3/1/19 – Utica Comets vs. Hershey Bears

What’s up my fellow r/canuckians we gather here tonight to hopefully catch a glimpse of the future before us, a look into the lands of what may be, so that we may look upon our current Canucks roster and think to ourselves, “don’t worry, it gets better!”

 

The farm has its work cut out for them tonight though (holy shit do they ever), tonight they face off against the Atlantic Division’s Hershey Bears (the Washington Capitals farm club) who currently sit 3rd in the division, and are riding an absolutely ridiculous wave of dominance the past two months, having won 11 of their 12 games in the month of February, preceded by winning 8 of their 10 games in January. I mean shit…I don’t even wanna list the Comets records in that time, it’ll be like pistol whippin’ a blind kid.

 

But alas the reality check has to come…the Comets are riding a 3 game losing streak coming into tonight’s matchup after having had an impressive point streak through the Month of February; picking up points in 8 of 11 games to keep them alive in a very tight playoff race between themselves, the Toronto Marlies and the streaking Belleville Senators.

 

There are quite a few key injuries still affecting the Comets, and with the trade of Jonathan Dahlen, we’re still looking at a grab-bag for a Farm club; the return of Zack MacEwen was a great injection of energy to this lineup as he picked up an assist in his first game back. Still without the teams major players on defense, and losing some of their key offensive dynamos to callups, injuries and trade, this could be another rough outing for the farm club against Da Bears. So with that miserable pre-amble out of the way lets get into tonight’s lineup and the game at hand!

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Gadjovich Gaunce Bancks
Boucher Darcy MacEwen
Pyatt Woods Jasek
Arseneau Szmatula Lind
LD RD
Brisebois Chatfield
McEneny Sifers
LeBlanc Graham
G
Michael Leighton

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Blujus Juolevi Kero
Out for the Season hand Out for the season undisclosed injury

 

Healthy Scratches
Anselmini Gardiner Hamilton Saucerman Thomas
1 2 1 1 2

 

That is not a typo; Jonah Gadjovich is literally out for the opening faceoff on the starting line…Lol kind of like the aftermath of the Palmu departure…Dahlen gets shipped and the rookies start seeing some prominent roles in the top 6. That Szmatula centered line is awful for Lind as far as I’m concerned…Lind was showing great chemistry with a fast puck mover like Gaudette…so I’d rather see him on that top line over Carter Bancks, who’s essentially just a body.

 

Also I still think its a mistake not playing Saucerman… I’m not like the other people around the world who are just liking him because he has a beard…he’s legitimately outplaying all of his fellow PTO signees and some of our bottom pairing D men both in terms of carry-ins, shots on goal and plays broken up in our own end…last game he was clutch despite the loss. Gonna be a hard disagree on him being sit out here.

 

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 their Blue

 

 

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

 

Despite being kept to their own zone for the better part of the first period, shots were still relatively close; Comets were outshot 9 to 7, but I would have to argue that the chances favored Utica in that one. Couple of strong passing plays from Gadjovich in the first, as well as a couple from Zack MacEwen to Reid Boucher that were just a hair off his stick that led to icing’s instead of chances…Overall, all things considered, a pretty strong effort from this team!

 

2nd Period

 

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

 

An unfortunate penalty gives the Bears the lead not too long after the Comets tie it up…shame really, based on the scorecard, you’d think the Comets got outplayed that period, but the Comets were all over the Bears early and had numerous chances on the doorstep, but Bears are playing very well defensively, and have some very active sticks denying the Comets lanes to shoot in. A powerplay to begin the third will be quite beneficial to them to try and regain some momentum! Comets marginally outshot 9 to 8 that period.

 

3rd Period

 

 

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

 

Comes heavily outshoot the Bears in our final frame, 10 to 4…the chances and play setups from the farm tonight were off the chain, credit to Vitek Vanecek who has prevented basically every high danger chance from the Comets all night tonight. The momentum was definitely on Utica’s side in that final frame, and given the non-existent break between the third and OT, I’m expecting that momentum to carry forward, and fingers crossed our boys in blue can kill the losing streak right here, and get a good win against a tough opponent at home.

 

OVERTIME

 

  • GOAL – UTICA – 3-2 Comets: Well that was quick, 44 seconds into overtime, Brisebois(#55) plays the puck up to Darcy(#11) who drives towards the net and roofs it above Vanecek to win it for Utica

 

Final Score: 3-2 Utica Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
2nd Hershey Liam O’Brien Devante Smith-Pelly 5V5
2nd Utica Zack MacEwen Reid Boucher Tom Pyatt PPG
2nd Hershey Mike Sgarbossa Aaron Ness Riley Barber PPG
3rd Utica Reid Boucher Cam Darcy Zack MacEwen 5v5
OT Utica Cam Darcy Guillaume Brisebois Michael Leighton 3V3

 

Takeaways

  • A tough gritty win for the Comets tonight against a very difficult opponent. The Bears play a great defensive hockey game that seemed to find success whenever the Comets were pushing up the ice too aggressively. Their d-men were active with their sticks and prevented a tonne of scoring chances for Utica throughout, but the farm didn’t let it get to them as they came back from two deficits to force overtime and win it…a quality win from a team that has been struggling to find offense in the wake of the great injury & call-up exodus this past couple weeks
  • VERY strong games from Reid Boucher and Zack MacEwen, like VERYYYYY strong games…I know his issue with skating likely wont get fixed, but man, seeing that fucking shot from the goal line to tie the game…how do you NOT just give Boucher a game to see what he can do playing with someone like Petey or Bo setting him up. Just an absolute laser beam of a shot which we really don’t have much of in the big boy lineup aside from Petey and Boeser. Kind of like the Dahlen dilemma I posited last Farmies, of “why not just give him a game and see what you can get,” here we are with a guy eclipsing his AHL season record for goals with almost 17 games left in the season… why the fuck not give him a game or two, stick him on the powerplay in the and get him pucks to shoot. Trent Cull has been putting Boucher in a tonne of situations to develop his game, including a tonne of time as the 2nd/3rd shift on the penalty kill, and a majority of the teams d-zone faceoff draws…I know the community is pretty against Boucher and have their mind made up…but I mean look at the Canucks powerplay and tell me its working and ask yourself who on the team has a comparable shot that is worth trying out in that role.
  • Also a shoutout to Cam Darcy who had himself quite the game, an assist on the tying goal as well as the game winner itself. Darcy was hard on the forecheck; showcasing speed like I’ve never seen from him before and playing a more rounded “team oriented” game, as opposed to the 1v5 style he usually plays as a center. Pretty impressed by his game tonight and hope he can carry that momentum into tomorrow’s game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
  • also ctrl c+v of my usual takes on Gadjovich’ and Jaseks games… also a shout out to Lind, who’s doing better with the absence of Gaudette as his center…he isn’t as noticeable, but he isn’t skating around the ice looking lost, or turning over the puck off dumb drop passes to no one.

 

Comets Three Stars

  1. Reid Boucher
  2. Zack MacEwen
  3. Cam Darcy

 

What’s Next?

 

The Comets were desperate for a win tonight to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they earned the shit out of it tonight. Turning to the scoreboard tonight, the Manitoba Moose beat Belleville in overtime so the gap between the Comets and the Senators widens just ever so slightly, with the Comets sitting tight in 4th with 68 points with 17 games remaining, while the Senators sit in 5th with 65 points and 16 games remaining.

Up next is a game tomorrow night against the Atlantic Divisions 6th place Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Phantoms are facing their own stretch of hardship, having lost 5 games straight, with their most recent loss coming tonight against the Syracuse Crunch (a feeling we Comets fans are VERY familiar with). The last time these two teams met, the Comets found themselves down two goals early only to rattle off 5 straight unanswered goals to win in regulation at home. Now the Comets will face the Phantoms on their turf in another pivotal match to gain ground in the fight for a spot in the Calder playoffs!

 

Until Tomorrow folks, 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!

 

Also I probably SHOULDN’T say anything at the risk of spoiling anything or jinxing it, but if you want to hear me trip over my own words, voice crack and generally embarrass myself, I’m tentatively scheduled to join JD Burke and the rinkwide segment on TSN1040 tomorrow night between 6pm-8pm if you want to tune in and hear me talk even MORE about the Farm!

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