Good evening Vancutica Camockets Fans! Its another night for the Farmies where we tune into to
endure watch the Farm team attempt to play some competitive AHL hockey in the most competitive time of the season!
I’m obviously being hard on them for comedic effect, in reality, they played quite admirably against the division leading Rochester Americans on Wednesday; Tonight, the Comets face off against the Springfield Thunderbirds, a team that currently sits 7th place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division. The T-Birds have fared a bit better in the month of March, having alternated wins and losses their past 6 games.
The Comets have had the T-Birds number all season, winning 3 of their 4 matchups and outscoring them 11 to 6 in those games. Given the brutal depletion of the roster due to injuries and call-ups, plus the general awful puck luck hitting this team right now, I can’t say whether this should be a winnable game or not for the Comets… they ought to have beat Laval as well but blew that one pretty hard in a span of ten minutes…
Elsewhere in the AHL, a lot of marquee matchups in the battle for the final Calder Cup playoff spots as the Belleville Senators look to increase there lead on Utica with a game tonight against the Laval Rocket at home. So yeah as I’ve said like a broken record…pretty important games here down the stretch.
Looks like the new guy Seamus Malone, an ATO from the University of Wisconsin slides into his first pro game tonight on the 4th line with Vinny Arseneau and Reid Gardiner. No idea what to expect from him but Arseneau is a pretty solid buffer against the meatheads of the Springfield Thunderbirds, and Gardiner has a pretty decent shot so we’ll see what he can provide to this struggling Comets forward group.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Out for the Season||hand||hand||Out for the season||Out for the season||Neck Injury||Concussion||Upper Body Injury|
Looks like Boucher’s hand has been in a hand cast for the past week or so…. If his season is done too then oh boy that’s just another notch in the bad injury luck for the Canucks org.
As I wrote in last Wednesday’s Farmies, I’m not a fan of seeing Saucerman on the bench…I think he’s been one of the teams better two way defenders in the wake of call-up/injurygeddon.
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 Blue
- Cam Darcy(#11) drives to the net and shoots the puck on Tbird goalie Chris Driedger; Driedger slinks back deep into the net but refs DON’T call it a goal, I genuinely think Darcy had a case here for a goal, as Driedger popped the puck from the nook of his arm and he was clearly QUITE deep into the net
- Tbirds have had a couple drives on the net. Leighton playing with a pretty active stick to help out this VERY green D-core…seen him leave his crease for pokes way more than he usually does
- FFS, Kole Lind(#13) – center ice – watching his pass skates chin first into the shoulder of a Thunderbirds player, Don’t think it was malicious hit, it looks like the player is even trying to PULL his body to avoid the contact – Lind skated to the bench unassisted
- Comets STRUGGLING hard to complete passes this game
- Lind returned for a shift on the second line so I guess he’s ok…looked rough though
- speaking of, a puck in neutral ice bounces off some bodies to Brendan Gaunce(#16) who sends Lind(#13) up for a breakaway but the rolling puck is out of reach, and a quick stick lift prevents any dangerous chance
- at the Thunderbirds blue line, Lukas Jasek(#9) bats a puck out of the air to Zack MacEwen( #15)who races for the breakaway chance but play is blown dead due to being played with a high stick
- LOL Thunderbirds get a shot on Michael Leighton and it gets deflected down and the ref inexplicably blows the play dead
- close one here as a rink wide feed hops over Jesse Graham’s stick and leads to a breakaway chance for the Thunderbirds, Leighton comes up with a huge stop on Sebastian Repo
- Kyle Thomas picks up a slashing minor in front of the benches, and the Comets are off to their first penalty kill of the night
- Somehow despite being 7th in the AHL’s Atlantic division, they have a league leading Powerplay % – they also lead the league with powerplay opportunities, so their squad is doing a solid job drawing penalties…makes sense
- 1st PK Group: Bancks, Woods, LeBlanc, Sifers – one shot on Leighton that gloved for a stoppage in play
- 2nd PK Group: MacEwen, Kero, Chatfield, Graham – MacEwen with aggressive forward pressure forces Tbirds to try a long shot from the wing that Leighton gloves down easily
- 1st group back out for the defensive zone start: Woods, Bancks, Sifers, LeBlanc –
- A scrum ensues in fornt of Leighton after the draw, and somehow the Thunderbirds Juho Lammiko takes a roughing minor – was a pretty standard scrum too lol… it’s one of THOSE nights I guess
- 1st 4v4 Group: Gaunce, Jasek, Chatfield, Petgrave
- powerplay gets no chances…lot of meaningless cycling and fanned passes to the blue line that causes the Comets to lose possession in the zone…brutal
- final minute of play and the 1st line pressures the Thunderbirds hard but can only get some long shots from the blue line from Jaime Sifers and Brandon Anselmini…really having trouble getting through the traffic that the Tbirds are creating
Score at the end of the first period: 0-0 Tie
Interesting period…Comets look like it’s the first day of camp or something and nobody knows who anybody is…pass timing is completely off from nearly every line…and when they HAVE been able to cycle or get any passing going, they haven’t been able to get any shots on net. Utica was outshot 10 to 7 in the first period, I can’t imagine what the possession numbers were like, but it wasn’t looking too hot for the Comets in the first.
- Jasek(#9) sets up MacEwen(#15) for a solo drive on goal with a fantastic pass along the left wing, unfortunately MacEwen elects to pass instead of taking the selfish approach…too bad
- Bobby Farnham gets tied up with Cam Darcy on a Thunderbirds drive to the net and appears to hit the back of his head on the ice and is slow to get up
- Paul Thompson tries to fight Brendan Woods, and it goes about as well as picking a fight with Brendan Woods could go
- I guess someone on the Tbirds didn’t like how Farnham went down and looked to spark up the boys…kinda weird but that’s Tbirds hockey for you
- After all is said in done, Paul Thompson gets 2 minutes for roughing, and Brendan Woods picks up 4 minutes for roughing, putting the Comets on the penalty kill
- GOAL – SPRINGFIELD – 1-0 Thunderbirds: 1 second after the penalty expires, the TBirds first shot on the powerplay and a shot by Ludwid Bystrom gets tipped last second by Matt Mangene to give the TBirds the lead
- Stefan LeBlanc (#3) with a shot from the blue line that rebounds out to Darcy(#11) who then walks around to center for a shot that gets almost redirected into Driedger’s net by his own teammate
- Brendan Woods(#21) lays a big hit along the boards, and then Reid Gardiner(# 14) gets his stick caught in the skates of Cliff Pu and the Comets are back to the penalty kill
- 1st PK Group gets absolutely annihilated by the Thunderbirds as they hem the Comets into their own end for the full two minute powerplay with impressive puck control
- Lines probably needing to be shaken up after that one – first group up is Jasek, Kero, Gardiner
- Jalen Chatfield(# 5)receives a pass from Petgrave(#38) and moves in for a slapper on net, ANOTHER scrum ensues after Reid Gardiner shoves a Tbird into goaltender Chris Driedger; Juho Lammiko with some serial killer shit as he grabs Gardiner by the collar and gives him a death stare that would make EP40 worried
- MacEwen(#15) with great puck control along the boards then goes for the wraparound shot on goal but the net comes off the moorings in the rebound attempts, Grit/60 increases too as he steps in to help out Jasek who gets in a shoving match at the front of the net
- Vincent Arseneau(#18) gets hit hard behind the play and the Comets are off to their first powerplay of the night, Arseneau’s a pretty big boy at 6’2” 230 pounds, have to believe he sold that one pretty good
- MacEwen(#15) goes behind the net on the powerplay for a pass to Gardiner(#14) who goes cross ice to Darcy(#11) who’s shot gets blocked wide, really slick pass from Gardiner on that play,
- Arseneau headed down the tunnel along with the medical staff, that’s almost a player gone every game
- Beginning to think Lind’s(#13) confidence is shot, here on the powerplay he’s working the wall and just looks lost with what to do, tight uncontrollable passes, and then when he has a lane he goes to Jasek for the shot when his lane is infinitely worse
- RE: The above confidence issues, he then ended the powerplay shift with a weak shot into the chest of Driedger
- I started this streamable 15 seconds after the faceoff draw, just follow MacEwen(#15) as he hustles all over the ice to retain possession in the TBirds zone for the powerplay to continue
The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 1-0 Thunderbirds
I mean, aside from a few moments here and there and the late powerplay, the Comets once again just continue to struggle to complete quality passes. They had some good looks this period though and managed to outshoot Springfield 13 to 8, while shutting down 2 Springfield powerplays as well. Man do they miss having snipers on this team though…without Dahlen or Boucher on this team, the only real sniper left is MacEwen but he’s had to resort to being a playmaker in the wake of Dahlen/McEneny and Boucher’s absence…Doesn’t help this team when the only people left in the lineup who can score are also the only guys who are the only playmakers, and the Thunderbirds are doing a great job at shutting down the play creation or attempts to create offense by MacEwen, Jasek and Gaunce.
Vincent Arseneau’s night is done, so guess he wasn’t selling shit…and another one bites the dustnope he back
- LOL his first shift back, Vincent Arseneau goes for a major hit and slams himself into the Tbirds bench…
- Woods(#21) from behind the net sets up Petgrave(#38), and his shot rebounds out right onto Lind’s(#13) stick but he can’t get enough lift on the puck to get over Driedger’s pad
- Huge pressure from the Comets, Anselmini(#7) with some great chances created, one where he passes to Lind(#13 )who has a wide open net and he sails it completely wide
- Jesse Graham(#64) shatters his checks ankles on the blue line then works the puck around the net and back with help from Tanner Kero(#1 0)and MacEwen(#15) for a shot on goal
- The camera angle was absolute dogshit, but know that MacEwen and Jasek combined for 2 huge goal line chances for Utica but Driedger comes up huge
- LOL puck gets stripped off Jasek’s and you can hear a guy on feed scream, “COME. ON. JAS-EK!”
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-1 Tie: holy shit goals are possible! The luck o’ the Irish as MacEwen( #15) wraps around the Thunderbird net for a shot on net, where Lukas Jasek(#9), is their tying up his defender, as the new guy, Seamus Malone(#19) follows the play and pulls back for a wrister top shelf to even the score at 1! After nearly 10 minutes of pressuring the Thunderbirds in their own end manage to finally get a goal
- Tanner Kero picks up the helper assist and puts him at 50 points on the season, the second Comet after Reid Boucher to reach that marker
- Looks like Darcy(#11) skating through the neutral zone skates into the elbow of a Thunderbird and heads to the bench hunched over
- MacEwen (#15)with a takeaway in the neutral zone then a drive to the net with a hand-off to Kero(#10) but the return pass from Kero gets denied
- Woods(#21) with a huge takeaway in the Thunderbirds zone and then a steal from the defender who catches his rebound that almost deflects in net, HUGE chance created by Woods there alone…great stuff
- MacEwen(#15) with a great effort through traffic to get the puck to Anselmini(#7) for a shot on goal then a secondary chance off a through-the-legs pass by Kero(#10 )to Jasek(#9) at the net
- Comets pressuring seriously hard this third period…a fire has been lit, so to speak
- Comets not even letting the Thunderbirds clear…great active sticks from the guys that ends with Darcy( #11) setting up Anselmini(#7) for a bomb on net
The Score at the end of the 3rd period: 1-1 Tie
Well that was impressive as fuck, Comets absolutel dominating the Thunderbirds with possession and pressure in the o-zone…lots of great looks and chances from MacEwen, Jasek, Kero and Anselmini…OT should be interesting for this squad.
- First group: Woods, Gaunce, Graham – lose the draw and penned into their own end
- VERY physical first shift from Graham and Gaunce
- 2nd group: MacEwen, Kero, Chatfield
- MacEwen(#15) dazzling with the puck control and chances created with Kero(#10), look at the denial of those Tbird pokechecks and takeaways
- 3rd Group: Darcy, Jasek, Anselmini
- Darcy(#11) with great skates to create space for Anselmini(#7) who pulls 2 Tbirds to him and then turns to setup Jasek( #9) for the one –timer
- 4th Group: Graham, Kero, MacEwen
- 5th shift: Gaunce, Woods, Chatfield
- Gaunce(#16 )fans on a shot then hooks Greco giving him the penalty shot…brutal
- That’s the AHL’s fastest skater right there…unlucky
- GOAL – SPRINGFIELD – 2-1 Thunderbirds: Anthony Greco wins it with the penalty shot…the Comets earn a point, but you have to feel like shit after that one.
Final Score: 2-1 Springfield Thunderbirds
|2nd||Springfield||Matt Mangene||Ludwig Bystrom||Juho Lammikko||5v5|
|3rd||Utica||Seamus Malone||Zack MacEwen||Tanner Kero||5v5|
- fuck man…this one hurt…this one legitimately hurt to watch…Comets outshoot Springfield 39 to 25…and lose on a fucking terrible play from Brendan Gaunce in the offensive zone as he fans on the shot, then has to force the penalty shot…after outshooting Springfield 3-0 in OT… just a brutal way for this team to lose…the streak was almost over…
- Jasek, MacEwen, Kero and Anselmini had fantastic games despite the shitty first period…collectively the team no showed the first two periods really, but there 4 were hustling hard to try and get the momentum in the teams favor. I like Anselmini’s shot from the blueline, despite his size the guy packs a punch. Jasek ended the night with 5 shots on goal, MacEwen with 2, Kero with 3 and Anselmini with 2.
- Seamus Malone looked pretty decent out there…he didn’t look completely out of his depth, which cant be said about a lot of the PTO’s and ATO’s that the team has tried in this lineup this year…had decent speed and skating, and clearly has a pretty decent shot! Wouldn’t be shocked to see him stick around after the end of this season.
Comets Three Stars
- Lukas Jasek
- Zack MacEwen
- Brandon Anselmini
HM: Seamus Malone for ACTUALLY getting a puck in the net
12 games left, the streak continues, but the Comets at least eke out a point, which is good because the Belleville Senators just lost tonight in a shootout, so that 4th and final playoff spot is still 1 win away. The bad news though is the Cleveland Monsters are up on the Chicago Wolves, which if they do win puts THEM 1 point behind Utica…so like I said the games right now couldn’t possibly be more do-or-die…which is why this loss AND the Laval loss were so fucking heartbreaking….they were doing everything so right and then it just takes that little lapse and boom the game blows up in their faces…brutal result.
Tomorrow the Comets are back in action against the Atlantic’s last place, Hartford Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack have had a much more successful March than the Comets, having won 4 of their last 7, needing extra time for all 4 of those victories however. The Comets despite their late dominance tonight haven’t had too much puck luck in the latter stages of games this month so they’ll have to beat Hartford early and try to not fuck it up in the final 10 minutes like they did against Laval…hoping nobody left tonight’s game with an injury, because this team desperately needs some chemistry, and while I think at least 2 lines were getting some momentum going tonight, I think another line shakeup might destroy what little momentum this team carried into tonight’s final frames.
As always I hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Farmies, I’ll see you all back here tomorrow (or possibly Sunday, depending on if I get drunk again and completely forget about the game) 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!