3/6/19 – Utica Comets vs. Syracuse Crunch

Good Evening Canucks fans! Before we settled into darkness, our old friend, as the Canucks face off against the literal greatest team in hockey, Canada’s Team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, lets settle for a little bit of the sunshine, as our Farm enter into the 8th game of the “Galaxy Cup,” a 10 game series between the Utica Comets and the Syracuse Crunch. After going 3w-0L against the Crunch in January, the Comets returned to a bit more of the familiar as they dropped a 4-0 game to the Crunch last month.


The Comets are going to be missing more bodies from the lineup as Guillaume Brisebois was called up to the Canucks today due to a possible lengthy foot injury to Ben Hutton, so with that the Comets had to sign another defenseman PTO, this time, Matt Petgrave joins them from the Brampton Beast of the ECHL, where he put up 8 goals and 32 assists and a +/- of +25 in 50 games. I don’t think Petgrave slides into tonight’s lineup due to the short nature of his call-up but given how badly in need of healthy bodies, the Comets lineup is, the likelihood of him getting a start in this weekend’s double header is pretty high.


The Crunch are 6-2-1-1 in their last 10, while the Comets are 5-3-2-0 in theirs…its Crunch time (not for the Crunch, but for the Comets) as they desperately need points heading down this last stretch of games for the season…the Belleville Senators are HOT on their tails, sharing the same points as the Comets (67), but they lose out due to games played (Utica 59 to Belleville’s 60) and then on points percentage (Utica’s .568 to Belleviles .558).


With all that ominous and terrifying foreboding out of the way lets get into tonight’s game,

But first, a final word about Jonathan Dahlen (until he does another interview that cause the Canuckleverse to implode)…




Starting Lineup


Gadjovich Hamilton Bancks
Boucher Kero MacEwen
Gaunce Woods Lind
Pyatt Darcy Jasek
McEneny Sifers
Anselmini Chatfield
Graham Saucerman
Michael Leighton




Injury Report
Bachman Blujus Juolevi LeBlanc
Out for the Season hand Out for the season Undisclosed


Healthy Scratches
Arseaneau Gardiner Petgrave Thomas
1 1 1 4


Arseneau slots out of the lineup with the returns of Tanner Kero and Wacey Hamilton to the lineup, Kero missed the last 4 games due to injury, while Hamilton (I believe) was a healthy scratch, but may also have been on IR given how hard the illness bug seemed to go through that locker room in the past two weeks.


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: 3-0 Crunch


I mean…it could be worse…right? Remember the 10-1 game? … They at least had SOME sustained pressure towards the end of the period. They were outshot 15 to 8, but they had some good looks from Jasek, MacEwen and Anselmini in that period…if those two shots off the post make it in, it’s a totally different game we’re looking at…just need to see more of that fight that we saw at the end of the first.


2nd Period



The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-0 Crunch


Oh boy, I mean, if everyone could stop cycling along the walls and just take shots on the net from wherever they can that’d be greaaaaaaaaat. Comets, despite 3 powerplays, manage to get oushot 6 to 5 that period…and if I’m being completely honest, probably 4 of those 5 shots were 0-danger chances for. Everyone of Syracuse shots on goal were off speedy zone entries that led to a lot of time and space for Crunch shooters. There is little pieces of gold in this game, with some great passing plays from Jasek, but man the timing and play making of this team without their core defenders is just truly awful.


3rd Period


  • GOAL – UTICA – 3-1 Comets: so this is what joy feels like! A shot from Colton Saucerman(#39) ricochets around the boards and Jalen Chatfield(#5) is there to pass it back the other way to Tanner Kero(#10) who twists around Jan Rutta to feed Boucher(#24) at the front of the net who goes five-hole on Eddie Pasquale to put the Comets on the board
  • Brady Brassart checks into Brandon Anselmini who takes exception, and Brendan Woods steps up to him letting him chickity check himself before he wrickity wrecks himself
  • Some hard hits from both sides off the next faceoff draw, both teams getting a bit chippy
  • bit of a Kane loose net situation, but the refs call it right this time, as the Comets have a rush going the opposite way and elect to not blow the play down until the puck is in control of the goalie
  • Anselmini having a really strong game tonight on the blue line…shame the team is just struggling so hard to find the back of the net
  • GOAL – SYRACUSE – 4-1 Crunch: After a pass by Jasek(#9) in the Crunch’ zone gets picked off in the ensuing play, after the puck comes out from behind the Comets net to Cal Foote, he goes cross ice to Nolan Valleau who’s shot ping pongs around the front of Leightons net, where Carter Verhaege gets the final touch and puts the Comets back on a 3 goal deficit
  • LOL we get the atypical crowd shots post-goal and the entire arena is basically clearing out, and the mascot is just in the stands waving at people leaving, it was quite funny – respect to all the fans who are still sticking around.
  • Off an offensive zone faceoff draw, Cal Foote takes a slashing penalty and the Comets pressure with the man advantage
  • GOAL – UTICA – 4-2 Crunch: Lind(#13) catches a pass along the boards and sends it to Gaunce(#16 )who attempts a cross ice pass but it goes off a skate back to him, on the second try he edges closer to the goal and THEN goes cross-ice to a trailing MacEwen (#15) who sinks it past Pasquale to put the Comets back within 2
  • Sifers(#26) with a great dive to prevent what probably was a guaranteed goal
  • GOAL – UTICA – 4-3 Crunch: holy shit, a puck battle along the end boards and Lind(#13) fishes it out to a wide open Anselmini(#7) who has all the time in the world to snipe it high blocker side on Eddie Pasquale to bring the Comets within 1
  • Bet those guys who left now are feeling pretty silly, this game just got crazy
  • 4 minutes left and the Comets are outshooting the Crunch 33-18
  • 2 minutes left, and for whatever reason Cull is shifting on Tom Pyatt who has been dishing muffins all night on net…and sure enough he muffins a pass to Chatfield on the blue line, causing the Comets to lose possession in the zone
  • minute 30 remaining and the Comets have an offesnsive zone faceoff and the goalie is pulled…again Pyatt is working the Dahlen spot for some reason
  • GOAL – SYRACUSE – 5-3 Crunch: well they tried…unfortunately the Comets win a puck battle along the boards but Kero(#10) trips and loses possession leading to an empty netter for Jan Rutta.


Final Score: 5-3 Syracuse Crunch




Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Syracuse Gabriel Dumont Andy Andreoff Ben Thomas SHG
1st Syracuse Ross Colton 5v5
1st Syracuse Carter Verhaeghe 5v5
3rd Utica Reid Boucher Zack MacEwen Jalen Chatfield 5v5
3rd Syracuse Carter Verhaeghe Taylor Raddysh Nolan Valleau 5v5
3rd Utica Zack MacEwen Brendan Gaunce Kole Lind 5v5
3rd Utica Brandon Anselmini Kole Lind 5v5
3rd Syracuse Jan Rutta Cory Conacher EN



  • Oddly enough, Trent Cull had a bit of a post-practice scrum with the team, stressing the importance of the games to come down the stretch (RE: Playoffs etc.) Doesn’t look like the pep talk did much, because the boys just look completely out to lunch
  • It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but defensive blunders from the Comets early totally blow the game open for the Syracuse Crunch who basically let the Comets dig themselves a grave to find their way out of…A really unfortunate game through and through…we had really quality games from Kole Lind, Zack MacEwen, Lukas Jasek and Brandon Anselmini, but they just struggled so hard until that Reid Boucher goal…the team needed confidence and inspiration, and Boucher gave it to them…really too bad that first period set them so far back, because like most games against the Syracuse Crunch, the Comets ARE competitive, but every loss it genuinely feels like they beat themselves more than they get beat.
  • Tom Pyatt had a pretty brutal game…tonne’s of muffins for shots and passes, basically every shot of his was predictable or straight into the chest of Eddie Pasquale…on that 2 on 1 with Jasek, I almost wish he passed it, but his passes were so weak this game that I think I’d end up wishing for him to shoot instead…but then I see all of his shots tonight and go…oh I guess there’s no winning at all here…just a really rough game for the NHL veteran
  • I actually REALLY like Brandon Anselmini’s game tonight, guy has a wicked shot from that blue line, absolute rifle of a shot that we saw multiple times tonight. He registered 4 shots on goal tonight, which is pretty impressive considering his fellow D-man, Jesse Graham, who quarterbacked 4 of the teams powerplays only managed 1 after 60 minutes of play.
  • Can I get an F in chat for Evan McEneny…between being written off by Jim Benning as a depth guy (despite Jim admittedly having not watched a single second of Utica hockey this season), he’s 5th on the team in points, THE powerplay quarterback, an effective penalty killer and generally one of the most sound defenceman on this team…I’m fucking begging the gods to spare this man from another severe knee injury…the man has had several already, and ending his absolutely stellar year in this way seems truly, fucking cruel. Take my knee McEneny, you’ve earned it dude….I’ve been calling for you to get called up over Brisebois this entire season…you were ready, despite your speed, the composure of your game made you easily the best on this team…fuck. Fingers crossed my dude… your play deserved better your season ends here tonight.
  • Also minor shout out to Kole Lind, who despite playing some really forgettable hockey since Adam Gaudette got called up, he stepped up pretty big tonight creating plays with some pretty fantastic passes to guys in the open. He and Colton Saucerman were the only guys to end the night with positive +/-…and yes…I know the stat is not indicative of how the game played out…but still impressive given how awful this team was in the first period with their turnovers, and how long it took them to turn it around.


Comets Three Stars

  1. Brandon Anselmini
  2. Kole Lind
  3. Zack MacEwen

HM: Brendan Gaunce, who looked much more like the Gaunce of old while playing on the wing, as opposed to his recent run of playing at center where he looked much more uncomfortable.


What’s Next?


Well it’ll be a lot of scoreboard watching for me…as the Comets fail to pick up a point tonight despite their best efforts; the Belleville Senators play Thursday and then again on Friday, in matchups that could prove to be the difference maker against the Comets in this playoff push. The Comets are back against the Crunch this Friday…and depending on how Belleville’s games go, this could be a Canucks vs. Vegas type of game…a do or die if you will.


Until Friday, 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!

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