4/6/19 – Utica Comets vs. Hartford Wolf Pack

With the Canucks season ending today against the Blues, we turn to the Farm team for something to look forward too! Unfortunately they’ve lost four consecutive games and haven’t won a game in regulation in their last 20! They haven’t won a road game in 8 straight games and have been outscored 34-10 during those 8.

 

The Major Slumps from guys who had run QUITE hot this season,

  • Zack MacEwen – 7 games without a point, last goal march 6th
  • Brendan Gaunce – 3 points in last 17 games, last goal February 17th

 

Tanner Kero remains on IR due to concussion protocol, Seamus Malone was released from his Amateur Tryout contract…I hope to god that’s a formality and an AHL deal is being worked on….if they gave up on him despite his 3 goals in 6 games then I officially give up on Ryan Johnson and Jim Benning…moreso on Jim Benning because according to Sportsnet 650, he’s looking to visit Utica this weekend (for the first time this season) to “find out from the coaches what exactly happened this season”

 

Remember when John Tortorella was vilified by the media and market for having not made any effort to talk with the Farm team during his tenure with the Canucks? How is it not a bigger talking point that the “draft/scouting guru” Jim Benning has made absolutely no effort to see how his system is doing? Why now?

Does this imply that when Carcone, Archibald, Nilsson and Dahlen were moved, he had absolutely no discussions or idea of what was going on with the farm at that time and just kind of assumed his moves would work out? I cant even put into words how baffled I am that he’s NOW making an effort to find out what the fuck happened to the season…as if he needs it spelled out for him in big block letters. You called up the entire team…your best players got season ending injuries….and the lack of prospect depth in the system caused your farm team to rely on ECHL players for the majority of this season due to terrible asset management. How is a top-to-bottom review of the organizations prospect pool and depth charts happening NOW? … I remember getting downvoted to oblivion for suggesting that there was a serious concern to be had about the lack of communication between both the Canucks and the Comets organizations (regarding the Palmu move and Dahlen trade) but this kind of affirms my fear that the Canucks brass has been operating with terrible information about their farm team which is completely unacceptable.

 

Incessant whining aside, tonight the Comets face off against the Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers farm club. The Wolf Pack sit dead last in the AHL’s Atlantic division, having had a similar string of losses as the Comets as they’ve gone 0-4-1-0 in their last 5. It aint no 1-8-1-0 in their last 10…but we can take solace knowing that its not JUST the Comets having some tough times lately! Maybe this meeting between two struggling clubs will lead to some exciting gameplay as both teams are out of playoff contention and will be looking to just play some exciting hockey!

 

Starting Lineup

 

LW C RW
Pyatt Darcy Boucher
Bancks Woods MacEwen
Jasek Gaunce Gadjovich
Arseneau Hamilton Vanderlaan
LD RD
LeBlanc Sifers
Petgrave Saucerman
Thow Blujus
G
Marek Mazanec

 

damn glad to see Colton Saucerman and Vincent Arseneau back in the lineup, both were playing QUITE well before their stints on IR and on the bench

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Bachman Juolevi McEneny Chatfield Lind Kero
Out for the Season Out for the season Out for the season upper body injury lower body injury Concussion

 

Took Woo and Malone out as they have been released from their ATO’s, both due to season ending injuries

 

Healthy Scratches
Anselmini Thomas Stevenson Eliot (will not play this season due to expansion draft reasons) Gardiner Graham

 

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: 2-0 Comets

 

Feels like a lifetime since I left a period of Comets hockey thinking this team was looking sharp, or even held a substantial lead for that matter! They dominated the Wolf Pack and capitalized on their chances, something they were seriously lacking in previous first period efforts. They outshot the Wolf Pack 17 to 8…and to be honest I almost call bullshit on the 8 shots from Hartford, cause they really spend 17 of those 20 minutes in their own end. Like what I see, maybe now that pressure of a playoff push is off, they are playing a bit more loose?

 

2nd Period

 

 

The Score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-0 Comets

 

Impressive period again from the Comets as they absolutely hammer the Wolf Pack over the period with sustained pressure in their end…Shots were much closer (8 to 5) but the possession numbers would show pure dominance from Utica once again…Think collective time spent in Uticas end was less than 2 minutes total that period. Like what I see from the youth line of Jasek/Gadj/Gaunce, MacEwen looking good with his chances on the Woods/Bancks line. Pyatt/Boucher/Darcy line was a bit quiet at even strength…was basically the youth line and the Mac line spending every shift of theirs hemming the Wolf Pack in their end. 1 more to go, lets hope some of the other guys can end their scoring droughts tonight!

 

3rd Period

 

  • whole lot of nothing through the first 7 minutes of the period, lot of end to end skating but no significant shots on goal from either team, possibly even any
  • and just like that the Wolf Pack’s Brandon Crawley gets dinged for tripping and the Comets are off to the powerplay
  • 1st unit out for the draw: MacEwen, Boucher, Darcy, Pyatt, Thow
  • Boucher(#24) with a slick cross-ice pass to Pyatt(# 20) on the powerplay, then drives to the net to try and catch Pyatt’s rebound
  • 2nd Unit gets a few shots that bounce of Huska but they lose the zone and the powerplay ends
  • Hartford with more possession in the Comets zone this period than the previous two combined
  • Wolf Packs Ryan Gropp takes a slashing penalty on a Comets zone entry and Boucher just hands the puck to the ref to stop play LOL, off to their 4th powerplay of the game
  • 2nd Unit out to start: Thow, Saucerman, Gadjovich, Jasek, Gaunce
  • Powerplay units struggling to get anything going this time around…1st unit rolls out and two times in a row they are caught offside on the entry leading to neutral zone starts…shame
  • Lines being shifted up a bit. Jasek now out with Bancks and Woods – Gadjovich out with MacEwen and Gaunce – not sure what precipitated the line switch up? Wasn’t an injury I don’t think…perhaps just due to the powerplay shifts shaking out I guess
  • 3 minutes remaining and Adam Huska gets pulled for the extra man
  • can’t stand when they pull the goalie this early, it usually leads to soooo many icings since that’s all the defending team can usually manage to do
  • Jaime Sifers comes up clutch with a huge shot block while being hemmed in their end facing the 6 man Wolf Pack
  • The first draw the Comets KIND OF win and Brendan Woods sends his shot on the empty net, WIDE
  • GOAL – UTICA – 4-0 Comets: The Comets finally manage possession after several defensive draws in their end as Brendan Woods(#21) picks off a pass and sets up Carter Bancks(#34) to saucer a pass to a streaming MacEwen(#15) who walks it into the empty net. MacEwen with his first goal since March 6th…brutal stretch of puck luck for the guy
  • Mazanec gets his first win with the Comets as a starter with a 21 shot shutout. Good victory for the boys!

 

Final Score: 4-0 Utica Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Jonah Gadjovich Lukas Jasek Brendan Gaunce 5v5
1st Utica Tom Pyatt Reid Boucher SHG
2nd Utica Cam Darcy Zack MacEwen Tom Pyatt PPG
3rd Utica Zack MacEwen Carter Bancks Brendan Woods EN

 

Takeaways

 

  • boy it feels good to cover a win; nay, a DOMINANT win…Comets were effective everywhere tonight, the powerplay, penalty kill, neutral ice, the corners, they were just all over the Wolf Pack through those first two periods and it pays off as they get a much deserved 4-zip victory.
  • Really solid games from Gadjovich and MacEwen tonight…I mean altogether I think most lines played really good…I would hope that Cull elects to NOT sit out Saucerman for Sundays afternoon game as he looked sharp tonight offensively AND defensively while paired with a guy who I think has had a very rough go in his stint with the Comets!
  • Hopefully this victory inspires a bit of confidence in the boys going into tomorrows game against the Providence Bruins. There were some key scoring droughts ended tonight and I hope that despite the lack of purpose to their remaining 4 games of the season, they just go out there to try and have fun and score some goals and impress for next year!

 

Comets Three Stars

  • Zack MacEwen
  • Jonah Gadjovich
  • Marek Mazanec

HM: Tom Pyatt for his shorthanded goal and the assist on the Comets lone powerplay goal of the evening

 

What’s Next?

The Comets return tomorrow afternoon for another road game, this time against the Boston Bruins farm team, Providence. Providence is coming off a two game stint against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where they first won an insane 8-6 victory at home on Friday followed by a 4-3 loss on the road. Providence sits 4th in the AHL’s Atlantic division, up by only 3 points on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins so they are going to be playing some desperate hockey to end their triple header with some badly needed points to separate from the Pens for a playoff slot.

 

Tomorrow I am going to be out with the home inspector checking out our new place, so positive vibes from the r/canucks fam are needed as if this place doesn’t work out then I’ll be in serious shit; having to find a NEW place to live in less than 60 days is quite less than ideal…so fingers crossed from everyone is needed that the place has no unexpected issues and works out great!

That being said, I hope to have a recap of the game done ideally tomorrow night, if not then, maybe Monday night depending on the home inspection results! Have a great rest of your weekend guys!

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