Whats up R/Canucks, the snow is back and so are our Utica Comets for another key tilt in the battle for supremacy in the AHL’s North Division! Tonight should be a banger…and by banger…I mean fucking bizarre…there’s a huge flu bug destroying the Comets right now so we have basically all our young guns out with illness, and a bunch of call-ups from the relatively local ECHL team, the Adirondack Thunder to help them out in their moment of need!
Its been a pretty busy week for the farm team (somehow), the team saw Ashton Sautner recalled to the Canucks (and he looked solid in his debut IMO) while Guillaume Brisebois was returned to the farm for some more seasoning to refine his game. Breezer did okay all things considered, but you could really tell the difference in confidence between Sautner and Breezers games.
As for the Comets themselves, they sit in a tie for 3rd place with the Toronto Marlies, with 64 points. Their opponent tonight, the Rochester Americans lead the North Division with 69 points (the sex number) and a .651 points percentage. Utica edges the Marlies by strength of their ROW (28 to the Marlies 27) So tonight is a pretty important matchup as the Comets will want to solidify their place as third in the division to get that more favorable matchup against the 2nd place team (should they continue their stretch towards a Calder playoff run).
With that being said, lets get into tonight’s lineup and the game at hand so we can quickly return to mashing F5 on r/hockey for the latest trade deadline updates
Poor Jasek…slotted with Bancks and Hamilton tonight…Wont expect much from that line if they settle into checking roles primarily…hopefully Jasek can maybe create something with them, but I’m definitely not holding my breath.
Also sliding into tonight’s lineup are Kyle Thomas and Mike Szmatula, Szmatula is a left winger from the Adirondack Thunder who put up a pretty decent 39 points in 48 games, he is a former teammate of current Comet PTO Colton Saucerman, both played together at Northeastern University for 2 years. Kyle Thomas on the other hand is a Comets contracted player who was called up from the Kalamazoo Wings earlier this week; Thomas has put up 38 points in 41 games with the KWings slotting on the right wing…not sure how sliding your ECHL Left Winger to center will pan out, but maybe that’s just an EP.com issue and Szmatula has spent most of his time at Center?
Back in the lineup is Jesse Graham…last game he performed OK but not great, and his lack of defensive ability saw him slide out of the lineup in favor of Colton Saucerman…if he wants a permanent spot he better start producing like crazy with his speed, otherwise he might find himself back on the bench.
I think Brendan Woods was scratched due to the veteran restriction
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||hand||Ill||Upper body injury||Out for the season||Ill|
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
- Wacey Hamilton picks up a cross-checking penalty 16seconds into the game…good start lol
- 1st PK unit: Bancks, Brisebois, Darcy, Sifers
- Cam Darcy(#11) with a solid solo effort to muscle down Matt Tennyson and clear the zone
- 2nd PK unit: Gaunce, Pyatt, McEneny, Chatfield
- 3rd PK unit: Kero, Boucher, Brisebois, Sifers
- Tanner Kero(#10) and Reid Boucher(#24) combine to kill off a chunk of the penalty
- Evan McEneny(#2) with some style points as he goes through his legs to exit the zone and lead the entry
- Also it’s not your computer it’s the AHL’s camera crew who’ve failed to white balance properly, causing the ice to be blinding white so don’t futz around with your monitors folks!
- Decent physical hard-hitting shift from Arseneau, Thomas and Szmytula with a couple of hard hits from Brisebois in there to boot
- Reid Boucher gets tripped and the Comets go to their first powerplay of the game…will be absolutely weird seeing a powerplay without Dahlen working the wall
- 1st PP Unit: Pyatt, Kero, Gaunce, McEneny, Boucher
- 1st unit controls, but has trouble getting the puck through traffic until a stoppage in play by netminder Scott Wedgewood
- 2nd PP Unit: Gardiner, Darcy, Graham, Jasek, Brisebois
- Looks like Graham is slotting in as a right winger for the powerplay…interesting adaptation from Cull in the absence of a Dahlen/Lind/MacEwen, like the creativity and willing to take risks with the lineup, especially with a player like Graham who’s struggled of late with consistency.
- Lots of end to end play, but nothing really of note, teams trying to get into a rhythm
- A shot from the Amurks Brendan Guhle PINGS bardown and stays out SOMEHOW
- McEneny(#2) picks up the rebound off a faceoff draw and calmly clears
- Vincent Arseneau gets tripped up on a drive to the net and the Comets get sent on their second powerplay of the night
- Powerplay ends with 0 shots on goal, and two shorthanded chances against
- Lol Powerplay ends and then on an ensuing ozone draw, the Comets get dinged for a faceoff violation and are back on a PK
- Penalty kill ends and then Guillaume Brisebois(#55) has a dangerous giveaway after a no-look backhand through center; again, stop with the no-look backhand passes
- Lukas Jasek(#9) tags up and then chases the puck in the Amurk zone and does a nice pirouette to dodge William Borgen to then setup Kero(#10) for a shot on goal
- I’d just like to brag that I spelled pirouette right on the first try
- clock times out as the Comets face a couple shots from the Amurks in their own zone as the buzzer goes
Score at the end of the first period: 0-0 Tie
Fast period of hockey; lots of end to end play, however not too many real “danger” chances for the Comets in the first…Outshot 12 to 5… the powerplay looks QUITE rough without a Jonathan Dahlen to sauce passes back to McEneny or Boucher from the wall. Like I posited earlier in the pre-amble, the Jasek/Hamilton/Bancks line is just super unfortunate for Jasek…his linemates can’t do much but defend the PKm but are basically useless at pressuring in the offensive zone.
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: 56 seconds into the second period, Kero(#10) with a great effort to block an Amurk clearing attempt that Reid Boucher(#24) picks up for the give and go to Kero who quickly snaps one past Wedgewood to open the games scoring
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-0 Comets: Wow, the Comets love their quick ones, Reid Gardiner(#14) with an aggressive forecheck picks off a pass from the Amurks’ Yannick Veilleux and puts one past Wedgewoods’ gloveside to give the Comets a 2 goal lead in less than 2 minutes of play. That’s Reid Gardiners 1st AHL goal for this season*! 2 goals on 7 shots for the Comets
- oh yes, our game is getting a bit nutty as right off the ensuing faceoff draw Taylor Leier powers past Brisebois(# 55) and Jaime Sifers(#26) for the breakaway shot on goal
- Brisebois(#55) gets launched to the boards off a big hit by Yannick Veilleux
- Jasek(#9) takes a long ice feed from Kulbakov for a shot on Wedgewood, then casually outsmucles and ties up the 6’2” 220 lb. Andrew MacWilliam along the boards then engages in a hard battle with the 6’2” 205 lb. Dalton Smith until the Comets retrieve the puck. Jasek is listed 6’1” 183 lbs. but man he competes like he’s 6’4” 220 lbs.. this kid does not give a fuck how big you are when fighting on the boards
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-0 Comets: An aggressive forecheck from Vincent Arseneau(#18) sets up ECHL call-up Kyle Thomas(#28) for a shot on goal, that rebounds out to Brisebois(#55) who follows the play for the shot that goes past Wedgewood for the 3 goal lead! Great hustle and effort from the ECHL line to get that play going
- Jasek(#9) goes far up ice for the shot on goal, I have said in previous editions of the Farmies that Jasek’s biggest point of improvement was his shot, usually he’d use his skating for a better position or shot around the goalie, but tonight he’s just pulling a Boucher and throwing everything at Wedgewood, I dig it
- Jasek’s line after that shot had a brutal backcheck where Jasek broke up a rebound scoring chance with his glove before his line was able to clear for a change
- Jaime Sifers gets dinged for high-sticking and the Comets are back to the penalty kill
- GOAL – ROCHESTER – 3-1 Comets: Comets on the PK, Rasmus Asplund mishandles the puck and goes to catch it at the blue line, as he does, all 4 Comets find themselves drawn to Asplund’s side like moths to a flame, so Asplund goes cross ice to a wide open Victor Olofsson who snipes one past Kulbakov
- Comets with some sustained pressure for once this period, Brisebois(#55) steps up to play the puck to his D partner Sifers(#2 6)but the pass is nowhere close, springing the Amurks on an odd man rush that fortunately Kulbakov is able to save
- GOAL – ROCHESTER – 3-2 Comets: Big oof as McEneny(#2) tries to set up Boucher(#24) for a tip/re-direct, the puck gets gloved down by Andrew MacWilliam who springs ahead Wayne Simpson for a breakaway who baits Kulbakov to go belly down so he can lift it high above him to cut the Comets lead to 1
- That backcheck from McEneny will probably kill any chance McEneny had of earning a call-up to the Canucks
- Sifers gets called for his 2nd penalty of the night, this time for a delay of game, and the Comets will spend the next 2 minutes on the PK
- GOAL – ROCHESTER – 3-3 Tie: well…this has been a period of hockey…3 unanswered for Utica followed by 3 unanswered for the Amurks. ..this tying goal off a Remi Elie slapshot off a pass from Rasmus Asplund…looks like Kulbakov DID get a glove on it but just a piece and it trickles past him into the net
- Comets with some sustained pressure to end the period, but all their shots are sent wide of the net
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-3 Tie
Well THAT was a period of hockey…Comets once again outshot…this time 12 to 9 (the gap is closing joke here)… Comets looked pretty decent capitalizing on the Amurks mistakes early to get the 3 goal lead…but man they had some mistakes of their own to see that lead erased just as fast as they earned it. No clue who’s game this is right now…Comets have scored on less chances, and Rochester is just dominating in the shots against column…we’ll see!
- oof, Alex Nylander left completely alone but Kulbakov beats him in the 1v1
- Victor Olofsson gets himself on a huge breakaway and Kulbakov is once again depended on to make the clutch save
- 2 huge breakaways in as many minutes
- Comets absolutely struggling to control the puck past the Amurk’s blue line
- Jasek(#9) gets sent for the 1 on 1 but puts the puck into Wedgewood’s gut
- Jasek(#9) skates around Brendan Guhle to set up Carter Bancks(#34) at center, but his stick is tied up and can’t get a shot
- This Gaunce, Gardiner, Darcy line appears to be doing OK together, they’re constantly possessing in the Amurks zone but are constantly giving up possession while generating no shots…the timing/chemistry just doesn’t seem there at all
- Oh man Jasek(#9) with a brilliant pass to Brendan Gaunce(#16) here as he steps in to help Wacey Hamilton(#36) along the boards, Gaunce could’ve gained the lead right here if his shot isn’t trash. This is how a no look back hand pass should be, tape to tape
- Gaunce springs Darcy for a breakaway shot but gets tripped up, the call is made and the Comets will go to the powerplay
- jesus Christ, Gardiner(#14) who’s been having a decent game tonight catches Matt Tennyson with a high stick, ending the powerplay and putting the game at a 4on4 and brief PK into OT if we reach it
- Jasek out for 4 on 4 which pleases me…I’m glad Cull recognizes how fucking good he’s played tonight
- Rochester controls the puck and winds down the clock, guess they’re more comfortable with the 4 on 3 powerplay than the 5 on 4, pretty smart
Score at the end of the Third Period: 3-3 Tie
Another period where the Comets were just dominated by the clearly much superior Rochester Americans…but honestly they should hold their head high, this team has practically no stars playing tonight, just a bunch of grit…real meat and potatoes team, and they took the North Divisions number 1 team to overtime…so the point streak continues, but sad that this could’ve been over after those 3 early goals…hopefully they can eke it out here in overtime or the shootout, because man they left Kulby out to dry tonight
- GOAL – ROCHESTER – 4-3 Amurks: and there it is, the first shot of the Amurks powerplay connects from Zach Redmond and the Amurks go 4 unanswered, 3 for 5 on the powerplay and win it.
Final Score: 4-3 Rochester Americans
|2nd||Utica||Tanner Kero||Reid Boucher||—||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Guillaume Brisebois||Kyle Thomas||Vincent Arseneau||5v5|
|2nd||Rochester||Victor Olofsson||Rasmus Asplund||Zach Redmond||PPG|
|2nd||Rochester||Wayne Simpson||Andrew MacWilliam||—||5v5|
|2nd||Rochester||Remi Elie||Rasmus Asplund||Zach Redmond||PPG|
|OT||Rochester||Zach Redmond||Wayne Simpsons||Victor Olofsson||PPG|
- Well…bit of a heartbreaker, bit of an, “oh well” bit of a, “wtf you idiots!” a grab bag of emotions all in one period of hockey. Yes the Comets should be kicking themselves in the pants after that one as they earn 3 goals at even strength against the best team in the North Division only to completely squander it off of awful, awful penalties…imagine that…at 5v5 you gain a 3 goal lead, and you the only way you get beat is by the other team getting repeated powerplay’s off your laziness. I mean jesus, Jaime Sifers, High sticking and delay of game, just unforgivable…and Reid Gardiner what the hell are you doing with your stick on the powerplay…just an awful way to lose a game in which despite the Comets being outshot badly, still managed to look VERY competitive at 5v5
- Honestly I’m pretty surprised that the team was able to generate much of anything without Lind, Dahlen or Gadj in the lineup. A team loaded full of ECHL call-ups shouldn’t look competitive at 5v5 versus the Amurks but they pulled it out.. I cant even rag on em that hard really because it really was a rag tag bunch facing against the Amurks A-squad essentially.
- Strong games from Lukas Jasek…I mean jesus, look at the streamables the guys game is just sooo strong on the ice… the board work and hustle you’d love a guy like Goldobin to display on a nightly basis…relatively undersized in weight, but just plays like he’s as big as Vinny Arseneau, hard to not like his game. I really wouldn’t mind him getting a call-up if we’re playing the “lets see what we got” game with the Canucks down the stretch
- Kulbakov looked good in his return, hard to fault him on those powerplay goals as his team just left him out to dry, whether it be on that first goal from Olofsson or that breakaway from Wayne Simpson…he stopped 32 of 36 tonight, and although that might not tell the story of the game, so much of tonight’s shots were high danger, and he was huge tonight
Comets Three Stars
- Lukas Jasek
- Ivan Kulbakov
- Vincent Arseneau
Well it wasn’t in the cards tonight, but the Comets keep the point streak alive, (points in their last 8 straight games), they manage to stay on pace with the Toronto Marlies who went to overtime and lost against the Syracuse Crunch tonight as well.
Tomorrow night the Comets return to face off against the North Divisions last place, Binghamton Devils. The Devils are currently riding a 4 games losing streak heading into tomorrows game. The Devils have the second worst home record in the AHL’s North Division, holding a 14-12-3-0 record this season. The Devils also come into tomorrows matchup with the 2nd worst powerplay % in the league with a 15.9% success rate, so that’s great news for the Comets who love to take really stupid penalties at VERY inopportune times, so if we’re looking at a repeat of tonight’s lineup, the Comets team can take solace knowing that their casual “Bad-penalty” taking ability wont cause them too much trouble against this struggling, awful New Jersey farm team!
Course, I just completely jinxes it so I will see you all tomorrow for a recap of the Comets inevitable 9-0 loss to the Devils! 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!