2/10/19 – Utica Comets vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Farmies fans, I’m back to round out this triple header in style! I can’t believe I survived without carpal tunnel or crippling arthritis! HIGH FIVE!

 

Rounding out this triple header see’s our boys in white (or blue, or green, or possible in black and purple) head out on the road to face off against the Bridgeport “Sound Tigers” in a key tilt that could push them above the Toronto Marlies for third place in the North Division. The Sound Tigers are rounding out their own triple header this Sunday against the Comets, they split their first two games against the Providence Bruins, losing 2-1 on Friday, and winning 4-2 Saturday.

 

Coming into this weekend I was apprehensive at the Comets ability to pick up wins as their abysmal powerplay and penchant for taking bad penalties would most likely bite them in the ass against two of the better teams in the eastern conference. Lehigh Valley has the 2nd best powerplay % in the Atlantic Division, and Rochester has the 2nd best powerplay % amongst all AHL teams while on the road. Coming into tonight they face the league’s 21st place powerplay % so they can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief should they play undisciplined.

 

As I wrote up this pre-amble I read that Zack MacEwen has officially been called up by the Canucks, hell effing yah….after back to back impressive games I can’t say I’m surprised…congrats to the big man for his improvement and the strides he’s taken as an undrafted prospect who barely played in Junior to make it to the NHL.

https://www.nhl.com/canucks/news/canucks-recall-macewen/c-304697014

 

Now I have to cover a Comets game that has no MacEwen OR Lukas Jasek who apparently picked up an injury in yesterday’s game. Oh well I couldn’t be happier for MacEwen the guy has absolutely earned it. So with that all said and done let’s get into this afternoon showdown and the starting lineup!

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Arseneau Hamilton Gadjovich
Pyatt Boucher Kero
Gaunce Gaudette Lind
Dahlen Woods Darcy
LD RD
Leblanc Sifers
Sautner Schenn
McEneny Chatfield
G
Ivan Kulbakov

 

With MacEwen called out we’re gonna see some crazy line shakeups and it shows, the starting line for the opening faceoff was Gadjovich/Hamilton and Arseneau haha.

 

TRANSACTIONS

 

As stated above, Zack MacEwen gets the call-up to the Canucks, he joins Guillaume Brisebois with the big club.

 

Benched
Saucerman
3

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Bancks Blujus Graham Jasek Juolevi
Out for the Season UBI hand upper body injury UDI Out for the season

 

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: 2-1 Sound Tigers

 

Bizarre first period, everyone looking tired and lethargic, lot of zone entries but nothing substantial coming from them; Comets outshot 13 to 7 in the first period. They start the 2nd on a brief penalty kill, but will be back to full strength relatively quick.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-2 Comets

 

A bit of a defensive lapse gives the Sound Tigers the lead, which is unfortunate because it truly was pure offensive dominance from the Comets that period…total opposite of the first period as they outshoot the Sound Tigers 14 to 5. Comets powerplay having some success again which is great to see as they go 1 for 2 in the 2nd period, and 2 for 3 on the day. Normally after one of these ultra-possession heavy periods the Comets spectacularly collapse in the third and just get dominated…hoping for the opposite and maybe we get a third consecutive game of 5 unanswered goals.

Liking the Arseneau/Gadjovich line as well as the Gaudette/Lind/Gaunce line, super dominant from them, Kero/Pyatt and Boucher continue to look good, but in a much simpler way. Lind/Gaudette and Gaunce are just dancing around the Tigers but are struggling to finish on their chances…hopefully they connect because they’ve been impressive during this triple header weekend

 

3rd Period

 

 

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

 

Well that was an interesting period! The Comets gain the lead off a shorthanded goal then lose it minutes later off another brutal tip-in; shots favored Utica only slightly that period 11 to 10. So we head to overtime to conclude this one.

OVERTIME

 

  • Never mind, whoever the idiot is at AHL.tv cancelled the game feed so no video of overtime…good stuff.
  • Feed resumes with 3:13 left in Overtime
  • GOAL – BRIDGEPORT – 5-4 Sound Tigers: Brutal stuff here in OT, Schenn(#23) fans on a pass to Boucher(#24) who then has a lazy pass onto the stick of the Tigers’ Matt Lorito, who races in on a 2 on 1 against Kulbakov and calmly glides it over to Tanner Fritz to complete the comeback after giving up the lead early in the 3rd.

 

Final Score: 5-4 Bridgeport Sound Tigers

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Bridgeport Travis St. Denis Chris Bourque Otto Koivula 5v5
1st Utica Tanner Kero Reid Boucher Evan McEneny PPG
1st Bridgeport Otto Koivula Travis St. Denis Chris Bourque 5v5
2nd Utica Luke Schenn Johnathan Dahlen Jonah Gadjovich PPG
2nd Birdgeport Steve Bernier Sebastian Aho Ryan Bourque 5v5
3rd Utica Jonathan Dahlen Brendan Gaunce Cam Darcy 5v5
3rd Utica Brendan Gaunce Tom Pyatt SHG
3rd Bridgeport Ben Holmstrom Chris Casto Parker Wotherspoon 5v5
OT Bridgeport Tanner Fritz Matt Lorito 3v3

 

Takeaways

  • Some brutal defensive gaffes and bad passing cost the team the win today… after getting that shorthanded goal they let momentum build for the Sound Tigers and sure enough they capitalize to win it in OT. The Comets still pick up a point and pending the Marlies win, secure their 4th place in the North Division, but you can’t help but feel like they should’ve come away with two points.
  • Kulbakov was not done any favors tonight by the team in front of him, chalk it up to exhaustion but they just had so many bad giveaways and passes that resulted in chances for the Sound Tigers. 5 goals on 32 shots doesn’t sound great, but it’s a lot better when you realize that more than half of those were serious, high danger scoring opportunities.
  • Brendan Gaunce once again with a really solid game alongside Kole Lind and Adam Gaudette…the latter two still have yet to find the scoreboard in the past couple games but its hard todeny their chemistry or talent when out there together. Again I have to chalk it up to exhaustion which prevented them from generating more shots on goal. The line collectively had 7 registered shots on goal, with Gaunce accounting for 4 of them.
  • I can’t help but think that Stefan LeBlanc might actually be not that great of a defensemen and that our PTO Colton Saucerman is better suited out there…maybe it’s the new team thing, still finding his footing, but after 3 games with the Comets, I can’t say I’ve seen him be that great in his own zone, or fast enough in the offensive zone (besides a couple opportunities today), Saucerman has previous experience playing with Gaudette, and the two have scored points when playing together while with the Comets, plus there’s the hustle thing, Saucerman has a very workman/Biega like work ethic on the ice, where he may not be the most skilled but is efficient in his own end while providing stable enough passes to his forwards ahead of him. It’s still very early, but I think I’d like to see the Sauce at least one or two more times before his PTO contract expires. Couldn’t hurt giving him a final look given Blujus and Graham are possibly out for long term.
  • Given how hard theFriday and Saturday comeback victories were for our Farm squad, missing Zack MacEwen, Lukas Jasek and rotating in a line of guys who haven’t played for over a week, I can still call this game a pretty decent success. 5 points out of 6 in a triple header is quite a feat, especially considering they were facing off against 3 top 4 teams of their respective divisions in a row!

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Jonathan Dahlen
  2. Brendan Gaunce
  3. Ivan Kulbakov

 

What’s Next?

 

The Comets return this Wednesday where they take on the North Division’s last place team, the Laval Rocket. The Rocket have struggled hard lately, going 3-5-1-1 in their last 10, and currently are riding a 6 game losing streak. They have the 2nd worst penalty killing % in the North Division and the 3rd worst powerplay % to boot. So things aren’t looking to hot for the Burrows coached team as of late, and with the Comets having picked up 5 out of a possible 6 points with a team running on fumes, it should be another tough one for the former Canuck forwards squad to try and eke out a victory on the road with their division worst away record.

 

Until Wednesday, I Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, and as always 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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