1/25/19 – Utica Comets vs. Rochester Americans

Oh man the Farmies are back!!!! Yay!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how long this week has felt, I’ve absolutely been ITCHING to write about the farm, and let me tell you a lot has happened since we last caught up with our rookies, young guns and family down on the Farm!

Tanner Kero returns from his brief call-up stint with the big boys club, where he was kept on the bench in the event Horvat too was unable to slide into the lineup.

Sliding into tonight’s lineup also is Luke Schenn, who FINALLY makes his debut after being held up by the eastern storm front that also caused last Saturdays game to be moved to an afternoon start due to how brutal the winter weather was.

We’re also seeing the return of Jalen Chatfield, who’s been out with a broken foot since November 17th, and certainly, the team he is returning to tonight is radically different than the one he was playing for back on the 17th…Since Chatfield went down with injury, we’ve seen the losses of Carcone, Archibald, Bachman, Juolevi and Sautner… his return is a welcome relief to the Comets blue line who’ve depended heavily on the admirable play from ECHL call-ups such as Jagger Dirk, Colton Saucerman and Cliff Watson (as of late).

Interesting to note, that in the wake of the Comets now having a higher than average number of Veterans, the team is now going to have to make nightly roster decisions to choose their designated 5 veteran players for each night. With that being said, let’s take a look at tonight’s lineup and get into this last game before the AHL and NHL All-Star Break.

 

quick note: Colton Saucerman appears to be working the mic with Joe Roberts tonight…not sure if that’s to keep him working for the Comets in any capacity while the D situation sorts itself out with the veteran maximum and IR returnees…not a lot of space for the PTO but obviously the Comets Team loves the guy.

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Pyatt Kero Boucher
Dahlen Gaunce MacEwen
Jasek Gaudette Bancks
Arseneau Hamilton Lind
LD RD
Schenn Brisebois
McEneny Blujus
Chatfield Watson
G
Ivan Kulbakov

 

Sliding out of the lineup due to veteran restrictions is Jaime Sifers. Sifers although a bit on the slower side, has been a key component to Uticas 2nd PK unit and is one of the few who actually have a hard hitting game, so it’ll be interesting to see how Schenn fills that void.

Also sliding out are MacMaster and Gadjovich. Gadj has played quite impressively as of late (at least in my eyes) so his benching seems kind of unfair to me…but with healthy bodies coming back into the lineup, he’s

Also I’m really not a fan of that Chatfield/Watson pairing…Watson has looked slow and completely out of his depth while with the Comets, so sticking him with a guy who’s returning off a huge layoff with a FOOT injury no less seems like a disaster waiting to happen…Would’ve preferred Saucerman because he’s much more capable in his own end

 

Benched
Darcy Gadjovich MacMaster Saucerman Sautner Sifers Woods
1 1 1 1 1 1 1

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Graham Juolevi Sautner
Out for the Season undisclosed Out for the season His fucking faaaaaaaaaaace

 

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 white

 

 

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

 

Damn there was a LOT of chances from both teams in this first period, a lot of creative passing from Utica this period on their odd-man rushes to try and confuse the Amurks tendy but he’s playing solid, as is Kulbakov. Comets 0 for 1 on the powerplay but still manage to outshoot the Amurks 16 to 11 that period.

 

2nd Period

 

I don’t think he can say Sauce so he just calls me Santa, so that’s what he calls me, Santa, I don’t know if he can say Sauce or not”

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 1-0 Comets

 

A bit of a rougher half of the period for the Comets, after leading the Amurks in shots 9-1 they give up 19 straight shots against. Fortunately Ivan Kulbakov has been playing great tonight…good vision of pucks and good sense on when to step out to play the puck, bailing his team out pretty hard in that second half. Comets will start the 3rd with a minute left on the powerplay and maintaining the lead off Boucher’s 18th goal of the year.

 

3rd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 2-2 Tie

 

After a tightly contested 3rd period where the Comets see their lead lost, regained and then lost again…they’re just leaving Kulbakov out to dry here tonight, with the team generally having very little success with their zone entries. They DID manage to keep up with Rochesters shots on goal and did find the back of the net once, but man their shots on goal just haven’t been of the same caliber that Rochester has been pumping out. Will be unfortunate if the Comets lose this one in overtime as Kulbakov has been absolutely lights out tonight despite the 2 goals against

 

Overtime Period

 

The Score at the end of the regulation: 2-2 Tie

 

After 65 minutes of regulation time, we head to the shootout to settle this one…Kulbakov with an astonishing 51 save performance. If they lose here I really don’t think the record will do justice to the game Kulbakov has had tonight…absolute brickwall in overtime while his team tripped over their own feet for the bulk of the time and only managing 2 shots (Gaudettes breakaway and MacEwens slapper). Hopefully some of Kulbys teammates can at the very least score in the shootout for him cause he definitely earned the two points for his team

 

 

Final Score: 3-2 Rochester Americans via the shootout

Scoresheet

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
2nd Utica Reid Boucher Tanner Kero 5v5
3rd Rochester Danny O’Regan Brandon Hickey 5v5
3rd Utica Reid Boucher Tanner Kero 5v5
3rd Rochester Matt Tennyson C.J. Smith Victor Olofsson 5v5

 

Takeaways

  • Oh man I don’t even know where to begin, the team looked good in the first, but once again they crumble after generating a tonne of sustained pressure for themselves and look lost afterwards. I feel truly awful for Kulbakov cause man he absolutely kept his team in this throughout the entire game, and all he needed was his coach to play someone who can actually score in the clutch moment of the shootout…but he instead picks their captain…despite the fact he can’t score for shit instead of you know…Zack MacEwen who’s having a breakout year as a goalscorer…or Tanner Kero who’s been absolutely lights out at center driving to the net and scoring….or even Kole Lind who’s looked his most dangerous on breakaways to the net… good call dude lol
  • Luke Schenn with an impressive game in his debut for the Comets…lot of plays broken up, big body that actually uses it, broke up a tonne of plays on his own, and while he looked good with Brisebois, I can’t help but think that Schenn looks like he should be playing in the NHL instead of the AHL… I feel like his level of play elevated Brisebois….or by that same token, Schenn’s ability made up for Brisebois mistakes and shortcomings, because Schenn was everywhere on the ice tonight and looked solid in both the offensive and defensive zones
  • Glad to see Boucher get that monkey off his back… two goals from ridiculous angles that were just absolute snipes…hopefully he picks up where he left off before the drought began and stops overthinking his shot. Guy got 9 shots on net tonight which is the kind of number he was putting up before the drought began on a regular basis
  • Solid games from Gaudette, MacEwen and Arseneau as well. I don’t think anyone had an outright BAD night, just looked like the team in general looked a little tired after that sustained brutality in the second and just struggled to find their timing as a group to get anything going.
  • Negativity aside, the Comets end their January with a pretty stellar 6-2-1-1 record. With guys like Chatfield and Ashton Sautner returning to the lineup over this all-star break, we could be seeing some more changes to this lineup in the coming weeks as they fine tune things leading up to the final stretch before the Calder Cup playoffs.

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Kulbakov
  2. Reid Boucher
  3. Tanner Kero

 

What’s Next?

 

Comets take another break until February 1st where they visit the Syracuse Crunch in a battle to secure 2nd place in the North Division. With tonight’s shootout loss, the Comets secured themselves 51 points, and are only edge by Syracuse by virtue of games in hand. The Crunch are on a 4 game winning streak and are crusiing through the North Division with a 63.8% points earned percentage and lead the league with the lowest goals against in the entire league. The team will have to come back from this allstar break well rested and prepared if they want to try and secure themselves that top 3 position for the Calder Playoffs

 

 

Anyways that’s it for the Farmies for this week, I’ll see you all next Friday for another recap and review. As always I 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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