2/1/19 – Utica Comets vs. Syracuse Crunch

Ayyyyyy we back baby, it’s the Farmies ready to start the back-half of the AHL season with the Utica Comets and our boys in Blue, Green and Silver (oh and occasionally in black and purple). I can’t tell you how itchy I was to get back to Farmies write-ups, I was dead set convinced yesterday was Friday and had begun my preparations for writing and everything only to realize it was Thursday…but that devastation has subsided because TGIF we actually here!

 

About tonights game, After an impressive 6-2-1-1 January, the Comets head into February on a two game winless streak after losing in a shootout to the Rochester Americans LAST Friday…Ivan Kulbakov was lights out that game, stopping 48 of 50 shots in regulation and pushing the shootout to the 8th round. The Crunch have won 4 consecutive games, with their last being a 4-3 OT win over those same Rochester Americans last Saturday. So both teams coming into tonight will be well rested, and are well versed in each other’s respective teams. After losing a brutal match to the Crunch in December by a score of 10 to 1, the Comets rallied in January, winning all three matchups, outscoring the Crunch 12 to 8 in that time.

Since there haven’t been any trades, call-ups or PTO releases since last Friday, lets just hop right into tonights lineup and get into the game!

 

Starting Lineup

 

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

 

Jaime Sifers slides out of the lineup once again due to the restrictions on the number of veterans that can play in a given game. ALSO editors note, but apologies to the Sifers family, but I realized last game (or maybe it was the game before) but I had been spelling his name wrong this ENTIRE TIME (Jaime NOT Jamie) so apologies Sifers family if you are Comets readers.

Also sliding out again for the 2nd games straight are Tanner MacMaster and Jonah Gadjovich. I said it last time, but I kind of disagree with Gadj’s benching as he’s been having VERY strong games in his past 6 starts. Hard to disagree with MacMaster’s benching though, who has honestly looked less than impressive with each start.

 

Benched
Darcy Gadjovich MacMaster Saucerman Sautner Sifers
2 2 2 2 2 2

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Gaudette Graham Juolevi Sautner
Out for the Season ilnness upper body injury Out for the season His fucking faaaaaaaaaaace

 

Gaudette being out with illness really sucks and realistically kills a lot of offense for this team…wonder what they’ll do to try and compensate

 

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: 2-0 Crunch

 

A lot to unpack here…the team without Gaudette in the lineup looks pretty weak. Or at the very least, are underperforming…Boucher got himself bumped down the lines off numerous wasted possession entries that saw him enter too fast only to instantly have the puck poked away and out of the zone… 4 powerplays and barely any scoring chances to show for it…and that’s with some of their key members in the lineup, not a good look. Still though, the Comets managed to BARELY outshoot the Crunch 8 to 7; Kind of meaningless however if those weren’t really high danger scoring chances. Timing in general for the bulk of the Comets lineup looks completely off, passes not tape to tape, hard to imagine how they dig themselves out of this one…but hey, at least it’s not 10-1! Right?!

 

2nd Period

 

 

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

 

An absolute snoozer of a period from the Comets…next to no significant offense from the Comets…they only registered 4 shots on net, and just about every single one were weak shots straight into the chest of Connor Ingram. Timing still looks completely off for this team…passes looking uncharacteristically weak, not tape-to-tape, nothing coming from their zone entries. Unfortunate game coming off the All-Star Break, maybe they get a greasy one to give them a chance in the third but I’m not holding my breath.

 

3rd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 4-0 Crunch

 

Another snoozer period where it appeared the Comets was completely on cruise control. Weak passes, timing completely off, no notable shots on goal or playmaking; all in all a veryyyyyy weak effort from the Farm tonight. Only thing of note this whole game really was that huge hit from Arseaeau and the scoring chances from Jasek. I’ll chalk this effort up to a team coming off a LONG layoff and maybe not coming in as prepared as they should have… could also just be a sign of how badly this team needs a fast offensive dynamic scorer like Gaudette to be even remotely effective.

 

Final Score: 4-0 Syracuse Crunch

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Syracuse Nolan Valleau Carter Verhaege Taylor Raddysh 5v5
1st Syracuse Dennis Yan Nolan Vallaeu Alexander Volkov 5v5
3rd Syracuse Andy Andreoff Alex Barre-Boulet Carter Verhaege 5v5
3rd Syracuse Carter Verhaege Andy Andreoff EN

 

Takeaways

  • Pretty brutal effort from the farm tonight. Chalk it up to layoff, but I pray to god I see a better effort against Springfield tomorrow. Because I don’t know if my brain can handle such mind-numbingly boring hockey back-to-back.
  • Powerplay woes: The Comets powerplay has struggled mightily in their last 5 games, having only succeeded twice in 21 tries. Simply put, something has to change with their powerplay specialists. Because even dating back to the start of January, the Comets powerplay looks even worse, succeeding only 6 times in 46 tries since January 2nd. This is almost a testament to their even-strength scoring ability because on the man-advantage they’ve done just terribly. Cold streaks appear to be hitting many of the teams most prominent shooters, maybe their production is just cooling off after having pretty impressive December/January periods, but whatevers going on its hit this team hard when it comes to the powerplay, as it just looked tonight like had confidence in their shots.
  • Again, the Dahlen streak of being pretty much invisible 5v5 and on the powerplay continues, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll actually see the hyped up Dahlen because after picking up 9 points in November, his production has been very hit or miss since. Dahlen’s currently riding a 4 game pointless drought, and given his prominence on the first unit powerplay, I wonder if Cull does anything to shake up the team to try and wake them out of their respective slumps…lord knows they need it after tonight’s effort!

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Lukas Jasek for trying
  2. Vincent Arseneau for the big hit
  3. Luke Schenn for looking like an NHL level, quality defender stuck slumming it in the minors

 

What’s Next?

 

The Comets are back tomorrow when they visit the Springfield Thunderbirds to cap off this 3 game stretch of away games. The Thunderbirds are coming off a dominant 5-2 victory over the Atlantic divisions last place, Hartford Wolf Pack, securing themselves 5th place in the Atlantic. With the loss tonight to the Crunch, the Comets lose a chunk of ground on 2nd place in the North as some teams made headway on their games in hand, so they now fall to 4th with 51 points, and trail the third place team the Toronto Marlies by 1. To make a push for the Calder Cup playoffs, the Comets need to continue from where they left off in January and try to eke points out of every game as best as possible to maintain their win percentage (top 4 teams by win% from each division make it in).

 

Until tomorrow, as always, I Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, sorry there wasn’t much to write home about tonight but maybe tomorrow we’ll get lucky! 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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