12/6/19 – Utica Comets vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Good Evening Canucks Nation, let us gather around the fire and tell the tale of the Utica Comets versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

 

The Sound Tigers sit dead last in the AHL’s Atlantic Division. Last Saturday, Sound Tigers reporter Michael Fornabaio reported that the team was up to 147 man-games lost to injury/illness this season. Their total man-games lost the previous season… 147.

https://twitter.com/fornabaioctp/status/1201943193027256321?s=20

 

Both Comets and Sound Tigers meet after suffering embarrassing losses in their last outings. Comets with their four-unanswered goals-against in the third period to the Toronto Marlies. And the Sound Tigers with a 5-2 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The Comets will look to impress at home tonight, as they see a bevy of healthy bodies returning to the lineup. Returning to the lineup after missing the last eight games with hip issues, is defenseman Olli Juolevi. Fingers crossed the coaching staff learn from their mistakes and ease up on the on-ice responsibilities. Joining him in tonight’s lineup from a brief three-game stint on IR is Vincent Arseneau. ECHL call-up Tanner Sorenson filled his position admirably, but the Comets will be elated to have the tough-as-nails Frenchman back in the lineup.

This should be a fun one, let’s dive right into the starting lineup and see how this one goes! That sounds pretty neat!

 

THE STARTING LINEUP

LW C RW
Baertschi (#47) Malone (#17) Boucher (#24)
Bailey (#95) Camper (#19) Lind (#13)
Gadjovich (#21) Jasek (#9) Perron (#27)
Arseneau (#18) Bancks (#34) Stevenson (#26)
LD RD
Juolevi (#48) Sautner (#6)
Brisebois (#55) Rafferty (#25)
LeBlanc (#3) Eliot (#52)
G
Zane McIntyre

MDP gets a break tonight, I’m dumb I forgot MDP was with the Canucks

Bachman opts in as the backup, as Zane McIntyre gets the start. Hopefully, he gets back to his earlier season form tonight against a sub-par opponent.

RE: INJURY REPORT

 

Injury Report
Wacey Hamilton (faceeeeeee) Dylan Blujus (undisclosed)

 

Healthy Scratches
Tanner Sorenson Josh Teves David Pope Nikolay Goldobin (unavailable to play)

 

1st period

 

Comets in White

 

 

The score at the end of the 1st period: 1-1

 

The shot-attempt differential did not favor the Comets in that period. Sound Tigers throwing everything but the kitchen sink towards the net of McIntyre, and eventually tie it up off some pretty weak clearing attempt from Sautner. No surprise, the Sound Tigers outshot the Comets eleven to seven through the opening twenty minutes. Need a better effort from a team that has the majority of its roster available to them.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-3 tie

 

Comets thoroughly dominated, but they manage to find a way to tie the game twice in a single period. They’re finding the key goals while facing a deficit, but boy, it sure would be nice to see them step their game up and be the ones sustaining pressure against the Tigers instead of vice versa. Comets outshot eleven to nine in the second, 22 to 17, after two frames.

 

3rd period

 

 

 

The score at the end of the 3rd period: 4-4 tie

 

By some miracle, the Comets force overtime after getting outshot fourteen to four over the final 15 minutes of the third period. Needing overtime to take down the Atlantic Division worst team is not a good look for this squad. Sure they finally generate something in the closing two minutes, but it was too-little-too-late. Embarrassing display of puck-control tonight.

 

Overtime

 

 

The score at the end of the Overtime: 4-4 tie

 

Well, they looked good at 3-on-3. Too bad that the Comets 5-on-5 passing wasn’t nearly as clean earlier in the game. They eke out a point from tonight’s win, but letting this one hinge on a shootout is a huge missed opportunity for the squad to pick up two points if it goes wrong.

 

Shootout

 

 

Final Score: 5-4 Bridgeport Sound Tigers

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st Utica Guillaume Brisebois Carter Camper 5v5
1st Bridgeport Matt Lorito Colin McDonald 5v5
2nd Bridgeport Nick Schilkey Mason Jobst 5v5
2nd Utica Jonah Gadjovich Olli Juolevi Sven Baertschi PPG
2nd Bridgeport Grant Hutton Mason Jobst Sebastian Aho 5v5
2nd Utica Justin Bailey Carter Camper Kole Lind 5v5
3rd Bridgeport Kieffer Bellows Matt Lorito Sebastian Aho 5v5
3rd Utica Reid Boucher Sven Baertschi 5v5

 

Takeaways

 

  • Another disappointing display of puck-control from the Utica Comets. Their best-sustained pressure came in the final two minutes of the third period, and the entire overtime period. Otherwise, it was a pretty pitiful performance.
  • Olli Juolevi looked solid in his return. Was crucial in the Comets penalty-killing tonight, as the Comets suppressed all six of Bridgeport’s powerplay opportunities. Skating looked better tonight than it did before his recent IR stint. Guess the time off did wonders for him. Bummer about the post he hit tonight. Would’ve been awesome to see him get his first goal of the season in his return game.
  • Ironically, the two guys I chastised for being unable to hit the goal with shots, BOTH scored tonight at even-strength. Bailey tied with Rafferty for second-most shots on net with four apiece. Brisebois registered three shots on net for the first time since November 9th, when the Comets played against the Binghamton Devils. Good for him on getting his first goal since the season opener.
  • Kole Lind was quiet throughout the majority of the game, but when the team needed him to turn it on, he suddenly became the guy to watch out for on the ice. The Shaunovan native was clutch throughout the final stretch of regulation time. Lind helped created several high-danger scoring chances for the Comets tonight and was rewarded earlier with an assist off one of his few defensive plays, rather than offensive.
  • During the limited minutes he saw tonight, Jonah Gadjovich was pretty stellar, looked composed with the puck, and did everything he could to try and generate shot-attempts for his linemates. It didn’t help him that Lukas Jasek once again was struggling, and Francis Perron, who through most of the game, was frequently invisibly. Defensive positioning still a work in progress but, we have to appreciate the little things, like his six points in nine games this season — underrated improvement year for the manchild.
  • Carter Camper has quietly picked up 14 points in 15 games played this season. Tonight was an impressive defensive effort from Camper and was literally, the reason this game didn’t conclude in the third period. Thanks entirely to that goal-line save of his.
  • Not sure who was doing the stars of the game, but Oliver Wahlstrom was given the first star because he won the game for the Sound Tigers in a shootout. Whoever made that choice ought to be ashamed. Wahlstrom was 0/0/0 on the night with three shots on goal and a -1 overall. At least give it to Sebastian Aho for his two-assists +1 rating if you’re going to give a Sound Tiger the “First star.” Hell, Kieffer Bellows should have got it for his 3rd-period tiebreaker goal and his five shots on net.
  • Curious to see what happens to the Comets stat-lines after doing my tracking re-watch later. Eye-test would say that everyone on the Comets might’ve posted a negative shot-attempt differential. But I’d love to see if I’m wrong!
  • Also, Trent Cull didn’t overplay Juolevi, which was great to see. After blocking like, ninety-seven shots in the first period while penalty-killing, I hoped to see him get a reprieve down the stretch. But, I guess that’s OJ’s bread and butter? Juolevi’s demotion to the second unit powerplay is a perfect middle-ground to letting him flex his strengths, without overwhelming his workload.

 

Comets Three Stars

  • Carter Camper
  • Guillaume Brisebois
  • Justin Bailey

 

The Comets Trajectory?

The Comets return tomorrow night when they face off against the Providence Bruins. During their last meeting, the Comets edged the Bruins in even-strength shot-attempts, while also getting a stellar goaltending performance from Michael Di Pietro. The shutout loss to Providence kickstarted a four-game losing streak. Hopefully, after tonight’s second-straight loss, the Comets show some fire and attempt to get their season back on track with a road win against the B’s.

 

If you want more Comets coverage from yours truly, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net

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