Lind line also looks to be seriously fucking juicy if it works out.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||ilnness||upper body injury||Out for the season||His fucking faaaaaaaaaaace|
Gaudette remains d2d with illness, moved Sautner back to the injury report as he’s still techinically on IR
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
- Jaime Sifers(#26) gets laid out behind the net
- After entering the zone, Sifers gets laid out again on the blue line (behind camera sight), this time by Paul Thompson, putting the Comets on their first powerplay of the night
- First unit powerplay: Kero, MacEwen, Boucher, Schenn, McEneny
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Well that was quick! Zack MacEwen(#15) wins the draw, Tannner Kero(#10) scoops it to Evan McEneny(#2) who has a back and forth with Luke Schenn(#23) before wristing one top right shelf to give the Comets the lead
- That’s McEneny’s 8th goal of the season, and ties for 4th in points with Brendan Gaunce
- LOL in house announcer gives assist credit to Gadjovich despite Gadjovich not having touched the ice yet this game haha….
- A scrum ensues outside of Michael Leighton’s crease, and Springfields Bobby Farnham, yes THAT Bobby Farnham gets into a shoving match with Jonah Gadjovich(#22) and in the melee Kole Lind(#13) steps in and takes a highstick that he tries to sell. Farnham eventually gets called for unsportsmanlike conduct to put the Comets on their 2nd powerplay of the night
- Thunderbirds seem like a bunch of cool dudes, and im not being, sarcastic…. Legit fuck this team….figures this the farm team of Panthers legend and 40 million dollar player, Mike Matheson
- McEneny and Schenn combine for a couple attempts on the first unit, but we get the second up right after: Saucerman, Gaunce, Lind, Dahlen, McEneny,
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-0 Comets: Holy moly, Colton Saucerman(#39) sets up Kole Lind(#13) for the zone entry, who then gives a quick glance to drop it off for Brendan Gaunce(#16) who completes the quick tic-tac-toe with a nasty pass to Jonathan Dahlen(#54) for the one timer goal. God damn that’s one helluva play from our young guns! Hopefully that gets the monkey off these guys backs and they start playing with some more confidence!
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-0 Comets: I can’t even keep up, A shot from Lukas Jasek(#9) gets blocked aside, and Cam Darcy(#11) picks up the clearing attempt and walks it in to put it 5 hole on Tbird goaltender Sam Montembeault. 3 goals on 5 shots and that means Montembeault gets the yank and Chris Driedger comes in relief
- MacEwen(#15) and Brendan Woods(#21) combine for some nice puck control in a puck battle along the boards, love the quick little pass to Reid Boucher(#24) by Woods here as well
- Jalen Chatfield(#5) breaks up a pass on a TBird zone entry then has a nice little deke to dump the puck for a Lind(#13) chase where he gets hit hard
- couple hits in a row here on guys like Kero and Sifers
- Gadjovich(#22) avoids a hit, then pins his man leading to a Lind(#13) takeaway where he sets up Gaunce(#16) at the front of the net, but his pass hits a Tbird’s skate and rebounds out of the zone
- Springfield crowd does this thing that I loathe which is where all the young girls/kids scream like they’re being attacked by a fucking horde of zombies…just SCREAMING at the top of their lungs…absolutely grating to listen to
- GOAL – SPRINGFIELD – 3-1 Comets: A takeaway from Kero(#10) springs Dahlen(#54) and Tom Pyatt(#20) on a breakaway that leads to a rush going the other way where Sebastian Repo rifles a shot top left corner to put the Tbirds within 2. Really slick shot from far out.
- I know people are really critical of Cull and his deployment of rookies…but I want people to know that immediately after giving up a goal, he rolls out Gadjovich-Gaunce-Lind and Saucerman-Chatfield, to start the next faceoff draw. He may not put them in every game, but he is definitely putting them in all-situations and trusting them to succeed. Hopefully their strong play tonight will encourage them to be played more often than not
- Gaunce(#16 )misses a pass from Lind(#13) leading to a rush the other way where Leighton stops a high danger scoring opportunity with his pads, and then Gadjovich(#22) follows the rebound for a controlled clear
- Jasek(#9) joins the cycle along the boards and works his puck control game, lays a slow pass to Guillaume Brisebois(#55) but he doesn’t attempt to retain the zone
- Woods(#21) and Boucher(#24) collide and Boucher takes his sweeeeeeeet time to get up: Woods is up and checking again by the time Boucher finally gets back to his feet
- Sifers(#26) finally on the good end of a hit and flips a puck out of the zone that leads to a Woods(#21) and Boucher(#24) 2-on-1 but cant capitalize
- McEneny(#2) tries to sell a high stick to his face but gets called for holding putting the Comets on the penalty kill against the #1 powerplay in the AHL
- 1st PK group : Bancks, Gaunce, Schenn, Brisebois – 2nd forward pair to join is Pyatt and Kero – Bancks and Gaunce return after they go off after clearing the zone – Chatfield, Sifers 2nd D-pair to join
- Comets block two shot attempts, and the Thunderbirds get caught icing the puck haha. And the Comets successfully kill the penalty
- at the end of the penalty kill, Schenn(#23) stops a final Thunderbirds zone entry attempt and springs Boucher(#24) for a breakaway, and then catches the clearing from Driedger and gets a shot of his own from the blue line
- holy fuck, close call, a puck squeaks of a battle along the boards and Brisebois(#55), who’s playing a bit too far up has the puck passed under his skate behind him leading to a puck rolling across the Utica goal line that gets cleared out by Schenn(#23) and MacEwen(#15)
- alternate angle showing just how close this was to being a one goal game; MacEwen picks up a tripping penalty to boot, so the Comets start the final 3 minutes of the first period on the penalty kill.
- Carter Bancks(#34) with a huge penalty kill shift off some aggressive forechecking
- Brisebois’(#55) fans on his poke check attempt on a Thunderbirds drive that leads to a scoring opportunity on the powerplay
- Comets kill the penalty
- Known piece of garbage Bobby Farnham hits Bancks(#34) way late after the offside is blown
- Woods(#21) springs Dahlen(#54) for an absolute last second chance on goal
- naturally, period ends and Bobby Farnham gets into it with Luke Schenn, Brendan Woods and others… good god somebody needs to lay this piece of shit out
Score at the end of the first period: 3-1 Comets
Comets had a bit of their momentum taken away from them at the end of the period off the two penalty kills on the McEneny and MacEwen minors, but otherwise they looked good, and for what feels like a long time, legitimately dangerous. Impressive periods from Lind, Gaunce, Jasek, Schenn and Woods… really digging the rookie line of Gadj/Gaunce/Lind. Hope the team can avoid getting sucked into the Bobby Farnham circus and show some more high danger scoring chances.
- aggressive forecheck from Dahlen(#54) leads to a shot on goal from Saucerman(#39)
- lots of end to end play with a few saves but generally just a lot of scrambling for possession
- MacEwen(# 15)with a nice zone entry and forecheck that leads to a scoring chance for Kero(#10)
- Saucerman(#39) stretches to deny the long ice pass that would’ve been a 2-on-1 breakaway for the Thunderbirds
- Long streamable but [wanted to highlight the rookie line showing a great cycling game that hems the Thunderbirds in their own zone until a pretty soft goalie interference call. Really nice passing from Lind(#13) Gaunce(#16) and Gadjovich(#22) to give their d-men some scoring chances from the blue line
- 3rd straight penalty kill for Utica but they do a good job of clogging the zone to deny a lot of shots, and clear the zone a few times
- Leighton with another huge stop and a puck crossing the goal line
- Comets 3 for 3 on the PK against the #1 AHL Powerplay
- Gadjovich(#22) gets laid out by Thunderbirds Turgeon and MacEwen(#15) sticks up for the young gun; thought you got a game misconduct if your jersey wasn’t strapped down?
- Wouldn’t wanna fuck with MacEwen, dude can hold his own in fights
- Jasek(#9) with a cute lil quick shot to the front of the net for Woods(#21) and another scrum ensues
- Rookie line getting a defensive zone draw! The trust is growing folks!! It’s building!
- Boucher(#24) leads a 3-on-1 but has his shot stopped by Driedger, than rage smashes his stick on Driedger’s stick when he doesn’t score and doesn’t bother to backcheck; like bro we know you a goal scorer and you WANT to score goals, but you gotta do everything else too…if you’re not gonna backcheck cause you fell down then you’re a liability on every rush
- Chaos at the Comets net as Schenn(#23) stops the breakaway, then Bancks(#34) gets hit hard by Springfield’s Paul Thompson on his clearing
- Saucerman( #39)disrupts a pass on the Thunderbirds 3-on-2 rush
- MacEwen( #15) with speed on a rinkwide dump-in
- [Jasek(#9) dumps the puck in and Gadjovich( #22) catches it and takes it to the end boards where he turns to set up a trailing Lind(#13) at the fornt of the net for a shot on goal that Driedger JUST gets a piece of( https://streamable.com/vn26m); great combination from 3 rookies
- Boucher(#24) sets up McEneny( #2)as he steps up into the play and McEneny displays some nice puck control as he sets up Kero(#10) in front
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-1 Comets
Comets with some decent chances in this period while defending against some strong chances from the Thunderbirds as well. Comets outshot so far 27 to 21 but don’t look completely out of it….Thunderbirds physical game kind of beginning to takeover in the 2nd and are definitely trying to goad the Comets into not playing their game.
- Slower start to the period
- Gadjovich(#22) scraps with the Tony Turgeon off an innocuous stoppage in play, looks like Gadj wants to get some vengeance after the hit from earlier
- MacEwen(#15) with a slick move between his legs from behind the net for a scoring chance
- 5 minutes down with not many chances
- McEneny(#2 )picks up a PRETTY SOFT tripping penalty
- Comets on their 4th penalty kill
- GOAL – SPRINGFIELD – 3-2 Comets: Off the powerplay faceoff draw, Jacob MacDonald slaps a shot that gets passed a screened Leighton to put the Thunderbirds within 1
- Darcy(#11) blocks a shot and then clears his own rebound
- Comets being hemmed in their own zone for the better part of these first 6 minutes of the 3rd
- Early whistle gets blown immediately after a Springfield scoring chance…and Jacob MacDonald is pisssed; looks to be an ice issue or something
- Brisebois(#55) losing the footrace elects to turn and ice the puck instead of pass to his d-partner on his left; I’d understand if this was after a long session of hockey with no stoppages, but the 3rd period has been nothing but starts and stoppages
- Darcy(#11) leads a zone entry and then gets interfered with by the Thunderbirds Jacob MacDonald to put the Comets on the powerplay
- 1st Unit powerplay, Cull defers back to Kero, Boucher, MacEwen, Schenn and McEneny
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-2 Comets: some controlled passing from the first powerplay unit leads to a goal from Kero(#10) to regain the two goal lead for the Comets
- another horrendously soft call, as Kero(#10) barely touches Matt Marcinew and he goes down into the boards, drawing an interference penalty to put the Comets on their 5th penalty kill of the night
- audio ultra-quiet to start the penalty kill
- Leighton with a big save on the Comets penalty kill
- GOAL – SPRINGFIELD – 4-3 Comets: Springfield capitalizes on the powerplay off a nice pass from Sebastian Repo to recently waived Jamie McGinn. T-Birds back within 1
- Thunderbirds Thomas Schemitsch immediately gets called for delay of game for firing the puck above the glass and the Comets are on another powerplay with 8 minutes left in the period
- Comets on the powerplay and Kero(#10) sets up Boucher(#24) with a golden scoring opportunity with a slick backhand pass.; Looks like Farnham just got a leg out in time to block the shot
- Saucerman(#39) picks up a loose puck and gets a shot on goal, Lind(#13) goes to the net to pick up the rebound, and in the ensuing scrum earns a Razzie for some bad acting trying to sell a penalty
- Lind is such a shithead out there its kind of funny how often he goes to these net-front scrums and tries to bait out the penalty
- Saucerman(#39) denies another zone entry attempt from the Thunderbirds
- Brendan Woods appears to take a high hit, possibly an elbow from other Tbird piece of garbage Paul Thompson and both get sent to the box for roughing…no clip of the elbow, camera moves to fast to catch it
- MacEwen(#15) casually taking the puck off his skate from the top half the circle, through center and 3 thunderbird players, into the Tbirds zone for a shot on goal
- Thunderbirds pull their tendy with 1:30 left in the period
- Kero, Boucher, Bancks, Brisebois and Sifers caught on the ice for an extended stretch, McEneny, MacEwen and Pyatt come in relief
- A puck goes off MacEwens skate leading to a defensive zone start against the man advantage Thunderbirds. Gaunce, Pyatt, Bancks, Brisebois and Schenn out for it.
- Schenn(#23) clears the puck and amazingly hits the fucking post and it gets called for icing….BRUTAL; rink wide and hits the post dead center…unlucky
- Schenn(#23) picks up the loose puck and clears it to end the game
The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 4-3 Comets
Another brutal period where the Comets were heavily outshot again, this time 16 to 8; relief tendy Michael Leighton comes up huge with 40 saves on 43 shots in regulation. Comets powerplay goes 3 for 4 which is good because their powerplay as of late had been absolute dogshit. Loved the line shakeups we saw tonight…Kero proving effective even apart from Reid Boucher, while Boucher’s stock dips a bit off some lazy defensive efforts and what I can only equate to rage-quitting off some blown scoring chances at even strength.
Final Score: 4-3 Utica Comets
|1st||Utica||Evan McEneny||Luke Schenn||Tanner Kero||PPG|
|1st||Utica||Jonathan Dahlen||Brendan Gaunce||Kole Lind||PPG|
|3rd||Springfield||Jacob MacDonald||Harry Zolnierczyk||Paul Thompson||PPG|
|3RD||Utica Comets||Tanner Kero||Reid Boucher||Luke Schenn||PPG|
|3rd||Springfield||Jamie McGinn||Sebastian Repo||Anthony Greco||PPG|
- Despite getting horribly outshot and outpossessed for the bulk of this game, the Comets eke out a victory off the strength of some great goaltending from relief tendy, Michael Leighton, great defensive efforts from all our pairings, and an effective bottom 6.
- Loving that Cull was putting the trust in his rookie core; d-zone starts, powerplay 2nd unit time, glad to see him put them in some less than ideal situations and trusting them to work it out! Really impressed by the chemistry between Gaunce, Lind and Gadjovich early on, in general, Lind’s gameplay has been elevated as of late…almost to the date when I called him out in a Farmies for playing like he was still in junior instead of playing a more straight forward brand of hockey. Love his agitator/instigator game, very underrated aspect of his game…without it we wouldn’t have got those two early powerplay goals and probably not have won tonight so huge props to him for having a big game.
- If that insane backcheck streamable from weeks ago of Zack MacEwen didn’t earn him a callup then tonights effort sure as hell did. Played a physical, tough game against a MUCH more physical team, WHILE still slicing and dicing his way through the offensive zone and the neutral zone to generate scoring chances…not to mention the fight for Gadjovich’s honor…despite coming away from the night with 0 points, the guys effort and creativity tonight kept the Thunderbirds on edge and constantly on the defensive whenever he held the puck…this guy is absolutely dangerous and carries a lethal skillset, I have no doubt he could produce at the NHL level with his skating and hustle. A Horvat like work ethic, without the firm defensive game. Cull is still giving him the penalty kill time to work out those issues though and I have no doubt that with his progression, we still might not know this kids ceiling.
- Colton Saucerman deserves some praise too, broke up a lot of Thunderbird rushes into the Comets zone, and while not the best skater, the guy exudes hard work and tough physical play, he’s a bit like Biega in that sense…I think realistically with his skating, he’s probably best fit for a bottom pairing energy/physical 3rd line role, essentially, our farm teams Alex Biega…perfectly adequate in both the offensive and defensive side, but its just that one extra THING that keeps him from elevating to the next level…that isn’t to say he’s bad, I think he’s been the best fucking D-man PTO the team has picked up, infinitely better than Watson and Wyszomirski, better defensively than Jesse Graham, but worse than him in the offensive and skating department…so while he has things to improve on, he’s still a great slot on that third pairing…looked great paired with Chatfield.
- Jasek once again is such a crafty dangerous guy, I think the one thing that’s probably keeping him from a firm call up with the big club is his shot is pretty weak…he can score goals, but I wouldn’t exactly say he’s a goal scorer…he’s like another Nikolay Goldobin but wayyyy better along the boards and with his puck control…actually battles for pucks while maintaining his craft and creative passing game. Not sure what the odds are on a 6th rounder with better defensive version of Goldobin’s game’s possibilities are in the big club, but he’s definitely worth a look later in the season
- Luke Schenn providing a great physical veteran presence to our d-men down on the farm, incredibly effective at preventing drives to the net, I’ve yet to see him get out-muscled. He’s a bit slower than the other guys, so that probably prevents him from being a replacement for Guddy or Pouliot, but I mean the big club lacks a physical, hard hitting defenseman besides old-man Edler…so if they really wanted to get a big body on that third pairing who can actually defend, maybe swap the Gud for the Schenn. Probably like a 0.01% chance that happens though haha
Comets Three Stars
- Kole Lind
- Lukas Jasek
- Luke Schenn HM: Michael Leighton for the clutch performance tonight
Unfortuantely the Farmies ONCE again takes a break, but when were back we’ll be hitting the Canucks fans with a triple dosage of content, as the Comets get their February into gear with a triple header starting with a back-to-back home stint against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Rochester Americans, followed by a road game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Going to start icing my fingers now and prep myself for the carpal tunnel to come as it’ll be a lot of hits in a short period of time!
Lehigh Valley are the Philadelphia Flyers farm team and are currently 3-2-0-0 in their last 5 and sit 4th in the Atlantic Division with 55 points and a .585 points percentage. Both Utica and Lehigh will be going into that Friday matchup with a 6 day break so it’ll be a total mystery to me as to how that one goes, the two teams meet only twice this season and don’t meet again until March.
With tonights victory, the Comets secure their spot for 4th in the North Division, with 43 points (6 points up on 5th place Cleveland Monsters) and carry a .552 points percentage
Until then, I Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, and as always 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!