What’s up R/Canucks! The season is dead…but there is still hockey to be seen from the farm team! Tonight the farm squad faces off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Penguins sit precariously in 6th place in the AHL’s Atlantic division, and are currently riding a 2 game losing streak; a pretty awful time to go on a losing streak when you’re literally THIS CLOSE to Calder playoffs! Sneaking into the 5th place spot with only 4 points behind the Providence was the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who currently PLAY against Providence tonight!
For the Penguins sake they need Lehigh to beat Providence and then lose their final game of the season…and they need to win all 3 of their triple header games this weekend to surge past Providence…a pretty tall task!
On the other hand there’s our lovable band of misfit players, the Utica Comets, who’s struggles transcend time and space, that’s how awful they’ve been…but at least it isn’t for a lack of trying…they’re playing their hearts out but the skill is what we really need for them to win games and score goals, something that has just NOT happened the past month and a half.
So Tonight is zero expectations…one team is fighting for their lives and the other is a hodge podge of players struggling to try and make it work! Lets get into tonight’s match and see how the Farm starts off their final 3 games of the season!
Pretty stoked to see Kole Lind and Tanner Kero return from injuries; Kero because he’s actually a pretty legit hockey player and playmaking centerman, and Lind because the more prospects on the farm to cover, the better!
The team had a mass-exodus of their ECHL talent to their ECHL affiliated teams as they all head into playoffs for the Kelly Cup. Hard to believe we can even field a team after shedding, Saucerman, Thomas, Petgrave and Kulbakov, but after ditching the playoff bound ECHL’ers we picked up some others NOT heading into playoffs; Goaltender Ty Reichenbach and Defensemen Connor Doherty and Derek Pratt.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||Out for the season||Out for the season||upper body injury||lower body injury|
|Arseneau||Stevenson||Vanderlaan||Pratt||Doherty||Eliot(wont play due to exp. Draft considerations)|
I know the sub and myself harp on the Utica team for their deployment of perceived “career AHL’ers” and “ECHL level talent”… but dammit, I genuinely want Vinny Arseneau playing hockey for this team…at least he hits and can score fucking goals…. Pyatt, Bancks, Darcy, Lind, hell you could make an argument that the majority of this lineup is completely ineffective as of late…but Arseneau’s playstyle has actually been damn effective lately.
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
- Oh yeah I didn’t even mention but Jaime Sifers is calling it quits at the conclusion of this weekends triple header, so stick taps to the old man as he leaves the game on his own terms!
- Reid Boucher(#24) with a breakaway chance off a blocked shot EARLY into the first period
- Jonah Gadjovich(#22) with some aggressive forechecking early to take away the puck in the Penguins zone
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: The aggressive pressure from the Gadjovich/Jasek combo pays off again! This time Gadj tips the puck to Wacey Hamilton (#36) who leads the zone entry with Lukas Jasek(#9) where his shot from the blue line goes off the pad of Pens tendy John Muse into the endboards where Hamilton(#36) backhands a pass that goes off Jasek’s skate to Gadjovich(#22) who’s crashed the net and gets a slick backhand shot under Muse’s pads.
- alt angle showing the slick backhander
- Hamilton( #36) with a slick rink wide feed to a streaming Gadjovich(#22) who streams down the left wing for a shot that just misses wide of the goal, then Brendan Woods(#21) catches the puck on the other wing and weaves between a couple Pens before setting up Gadjovich for his second shot of the shift
- Imagine if instead of riding the bench for half the games this season and Gadjovich just played ALL of them….I wonder if we would’ve seen this remarkable improvement back in December/January when games you know…mattered?
- That being said, according to Botchford, Gadjovich was dealing with an injury for the bulk of this season but was trying to play through it
- Kole Lind(#13) and Brendan Gaunce(#16) combine for a couple backhanders to set up Cam Darcy(#11) for a one timer but he whiffs, leaving Jesse Graham(#64) to step in for a shot, bit of craziness ensues with the puck being totally lost by Tendy John Muse , play gets whistled dead even though you can clearly see the puck sitting between both his legs in the crease
- Cam Darcy is playing like a man possessed this game… tried going through the legs for a shot on goal earlier in the period, and then tried another nifty deke attempt for a shot on goal a moment ago
- Jim Benning is at the Comets games this weekend…guess that’s why Darcy is playing with some gusto
- Jesse Graham takes a cross-checking penalty with 6:50 left in the fist period putting the Comets on the PK
- See now, here I would throw out Gadjovich; throw out Lind, Throw out Jasek…see what you have in your youth in their penalty killing abilities…you might as well since like 50% of this team won’t be back next season due to expiring contracts… the games are meaningless….they’re shafted to the 3rd and 4th lines already…so why the fuck aren’t you playing them on the PK?
- Instead first group is Hamilton, Bancks, LeBlanc, Sifers
- The youngest players we get on the PK are MacEwen and Aaron Thow… no PK time for the youth group – Penalty killed succesfully
- Boucher(#24) attempts to passing plays to Gadjovich(#22) for a shot on goal but both don’t work out, the COmets pressure pays off though as Brandon Anselmini(#7) draws a tripping penalty to put the Comets on the powerplay
- 1st Powerplay Unit: Gadjovich, Jasek, Gaunce, Lind, Graham
- You have to think the pressure of JB being at the game is the reason this 1st group is out to start haha
- 1st group gets one play try that gets cleared and then they get shifted off for MacEwen, Pyatt, Kero, Boucher, Thow
- Boucher(# 24) with a brilliant cross ice feed to Tom Pyatt(#20) on the powerplay but Pyatt takes too long to take his shot, allowing a VERY slow Muse to take two extra steps to get into position for the save. Was quite literally a completely open net for Pyatt there
- Powerplay ends – wish that first unit was given time for a second entry and try
Score at the end of the first period: 1-0 Comets
Solid start for the Comets! And once again I feel like I’m spending my intermission periods gushing about the improvements in Gadjovich’ skating and all-around game…Like the look of his line with Jasek and Hamilton – Hamilton brings the speed and Jasek is a crafty playmaker and passer so these guys have been looking dynamite all night so far! Comets outshot the Baby Pens 14 to 8 after 20 minutes
- 10 seconds in and Stefan LeBlanc (#3) gives up the puck on the Pens blue line leading to a 2-on-1 for the Pens the other way but Mazanec makes the save
- GOAL – Utica – 2-0 Comets: Comets battling on the Penguins blue line and a VERY WIDE OPEN Boucher(#24) gets a pass from Gaunce(#16) and with all the time and space in the world, snipes a shot past Muse easily to put the Comets up by 2
- Penguins Jake Luchinni tries to drop the gloves with Lind but Lind says no – Lind draws the rouging penalty and the Comets are off to the powerplay
- 1st Unit: Pyatt, Kero, Boucher, Thow, MacEwen – lose possession and then on a re-entry attempt get called offside
- Cull lets this 1st unit roll though…really wish the kids got that kind of leash!
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-0 Comets: The 1st Unit, sensing my agitation, elects to force me to eat my words as the forces of Aaron Thow(#40), Kero(#10), Boucher(#24) and MacEwen(#15) capitalize on madness at the front of the net of John Muse and Pyatt(#20) is able to roof a shot past him to give the Comets the 3 goal lead
- Gadjovich(#22) finishes a check on the end-boards, heads to the net for a tip attempt on a Comets hot on goal, catches the rebound and gets a slick backhander to center for Jaime Sifers(#26) who attempts two shots on net
- Lind(#13) with a takeaway at neutral ice then turns back after entering the zone for a slick pass cross ice to Graham( #64) who shoots one into the chest of Muse
- absolutely insane amount of pressure from the Comets right now
- Boucher(#24) really fighting for that roster spot next season as he just brute-forces his way down the right wing through the entire Penguins team for a chance on net
- the ensuing 3-on-1 play from the above streamable as Graham(# 64) fights off the rush only for the Pens to shoot themselves in the foot with a brutal pass to nowhere
- Lukas Jasek gets called for holding and the Comets are off to the penalty kill
- Stefan LeBlanc manages to drive into the Penguins zone with the puck and eats a good 30 seconds tying it up along the boards
- Zack MacEwen(#15) weaving so nicely through 3 Penguins players while on the penalty kill to drive to the goal for a scoring chance, holy moly the hip check evasion and puck handling here is so slick
- Cam Darcy(#11) gets sucked into fighting the 6’5” Jimmy Hayes after he gets shoved into John Muse…Darcy answers the call to fight but just kind of holds onto him…Hayes with a MASSIVE size and weight advantage. Both head to the box
- Jasek penalty ends
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-0 Comets: Tom Pyatt(#20) flips the puck in deep from the Comets blue line and the Penguins defender misses his catch attempt, allowing Boucher (#24) to take the puck away and deke the Defender for a shot past Muse! That’s Boucher’s 30th of the season, and 2nd of the period
- GOAL – WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON – 4-1 Comets: 46 second after the Boucher goal – Adam Johnson leads an odd man rush down to the Comets zone where his saucer pass gets batted out of the air by Jarrett Burton past Marek Mazanec who left his crease to try and catch the pass
- Lind(# 13) blocks a shot and then catches the rebound to race down the left wing for a chance on goal, somehow this doesn’t get ruled as a penalty shot despite the fact Lind CLEARLY got hauled down on the shot attempt denying a scoring chance
- Comets at least get the penalty call to put them on the powerplay
- LOL roughing gets called on Kevin Churchman like 10 seconds after the faceoff draw on the powerplay…Comets now onto the 5-on-3 powerplay
- GOAL – UTICA – 5-1 Comets: Well…alright then…first a chance from Pyatt(#20) manages to hit the post and go off Muse’s skate to land on Boucher’s(#24) stick who backhands one OFF the back of Muse’s pads for the 2nd period hat-trick and his 31st goal of the season
- Gadjovich (#22) ups his grit/60 after he takes offense to Ben Sextons extra shove on Mazanec , judges ruled it 30-27 Gadjovich
- and not wanting to have Gadj feel left out, his linemate Hamilton(# 36) absolutely lays into Jarrett Burton in a tilly and joins him in the box for fighting
- jesus this game has been absolutely insane and theres still another period to go hahaha
- whattt the fuckkkk right off the draw Joseph Cramarossa gives a huge whack to Brandon Anselmini(#7) and they get in a fucking BRAWL…the former Comet appears to have got more than he expected as Anselmini absolutely goes buckwild on Cram
- Cramarossa takes a cross-checking penalty so the Comets are off to the powerplay
- 1st Unit: Graham, Lind, Jasek, Gaunce, Woods
- GOAL – UTICA – 6-1 Comets: Gaunce(#16) leads the entry into the zone and hands off to Jasek(#9 ) who walks the puck into bottom of the circle and rifles one through the 5-hole of Muse…. then INSTANTLY Matt Abt chooses to fight Brendan Woods(#21) and he gets absolutely dummied for it…Woods with a great gesture to pump up the crowd after! That’s Jasek’s 9th of the season!
- This games fucking insane lol 6 goals and 4 fighting majors in a single period…fucking ridiculous lol
- GOAL – UTICA – 7-1 Comets : well the crowd getting their monies worth holy quacamole…Jasek(#9) with a great slap pass to Gaunce(#16) at center but Gaunce’s shot gets blocked…in the ensuing chaos, the Penguins pass the puck to Lind(#13) who then finds himself a completely open lane to wrist a shot past Muse
- I do have to chime in that it is absolutely worth noting that the WBS Penguins are playing their 3rd strings 3rd string goalie as Tristan Jarry is up with the Penguins
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 7-1 Comets
Well that was probably the best period of hockey I think I’ve watched from the Comets all god damn season…kids are playing great…vets are playing for their positions…. Boucher gets a fucking natural hatty in the span of 13 minutes… they’re impressing man, great show for the fans. Comets continue the onslaught, outshooting the Penguins 17 to 9 in the second period – outshooting them 31 to 17 across 2. No clue where the game goes from here… lot of guys due to sit in the bench serving out their fighting majors
- 30 seconds into the 3rd and Zack MacEwen( #15)gets in a tilly with Sam Lafferty after he takes offense to a hight hit on Cam Darcy
- wtf Joseph Blandisi just blindly jumps Tanner Kero, who’s JUST returning from a long stint on IR due to concussion
- Blandisi fortunately gets booted from the game – SOMEHOW Kero gets 5 for fighting, despite turtling trying to avoid a fight the entire time…what a joke lol
- Comets on the powerplay get a coupld good looks from Gadjovich and Boucher but then Aaron Thow fans on a pass on the blue line causing a shorthanded chance for the Penguins – leading Aaron Thow taking a slashing penalty as he tried to disrupt the breakaway
- GOAL – UTICA – 8-1 Comets: Hat-tips to the man on his way out, as the penalty kill group of Hamilton(#36) and Bancks(#34) play hand off over to Sifers(#26) who rifles one past Muse for his 4th goal of the year. If this was the last game he scored in, what a fucking game it was to score in!
- Brandon Anselmini back on the ice after serving his fighting major gets a minor for a cross-check that goes a little high
- Comets penalty killers spend more time in the Penguins end than their own…really great PK for the Comets
- jesus Christ what a sequence, Lind(#13) on the side of the goal takes a high stick to the face, then Gaunce(# 16)tries to weave through the Penguins to the goal ending with Jasek(#9) getting BRUTALLY boarded from behind
- Ben Sexton takes BOTH the high-sticking AND boarding penalties so the Comets are off to a 4 minute powerplay
- Athletic Trainor is already busy with Tanner Kero in the locker room, but the assistant trainor takes a look at Jasek and he says he’s fine.. Jasek out for the powerplay
- lol MacEwen tries to dance through the Penguins on the powerplay but gets levelled pretty hard by Sam Lafferty…exhaustion MIGHT be setting in here
- Powerplay unit getting rolled out now is, Woods, LeBlanc, Hamilton, Sifers, Bancks and they actually do a great job to set up in the zone and get a shot on goal haha good for the vets
- Athletic Trainor returns to the Comets bench sans Kero which is pretty awful news…hopefully it isn’t concussion related but hard to imagine it isn’t anything else
- Gaunce with a great shift with Jasek and Lind in the Penguins zone, but it genuinely looks like exhaustion is preventing them from setting up anything substantial
- Hamilton(# 36) with some serious wheels as he races for a drive through center ending with a backhand on Muse , Bancks(#34) follows the play for a backhand of his own that goes off the outside of the net
- Stefan LeBlanc takes an interference penalty and the Comets are off to the penalty kill
- MacEwen(#15) on the penalty kill as he kills time with his first drive to the Penguins zone, and the second, after a Gaunce(#16) poke check leads a rush for a shorthanded scoring chance
- Comets penalty killers breakup nearly every Penguins chance on the powerplay
- Lind(# 13) with a nasty toe drag around the defender to rip one on an open net as Muse falls but SOMEHOW Muse gets a piece of the puck with the inside of his blocker to rob Lind of a goal
- I haven’t really streamed It since no one ever watches my goalie save streamables (literally 0 views on a majority of the tendy saves) but Mazanec is having himself a great game saving a shit ton of shots generated off odd-man rushes
Final Score: 8-1 Utica Comets
|1st||Utica||Jonah Gadjovich||Lukas Jasek||Wacey Hamilton||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Tanner Kero||—||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Tom Pyatt||Zack MacEwen||Reid Boucher||PPG|
|2nd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Tom Pyatt||Jesse Graham||5v5|
|2nd||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton||Jarrett Burton||Adam Johnson||Matt Abt||5v5|
|2nd||Utica||Reid Boucher||Tanner Kero||Tom Pyatt||PPG|
|2nd||Utica||Lukas Jasek||Brendan Gaunce||Zack MacEwen||PPG|
|2nd||Utica||Kole Lind||Brendan Gaunce||Lukas Jasek||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Jaime Sifers||Carter Bancks||Wacey Hamilton||SHG|
- I feel like I just watched the most exciting game of Comets hockey all season right here…Team played great in all areas of the game, powerplay, penalty kill, their grit/60 was through the roof! The Jim Benning effect was in full force for this one as practically everyone on this team played out of their minds.
- Great games from the youth in this one, Lind with 1 goal on 2 shots, Jasek with 1 goal and 2 assists, Gadjovich with the opening goal a fight and 2 shots and Zack MacEwen with 2 assists a fight and 2 shots on goal
- The vets stepped up huge too, Wacey Hamilton was flying like a bullet out there and ended his night with 2 assists a fight and 2 shots on goal, Jaime Sifers ended the game with 1 goal on 5 shots, Brendan Woods also played great although he didn’t see it on the scoresheet, the guy was a penalty killing machine tonight and created numerous takeaways tonight that lead to extended possession for the team. Tom Pyatt with a goal and 2 assists and 4 shots, yeah all in all a great game overall for the team.
- Nobody cares about the goalie streamables, but Mazanec had himself the first bonafide impressive performance since joining the Comets. Stopped NUMEROUS odd man rush chances against and ended the night saving 25 of 26 shots.
- As much as I gush about how solid this game was to watch, I hope JB and Ryan Johnson watching this game didn’t come away with it thinking, “we have to resign these AHL vets to another year” I think Jasek, Gadj, Lind and Gaunce showed that they can eat big minutes in big roles and produce…they just need some faith from the coach to be given those roles. They’re playing great together.
- Reid Boucher is a great AHL scorer, no doubt. But what no one talks about is his playmaking…on the powerplay he is as good a quarterback as the Comets best D, as he has probably the best cross-ice passes of anyone (see the Pyatt whiff streamable) he set up Gadjovich and Jasek numerous times over trying shots for himself…so unselfishly he was helping his young guys create offense…and because his shot is so deadly at this level of play, he’s like Pettersson where you HAVE to cover him otherwise he can just make your goalie look stupid with the speed of his shot. Would HOPE they re-sign him to at least a two way contract so that he could get a look on the Canucks crap-ass powerplay because having more than JUST 2 guys who can rifle lasers on net would be great.
Comets Three Stars
- Reid Boucher
- Lukas Jasek
- Tom Pyatt
HM: Jonah Gadjovich, Wacey Hamilton, Marek Mazanec, basically the entire team
The Comets come back tomorrow for an away game against the Hershey Bears. Da Bears sit locked in 3rd place in the AHL’s Atlantic division, and given how close they are to playoffs, I’m not really too sure if they’ll even ice their main AHL roster so the Comets COULD have another impressive outing, especially if Jim Benning is sticking around for the weekend to see how they do.
Big oof too btw, the Providence Bruins lost to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, so couple that with the Penguins brutal loss tonight and they are officially out of the Calder hunt. RIP
Anyways this Farmies felt so refreshing to write and cover, I hope you all enjoyed the game as much as I did..tehre was a fuckload to unpack from this one but oh boy was it all good stuff! I’ll see you all back here tomorrow for the Farmies 2nd last issue of the season!