With the Canucks season ending today against the Blues, we turn to the Farm team for something to look forward too! Unfortunately they’ve lost four consecutive games and haven’t won a game in regulation in their last 20! They haven’t won a road game in 8 straight games and have been outscored 34-10 during those 8.
The Major Slumps from guys who had run QUITE hot this season,
- Zack MacEwen – 7 games without a point, last goal march 6th
- Brendan Gaunce – 3 points in last 17 games, last goal February 17th
Tanner Kero remains on IR due to concussion protocol, Seamus Malone was released from his Amateur Tryout contract…I hope to god that’s a formality and an AHL deal is being worked on….if they gave up on him despite his 3 goals in 6 games then I officially give up on Ryan Johnson and Jim Benning…moreso on Jim Benning because according to Sportsnet 650, he’s looking to visit Utica this weekend (for the first time this season) to “find out from the coaches what exactly happened this season”
Remember when John Tortorella was vilified by the media and market for having not made any effort to talk with the Farm team during his tenure with the Canucks? How is it not a bigger talking point that the “draft/scouting guru” Jim Benning has made absolutely no effort to see how his system is doing? Why now?
Does this imply that when Carcone, Archibald, Nilsson and Dahlen were moved, he had absolutely no discussions or idea of what was going on with the farm at that time and just kind of assumed his moves would work out? I cant even put into words how baffled I am that he’s NOW making an effort to find out what the fuck happened to the season…as if he needs it spelled out for him in big block letters. You called up the entire team…your best players got season ending injuries….and the lack of prospect depth in the system caused your farm team to rely on ECHL players for the majority of this season due to terrible asset management. How is a top-to-bottom review of the organizations prospect pool and depth charts happening NOW? … I remember getting downvoted to oblivion for suggesting that there was a serious concern to be had about the lack of communication between both the Canucks and the Comets organizations (regarding the Palmu move and Dahlen trade) but this kind of affirms my fear that the Canucks brass has been operating with terrible information about their farm team which is completely unacceptable.
Incessant whining aside, tonight the Comets face off against the Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers farm club. The Wolf Pack sit dead last in the AHL’s Atlantic division, having had a similar string of losses as the Comets as they’ve gone 0-4-1-0 in their last 5. It aint no 1-8-1-0 in their last 10…but we can take solace knowing that its not JUST the Comets having some tough times lately! Maybe this meeting between two struggling clubs will lead to some exciting gameplay as both teams are out of playoff contention and will be looking to just play some exciting hockey!
damn glad to see Colton Saucerman and Vincent Arseneau back in the lineup, both were playing QUITE well before their stints on IR and on the bench
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||Out for the season||Out for the season||upper body injury||lower body injury||Concussion|
Took Woo and Malone out as they have been released from their ATO’s, both due to season ending injuries
|Anselmini||Thomas||Stevenson||Eliot (will not play this season due to expansion draft reasons)||Gardiner||Graham|
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
- Lot of forward pressure from the Comets through the first 2 minutes
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Dadjovich bless! The third line out for the Comets; relentless pressure pays off as a shot from Lukas Jasek(#9) has a shot go off the body of Adam Huska and Jonah Gadjovich(#22) is there to bat the rebound out of the air past Huska to open the games scoring! Gadjovich’s second game back after a 7 game stint on IR and he’s making a difference! Good for him!
- Matt Petgrave(#38) goes cross ice to his d-partner Colton Saucerman( #39) who steps in for a blast that Huska just gets a piece on resulting in a two on 1 the other way, Comets bailed out as Patrick Newell whiffs on the one timer attempt
- Dylan Blujus gets dinged for tripping behind the net so the Comets are off to the penalty kill
- 1st PK group: Sifers, Hamilton, Bancks, LeBlanc – clears after winning the draw, then control after the Wolf Packs second entry to clear for a change
- 2nd PK group: Woods, Gaunce, LeBlanc (stayed on), MacEwen – force an offside, and then force a clearing attempt
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-0 Comets: The Comets 3rd PK group earn a shorty, as an aggressive Reid Boucher(#24) lays a body check that opens up Tom Pyatt(#20) to wrist one past Huska! How nice it feels to be on the giving end of a shorthanded goal
- close one as a shot from the blue line goes off Mazanec and bounces OFF the top of the goal post, and Mazanec looks to have no clue where it went… in the ensuing clear, Aaron Thow gets a minor for delay of game (puck over the glass) so they’re back to the PK
- seconds after Zack MacEwen(#15) gets away with a blatant hold and trip, Brendan Woods(#21) picks up a loose puck to spring Mac on a shorthanded breakaway, unfortunately the puck is tough to control so the shot comes a bit too late
- ANOTHER shorthanded chance for Utica, this time Pyatt(#20) picks off a pass at center and plays give and go with Boucher(#24) for a tap-in attempt by the net
- Comets kill the penalty after the offensive zone draw after the Pyatt chance and then pressure AGAIN shorthanded and Carter Bancks pressures Huska into holding the puck allowing for another o-zone start
- LOL Wolf Pack having a tough go as a pass ricochets off the kick plate on the end boards and rolls JUST in front of the goal line past Huska who is completely unaware
- Youth line dominating as the Gadj/Jasek/Gaunce line with Thow and Petgrave hold the Wolf Pack in their end for at least 35-45 seconds while cycling along the boards. Great hustle from Gadjovich as he has a couple good puck steals to maintain possession for the Comets
- Jasek(#9) after a long shift of board battling, with quick skates on a backcheck to tie up his man and regain possession for the Comets
- oh god, I forgot Hartford is the team that has inexplicable moments where (what sounds like) a crowd of schoolgirls spend minutes SCREAMING at their highest pitch for as long as possible… why is this a thing?
- it’s not exactly the BEST example, but I just want to highlight that Gadjovich skating has come around, here he skates to the end boards to catch a Stefan LeBlanc(#3) dump-in then ties up TWO guys to allow for Brendan Gaunce(#16) to set up a play, unfortunately the play setup isn’t that great, but I liked the hustle and his ability to tie up two players to allow a play to get set up… I sense good things with time from him
- MacEwen(#15) dances around three Wolf Pack players, then Boucher(#24), not wanting to feel left out, catches a puck from mid-air to then dance between some Wolf Pack players for a shot on goal
Score at the end of the first period: 2-0 Comets
Feels like a lifetime since I left a period of Comets hockey thinking this team was looking sharp, or even held a substantial lead for that matter! They dominated the Wolf Pack and capitalized on their chances, something they were seriously lacking in previous first period efforts. They outshot the Wolf Pack 17 to 8…and to be honest I almost call bullshit on the 8 shots from Hartford, cause they really spend 17 of those 20 minutes in their own end. Like what I see, maybe now that pressure of a playoff push is off, they are playing a bit more loose?
- Saucerman(#39) weaves for a shot on goal, then MacEwen(#15) has his stick slashed in two on a shot attempt but no call is made somehow
- youth line pressuring again with their ice time, a little criss-cross from Jasek(#9) and Gaunce(#16) to set up for a shot on goal but Julias Bergman slew foots Gadjovich at the front of the net, drawing the penalty to put the Comets on the powerplay
- lol, off the draw, Cam Darcy gets his stick stuck in the skates of a Wolf Pack player and the powerplay is over 4 seconds in, and we’re off to 4-on-4
- Saucerman(#39) moves up to help out a down MacEwen(#15) along the end-boards in the Wolf Pack’s zone, has a nice chip off the boards to himself to gain the blue line, unfortunately he sauces a pass to Matt Petgrave(# 38) who promptly stares at the puck as its poked out of the zone causing the Comets to regroup
- like, I don’t want to seem like im hammering too hard on an ECHL PTO call up cause yeah he’s playing out of his depth on a team that is just NOT good…so I shouldn’t be expecting the world, but boy is it hard to ignore the gaffes that take away from the GOOD play of other players who IMO should be playing more than he is
- Jake Elmer gets dinged for slashing and the Comets are off to their 2nd powerplay of the period, and the game!
- 2nd Unit out to start first: Jasek, Gaunce, Gadjovich, Saucerman, Petgrave
- Jasek(#9) with a beauty quick turning feed to Gaunce(#16) cross ice for a shot on Adam Huska
- 1st unit out now: Boucher, Darcy, Pyatt, Thow, MacEwen
- Thow gets tripped up trying to lead the breakout, so Petgrave is out to replace him
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-0 Comets: Boucher(#24) goes cross-ice to Pyatt(#20) on the line who centers it to MacEwen (#15) for the tap-in goal but Huska makes the save, fortunately Cam Darcy(#11) crashes the net to bat in the rebound to put the Comets up by 3
- Comets just hammering the Wolf Pack in their own end… just constantly in their end, feels like ages have gone by since the Wolf Pack had any sustained pressure in the Comets end
- Brendan Woods(#21) continuing off his great game last night disrupts a Hartford pass attempt that leads to a MacEwen(#15) solo drive to the goal
- Gadjovich(#22) wheels down the ice to catch a long stretch feed from Jaime Sifers(#26), Gadj hits the breaks here but I think he could have beat the defender if he cut towards the net with the puck, still, decent pass to set up Gaunce( #16) for the one-timer
- Patrick Newell gets a shot on his former teammate Mazanec, but this time it goes off the bar and out of play
- MacEwen(#15) gets sprung on a fast breakaway with a stretch pass from LeBlanc(#3) but he puts his shot right into the breadbasket of Huska, noticeable frustration from him on that one, huge chance for him there wasted
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-0 Comets
Impressive period again from the Comets as they absolutely hammer the Wolf Pack over the period with sustained pressure in their end…Shots were much closer (8 to 5) but the possession numbers would show pure dominance from Utica once again…Think collective time spent in Uticas end was less than 2 minutes total that period. Like what I see from the youth line of Jasek/Gadj/Gaunce, MacEwen looking good with his chances on the Woods/Bancks line. Pyatt/Boucher/Darcy line was a bit quiet at even strength…was basically the youth line and the Mac line spending every shift of theirs hemming the Wolf Pack in their end. 1 more to go, lets hope some of the other guys can end their scoring droughts tonight!
- whole lot of nothing through the first 7 minutes of the period, lot of end to end skating but no significant shots on goal from either team, possibly even any
- and just like that the Wolf Pack’s Brandon Crawley gets dinged for tripping and the Comets are off to the powerplay
- 1st unit out for the draw: MacEwen, Boucher, Darcy, Pyatt, Thow
- Boucher(#24) with a slick cross-ice pass to Pyatt(# 20) on the powerplay, then drives to the net to try and catch Pyatt’s rebound
- 2nd Unit gets a few shots that bounce of Huska but they lose the zone and the powerplay ends
- Hartford with more possession in the Comets zone this period than the previous two combined
- Wolf Packs Ryan Gropp takes a slashing penalty on a Comets zone entry and Boucher just hands the puck to the ref to stop play LOL, off to their 4th powerplay of the game
- 2nd Unit out to start: Thow, Saucerman, Gadjovich, Jasek, Gaunce
- Powerplay units struggling to get anything going this time around…1st unit rolls out and two times in a row they are caught offside on the entry leading to neutral zone starts…shame
- Lines being shifted up a bit. Jasek now out with Bancks and Woods – Gadjovich out with MacEwen and Gaunce – not sure what precipitated the line switch up? Wasn’t an injury I don’t think…perhaps just due to the powerplay shifts shaking out I guess
- 3 minutes remaining and Adam Huska gets pulled for the extra man
- can’t stand when they pull the goalie this early, it usually leads to soooo many icings since that’s all the defending team can usually manage to do
- Jaime Sifers comes up clutch with a huge shot block while being hemmed in their end facing the 6 man Wolf Pack
- The first draw the Comets KIND OF win and Brendan Woods sends his shot on the empty net, WIDE
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-0 Comets: The Comets finally manage possession after several defensive draws in their end as Brendan Woods(#21) picks off a pass and sets up Carter Bancks(#34) to saucer a pass to a streaming MacEwen(#15) who walks it into the empty net. MacEwen with his first goal since March 6th…brutal stretch of puck luck for the guy
- Mazanec gets his first win with the Comets as a starter with a 21 shot shutout. Good victory for the boys!
Final Score: 4-0 Utica Comets
|1st||Utica||Jonah Gadjovich||Lukas Jasek||Brendan Gaunce||5v5|
|1st||Utica||Tom Pyatt||Reid Boucher||—||SHG|
|2nd||Utica||Cam Darcy||Zack MacEwen||Tom Pyatt||PPG|
|3rd||Utica||Zack MacEwen||Carter Bancks||Brendan Woods||EN|
- boy it feels good to cover a win; nay, a DOMINANT win…Comets were effective everywhere tonight, the powerplay, penalty kill, neutral ice, the corners, they were just all over the Wolf Pack through those first two periods and it pays off as they get a much deserved 4-zip victory.
- Really solid games from Gadjovich and MacEwen tonight…I mean altogether I think most lines played really good…I would hope that Cull elects to NOT sit out Saucerman for Sundays afternoon game as he looked sharp tonight offensively AND defensively while paired with a guy who I think has had a very rough go in his stint with the Comets!
- Hopefully this victory inspires a bit of confidence in the boys going into tomorrows game against the Providence Bruins. There were some key scoring droughts ended tonight and I hope that despite the lack of purpose to their remaining 4 games of the season, they just go out there to try and have fun and score some goals and impress for next year!
Comets Three Stars
- Zack MacEwen
- Jonah Gadjovich
- Marek Mazanec
HM: Tom Pyatt for his shorthanded goal and the assist on the Comets lone powerplay goal of the evening
The Comets return tomorrow afternoon for another road game, this time against the Boston Bruins farm team, Providence. Providence is coming off a two game stint against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where they first won an insane 8-6 victory at home on Friday followed by a 4-3 loss on the road. Providence sits 4th in the AHL’s Atlantic division, up by only 3 points on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins so they are going to be playing some desperate hockey to end their triple header with some badly needed points to separate from the Pens for a playoff slot.
Tomorrow I am going to be out with the home inspector checking out our new place, so positive vibes from the r/canucks fam are needed as if this place doesn’t work out then I’ll be in serious shit; having to find a NEW place to live in less than 60 days is quite less than ideal…so fingers crossed from everyone is needed that the place has no unexpected issues and works out great!
That being said, I hope to have a recap of the game done ideally tomorrow night, if not then, maybe Monday night depending on the home inspection results! Have a great rest of your weekend guys!