12/18/18 – Utica Comets vs. Charlotte Checkers

It’s a glorious Tuesday everyone! I had a miserable day at work, treading water to try and make sure everything got done on time, that was until I got word that Cull was gonna ride the hot hand and Thatcher Mother-Fucking Demko was going to be starting in net for the Comets tonight in Charlotte! The more I thought about it, the more I was impressed as fuck by the Comets overtime loss on Sunday; the team was without two of its top goal scorers in Zack MacEwen who was suspended for 1 game for …something…and Jonathan Dahlen who finds himself out of the lineup tonight with a lingering concussion

 

Nonetheless, last Sunday it was an incredible performance by Thatcher Demko that brought the Comets to overtime against the far-and-away number 1 team in the AHL. Tonight we’ll see if we can get some points, not just from Demko standing on his head, but with Zack MacEwen returning to the lineup to fill that 5v5 scoring void. Reid Boucher was boxed out Sunday by the impeccable Charlotte defense, registering just 1 shot, outside of his usual 7/per night, and rookie Kole Lind was just on the wrong side of an incredible number of bad bounces as he still looks to sink his first of the season. If Demko can turn in another repeat of Sundays performance, coupled with Lukas Jasek and Zack MacEwen’s ever steady presence on the front lines, this might be a bit more competitive of a game!

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Jasek Kero Boucher
Archibald Gaunce MacEwen
Arseneau Cameranesi Gadjovich
Lind Bancks Darcy
LD RD
Brisebois McEneny
Dirk Blujus
Sifers Graham
G
Thatcher “motherfucking” Demko

 

RE: Benchings

Surprised to see Colton Saucerman come out of the lineup, he’s been quite serviceable for the team in all areas…would have expected Jesse Graham to come out, who despite his speed, is constantly outmuscled on the play if he can’t flat-out beat his man in a footrace. Also sitting is Tanner MacMaster who as I said in the last Farmies, was having a ROUGH game. The MacMaster benching opens the door for Jonah Gadjovich to get a better look, as his line with Arseneau and Cameranesi was one of the more effective lines against Charlotte on Sunday.

RE: INJURY REPORT

Jamie Sifers returns to tonights lineup; Jonathan Dahlen is still out with concussion…Dahlen DID go to the Carolina Panthers home game, which you’d think would be an awful idea for someone dealing with a concussion, but I suppose his recovery is coming along a lot faster than we think!

The worst news of all came in the first 5 minutes of the first period, where Olli Juolevi was declared to have gone for full knee surgery, BUT is expected to be ready in time for training camp.

Honestly the optics of this aren’t great. Juolevi was racking up points on the powerplay, but his defensive game still made it a sure thing that he wasn’t cracking the NHL roster anytime soon. With guys like Quinn Hughes, Jett Woo, Jack Rathbone and fellow Comets Jalen Chatfield breaking out this year and looking to make the move up next season, Juolevi could see himself fall off the proverbial depth chart cliff if he doesn’t have a successful training camp. Fingers crossed for him cause holy moly the expectations of him keep getting higher with every point Matthew Tkachuk gets…. Anyone saying the B word should still temper their reactions a bit, he was till tracking to have a successful first season in the AHL with potential to improve his defensive game…but boy it gets harder each year to not have that word float through your head when you think of the what-ifs.

 

Injury Report
Chatfield Dahlen Hamilton Juolevi Sautner Sifers Woods
lower body Concussion concussion Out for the season his fucking faceeeeeee lower body lower body

 

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.

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1st period

 

Comets in Blue

 

 

Score at the end of the first period: 1-0 Comets

 

Another impressive period from the Comets against the league’s best team; Utica outshot Charlotte badly in the first 13 to 5 , were 1/2 on the powerplay and killed off an early penalty. Really good stuff from special teams so far; the takeaways all across the roster is really helping this team out too; lot of o-zone time earned off of clutch takeaways by Comets players.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 2-2 Tie

 

Comets give up the two goal lead off some pretty weak defending. I will say despite the weak defending the Comets STILL looked solid, the Checkers absolutely peppered Demko with shots, 19 to 8 in favor of the Checkers. Comets are still finding key takeaways, but kind of like Sundays game, they seem to be losing steam or traction in the ability to generate legit scoring plays.

 

3rd Period

 

 

Score at the end of the third period: 3-3 tie

 

For the second time in 2 games, the Comets are going to overtime against the Charlotte Checkers! Some soft ass penalty calls during regulation, but the Comets struck when they needed to! That clutch save from Demko is the reason they are getting the extra point tonight holy moly. I can’t even get over the Jasek pass to Boucher either…such a good pass. Now let’s see if the Comets can correct their mistakes from Sundays game and make it two points here in overtime!

 

Overtime

 

 

FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Comets

 

Comets manage the comeback in overtime and earn 3 out of a possible 4 points against the best team in the AHL. This was a really gritty performance from the farm on this one; just a ton of nothing going their way constantly throughout the game, but they persevered and capitalized on Charlottes errors which were few and far between.

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Brendan Gaunce Guillaume Brisebois Jesse Graham 5v5
2nd Utica Evan McEneny Brendan Gaunce Zack MacEwen 5v5
2nd Charlotte Jake Bean Nicolas Roy Martin Necas 5v5
2nd Charlotte Morgan Geekie Jake Bean 5v5
3rd Charlotte Aleksi Saarela Alex Poturalski Jake Bean 5v5
3rd Utica Reid Boucher Lukas Jasek Tanner Kero 6v5
OT Utica Darren Archibald Brendan Gaunce Alex Nedeljkovic 3v3

 

Takeaways

  • The 2 game stint against Charlotte was great for the team, excellent penalty killing, didn’t get drawn into cheap or dirty gameplay or every become undisciplined…straight up tonight they were just getting the softest calls against them, legit nothing they could’ve done.
  • Kole Lind is trying man, give the kid credit, he’s constantly trying to score his first AHL goal, but oh boy the Checkers defense is just so good. I think he could do a lot better for himself if he started trying to draw penalty’s, because the kid is constantly finding himself alone on breakaways, but his penchant to take his time and be patient doesn’t cut it in the AHL when everyone else is as fast, or faster than you…kids just gotta move his feet and make the firm decision to shoot…stop the fancy feet, and toe drag stuff kid and just fuckin wire it.
  • I’m pretty impressed to be honest….this current defensive core is doing absolutely fine without Juolevi and Chatfield… it’s probably not a good sign that Juolevi being out of the lineup has had little to no ipmact on the game results for the team. Thatcher Demko being injured, THAT was a game changer, but this defensive core is actually kind of working…Jagger Dirk had a pretty solid game tonight, he had one play where he had the puck go by him, but his D partner retrieved it before Charlotte could get a scoring opportunity, so all things considered, with Chatfield, Juolevi AND Sautner out, they’re doing quite well together. Brisebois is still a total coin-flip when it comes to his passing/playmaking but he’s holding it down for now.

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Kole Lind – see above
  2. Brendan Gaunce – man I wish this guy showed what he can do in the AHL at the NHL level…he plays so safe whenever he’s in Vancouver, but on the Comets the guy plays super aggressive, lots of speed, aggressive forechecking and is a great playmaker…I legitimately don’t know what happens to that guy when he gets called up.
  3. Thatcher Demko – he was beat a couple times tonight, but one of those was super unlucky, had another highlight clutch save tonight to give Utica a chance at the last second comeback and his team pulled through to get it for him…stopped 33 of 36 shots.

 

Honorable Mention – Reid Boucher, who despite being held to 1 shot on Sundays game, managed to elude the Charlotte defense on many occasions tonight to try and put his team on the board; as he led the team with 6 shots on the night, and scored when it mattered most.

 

Honorable Honorable Mention – Lukas Jasek, just such a solid well rounded game, he along with Zack MacEwen are like sure-fire things for call-ups. I think due to Archibald’s contract, he’s probably more likely to get the call-up, but man MacEwen and Jasek just look so good every game. Any mistake they do make, they usually make up for on that very same shift. With Chatfield, Juolevi and Palmu out, these two guys have really thrown gas on the Farmies flame, I feel like I could make a Farmies just of their shifts cause they usually have something noteworthy every time they step on the ice.

 

What’s Next?

 

The Comets, now sitting 2nd in the North division are back in action Friday night as they visit the Springfield Thunderbirds…the last time the Comets faced the Thunderbirds we got this gem of wtfuckery, will be interesting to see if they keep up the bullshit cheap-shottery or if they’ll have got a disciplinary check from the league about trying to instigate fights post-game and shoving referees…but again, this is the AHL so that all doubtful, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of swingin’ sticks, elbows, chargings, everything under the sun that Bobby Farnham can muster up in 60 minutes. The T-Birds are 2-2-1-1 since playing the Comets while the Comets themselves have gone 4-0-1-0, earning a potential 9 of 10 points in their last 5 games, with 3 of those 4 points coming against the AHL’s number one team.

Until then, I’m off to catch up on the Canucks game!

Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, 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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