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!
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||hand||Out for the season||undisclosed injury|
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.
Comets in their Blue
- Jesus I forgot Devante Smith-Pelly cleared waivers…really might be like pistol whipping a blind kid tonight
- sometimes I genuinely wonder what the Adirondack Bank Centers rink walls are made of, cause they have absolutely no bounce to them at all…here a shot from Stefan LeBlanc(#3) seems to not follow common laws of momentum and geometry and causes an icing
- Comets take a faceoff violation/delay of game penalty and they’re off the PK early
- Jasek smashed his stick on the ice at the call, probably because he had maybe 4 seconds of icetime before that, and knew he’d now be sitting for the next 2 minutes as he never gets PK time…which is odd considering how effective he is at wrangling pucks off his opponents sticks…food for thought Utica…food for thought!
- First group on the PK: Bancks, LeBlanc, Gaunce, Sifers
- Second group on the PK: Woods, Pyatt, Brisebois, Chatfield
- 3rd group: Boucher, Darcy, LeBlanc, Sifers – MacEwen replaces Darcy after a couple seconds
- Vincent Arseneau(#18) from a stationary position absolutely levels Shane Gersich
- alternate angle showing the shoulder getting thrown
- Some pretty scary defensive work from Guillaume Brisebois(#55) on this d-zone faceoff draw…looks to have absolutely no clue where the puck is at all points of play, the staring at his man while the puck is on his skates thing was quite “woah” worthy
- absolutely beautiful tape to tape feed from Jonah Gadjovich(#22) to Brendan Gaunce(#16) who has his shot stopped by Vitek Vanechek
- Tom Pyatt gets a great takeaway in the offensive zone but can’t generate a shot off it … too bad
- Cam Darcy and Reid Boucher combine for a nice give and go at their own blue line, and Darcy shows off some decent speed to gain the zone…unfortunately he drops off for MacEwen and Mac completely muffins his shot
- Joe Roberts on the mic chimes in with the “Comets haven’t scored a first period goal in 6 games” so the jinx is in folks.
- So far through 10 minutes of play, there has been one offensive faceoff for the Comets this period…not gonna win hockey games being hemmed in your own zone the whole night
- Brendan Woods(#21) somehow keeps a cleared puck from leaving the zone and hands it to Lukas Jasek(#9) for a shot on goal through some Hershey bodies
- Cam Darcy(#11) with some speed to gain the zone and sets up a trailing Brisebois(#55) at the doorstep, he then hangs around to get a takeaway and puts on the moves for a shot on goal
- Gadjovich(#2 2)chases a puck to the end-boards, fishes it out of the pile of bodies then sets up Jaime Sifers(#26) on the blue line for a shot on goal
- Jasek(#9) picks up a loose puck, weaves around a few Hersey players and tries to drive to the end wall but gets double-teamed by the Bears trying to halt his progress
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!
- Looks like some line shakeups to start early as Gaunce is taken off the Bancks/Gadjovich line and is replaced with Brendan Woods
- Jalen Chatfield(#5) with a risky pass that gets picked off, fortunately it gets deflected high up into Michael Leightons glove instead of becoming a turnover
- Reid Boucher(#24) walks to center and rips a shot that goes off the post
- Gaunce now back alongside Pyatt and Jasek
- Kole Lind(#13) gets drilled to the ice, but he recovers quickly to get a takeaway and drive to the net but his stick gets lifted before he can get off a shot
- 4 minutes in and a lot of great pressure from the Comets
- GOAL – HERSHEY – 1-0 Bears: A shot from Gaunce(#1 6)rebounds around the rink and is picked up by Devante Smith-Pelly who leads the rush into the Comets zone then passes cross ice to Liam O’Brien at center who then rifles a one timer past Leighton
- Liam O’Brien decks Cam Darcy up high with an elbow hard, putting the Comets on the powerplay
- First PP Unit: McEneny, Pyatt, MacEwen, Boucher, Gaunce
- 2nd PP Unit: Graham, Lind, Jasek, Darcy, Gadjovich
- some nice passing and shot attempts from the young guns on the 2nd powerplay unit
- The second the powerplay ends, the Comets take a penalty for too many men, putting them on their second PK of the night
- Comets kill the penalty and keep the Bears to only two shots on their powerplay
- Zack MacEwen(#15) drives to the net after he brakes his defendors ankles, draws the penalty in the same play
- on the delayed penalty Boucher(#24) with a tape to tape pass to Brisebois(#55) as he moves into the high slot for a shot but gets robbed by Vanechek
- lol tv timeout and we have no audio when we return
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-1 Tie: great timing for the no audio, as MacEwen(# 15) from behind the goal finds a wide open Boucher(#24) who slaps one under Vanechek’s pads that MacEwen himself gets a last touch on to tie things at 1.
- Stefan LeBlanc(#3) takes an interference penalty on this play here as the Bears come out hot from their zone on a rush, nice stop from Leighton here
- GOAL – HERSHEY – 2-1 Bears: Hershey capitalizes on the powerplay as Aarons Ness and Riley Barber cycle around the Comets before giving it to Mike Sgarbossa for the goal to regain the lead for Hershey
- Comets manage to draw a cross-checking penalty at the end of the 2nd to give the Comets a powerplay at the start of the third…not too shabby!
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.
- Boucher(#24) goes rinkwide to MacEwen(#15) but his shot goes off the shoulder of Vanechek
- the young guns powerplay unit 2 putting in work as time winds down
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-2 Tie: Jesus Christ, Reid Boucher(#24) with an absolutely disgusting snipe from the bottom of the circle for his 26th of the year to tie the game
- look at the angle on this shot…barely any space whatsoever to squeak that shot through….jesus mercy
- Pyatt(#20) with a pass from behind the net to Gaunce(#16), and the Bears find 4 of them pulled to him leaving Jasek(#9) wide open at the front of the net but SOMEHOW gets denied by Vanechek
- LeBlanc(#3) sets up Lind(#13) for a breakaway, but Lind appears to lose an edge, and thus cant get a good shot off, still goes for the poke though!
- Boucher(#24) with a takeaway and attempt to go cross-ice to MacEwen(#15) but Mac is just a step behind, this is the 3rd or 4th cross-ice feed from Boucher to Mac tonight where Mac has just been a step behind…timing between the two on these plays just a bit off
- puck gets poked off MacEwen’s(#15) stick during a Comets line change – Evan McEneny(# 2)caught rushing up the ice, leaving Steve Whitney all alone on a breakaway, but Leighton makes the clutch stop
- seconds after almost being caught with too many on the ice, Brendan Gaunce gets dinged for tripping, and the Comets are onto their third penalty kill of the night
- First PK shift: Bancks, MacEwen, Sifers, LeBlanc
- MacEwen(#15) dives just in time to block away a shot from Sgarbossa
- LeBlanc and Sifers play out the entire penalty kill, even after a stoppage in play where they can change, they’re left out and end up on the ice for the entire 2 minutes
- some decent play setup from the Farm, Jesse Graham(#64) plays it up to Jasek(#9) on the line, who goes to Pyatt(#20) at center who (im going to say) intentionally redirects the puck to a trailing Brisebois(#55) who sets up Gaunce(#16) for the tip-in shot on goal but its blocked by Vanechek
- time winds down and it looks like we are going to overtime!
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.
- 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
|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|
- 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
- Reid Boucher
- Zack MacEwen
- Cam Darcy
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!