Good Evening Canucks Nation, sorry for the delay on this one. Full disclosure, family is going through some really bad stuff at the moment, so this won’t be as “wordy” as my usual stuff.
Tonight’s action is the second meeting of the season between the Comets and the Sound Tigers The two’s first encounter began the Comets current three-in-four weekend. Hopefully, the Comets could do a much better job at controlling even-strength shot-attempts.
Helping them in that department is the return of Zack MacEwen and Nikolay Goldobin to the starting lineup. The twos addition to the starting lineup means the Comets are rolling, perhaps the deepest forward group we’ve seen them deploy this season.
If you need more clips, follow Daniel Gee scouting on twitter, or Chris Faber of Canuck Convo, and last but surely not least, Cory Hergott, from CanucksArmy.com. All three have done a fantastic job posting clips of the Comets this season and may have caught some of the action I may have missed.
Thanks for understanding,
THE STARTING LINEUP
|Baertschi (#47)||Malone (#17)||Boucher (#24)|
|MacEwen (#15)||Camper (#19)||Goldobin (#77)|
|Bailey (#95)||Jasek (#9)||Lind (#13)|
|Gadjovich (#21)||Bancks (#34)||Perron (#27)|
|Juolevi (#48)||Sautner (#6)|
|Brisebois (#55)||Rafferty (#25)|
|Teves (#4)||LeBlanc (#3)|
Missing a whole lot of grit/60 from the starting lineup with that influx of skill.
RE: INJURY REPORT
|Wacey Hamilton (faceeeeeee)||Dylan Blujus (undisclosed)|
|Richard Bachman||David Pope||Vincent Arseneau||Dyson Stevenson||Mitch Eliot||Tanner Sorenson|
Comets in Blue
- Commentary off/on to start – plus video glitching
- huge forwarning: a significant portion of the video feed is glitching spastically with a black screen saying no video signal. If you have epilepsy or respond poorly to flashing images, maybe just avoid the first period altogether.
- Zane McIntyre catches a Sound Tiger dump-in, then loses the puck. The unforced error results in a quick shot on goal from Andrew Ladd
- Kiefer Bellows attempts to walk Josh Teves (#4), but Teves stays strong on his feet and forces him around the end boards
- Olli Juolevi (#48) blocks a shot with the body, then begins a break-out through center. Juolevi avoids a big hit with a sidestep, and a sneaky chip pass over the skates of the checker, Nick Schilkey, to Francis Perron (#27) on the Comets blue line. Juolevi gets the return feed and carries to the Tigers blue line for a dump in
- Josh Teves (#4) takes a stumble while skating backward, giving the Sound Tigers a golden odd-man rush opportunity. Fortunately, the Tigers blow it with an errant centering pass. Justin Bailey (#95) with an impressively fast backcheck to help out.
- Comets win a defensive zone faceoff, and Seamus Malone (#17) hits the afterburners through center-ice to receive a pass at the Tigers blue line for a shot on goal.
- Carter Camper (#19) with an end-to-end rush followed by a brilliant drop-pass to Zack MacEwen (#15) behind the defense. Mac instantly has the puck bounce off his stick, however, and the scoring chance dissipates
- Francis Perron’s (#27) turn for an end-to-end rush is an absolute beauty
- Guillaume Brisebois (#55) lays down the stick to deny the centering pass, allowing the Comets to clear from their end
- Big Mac Attack Zac draws an interference penalty as Nikolay Goldobin (#77) quickly wades in for a snapping shot on goal
- 1st peeper starts: Bailey, Lind, Boucher, Baertschi, Rafferty
- GOAL – UTICA – 1-0 Comets: Comets powerplay succeeds on the first try, as Kole Lind (#13) battles several Tigers to regain possession for the Comets. Lind’s effort forces the puck out to Sven Baertschi (#47), and Baertschi sets up Justin Bailey (#9 5)for the tap-in on the doorstep with a brilliant pass.
- Comets collectively caught all hanging out on the right side of the ice. The poor coverage allows Bridgeport to easily set up Tom Kuhnackl for a golden scoring chance in the high-slot
- Kole Lind continues his strong period by taking away a Tigers clearing attempt along the left wall. Lind (#13) whips a turning feed to Justin Bailey (#95) at center, who then drives to the goal line. Lukas Jasek (#9) crashes the crease as Bailey rips a shot that somehow gets behind Jared Coreau and gets held at the Tigers goal line
- Alternate angle showing the Tigers goal-line save
- Brogan Rafferty (#25) getting a little too cute playing offense. First, he spends a bit too long sitting behind the Tigers goal-line, the second time he walks the puck right onto the stick of a Tigers forward to lose the zone
- Apparently Rafferty had 10-15 friends show up to this game, so it might explain why he was so eager to play up in the offensive tonight
- Brisebois (#55) gets worked along the Comets right wall by a Colin McDonald spin-move. Rafferty (#25) and several other Comets then offer McDonald an uncontested shooting lane on McIntyre from point-blank
The score at the end of the 1st period: 1-0 Comets
Comets with a very solid twenty minutes of play as they go on to outshoot the Sound Tigers fourteen to seven. A near inverse of the two’s last meeting, where the Comets struggled to string together a pass in the offensive zone, let alone multiple stints of sustained pressure. They are still playing a little too lackadaisical on the defensive side. I can only assume this lax defending has been exacerbated by the Comets feeling dominant for the first time in a while. The last time the Comets controlled even-strength shot-attempts was back on December 1st in the second period against the Toronto Marlies. Understandable, they’d be a lil’ excited, haha.
- The play-by-play commentary from Joe Roberts is back!
- Nikolay Goldobin (#77) turns for a loose puck at center-ice and catches a high elbow from Otto Koivula. Goldobin was slow to get up, but made it back to the bench on his own
- Carter Bancks (#34) throws a reverse hit, before playing the puck to the line for Ashton Sautner (#6). Sautner sends a shot on goal, and Jonah Gadjovich (#21) attempts a tip, but he doesn’t get enough of a touch on it
- GOAL – BRIDGEPORT – 1-1 Tie: Off the ensuing play, the Sound Tigers poke the puck out of the zone and get themselves a two-man rush into the Comets end. Colin McDonald starts it off by dispossessing Francis Perron (#27) at the Tigers blue line. Kiefer Bellows picks up the loose puck in neutral territory and weaves around Olli Juolevi (#48) into the Comets zone. Sautner (#6) gets a stick out to disrupt Bellows drive, and Juolevi attempts to clear, but its right back onto the stick of McDonald. Miscommunication see’s Juolevi pivot to face McDonald, instead of trail Bellows, and the miscue allows McDonald to set-up Bellows for an easy tap-in goal.
- McIntyre draws an interference penalty on Travis St. Denis, and the Comets powerplay gets another try
- 1st peeper out to start
- Baertschi with an early shot into the pads of Coreau
- The equivalent of the Game of Thrones, “power is power” scene with Cersei and Littlefinger. As Kole Lind wins the drawback to Reid Boucher (#24). The Sound Tigers defender instantly drops to a lunging knee and stutters as he tries to block the oncoming blast
- GOAL – UTICA – 2-1 Comets: Comets go two-for-two on the powerplay as Reid Boucher (#24) goes rink-wide to Kole Lind (#13) for a beauty one-timer goal. Kole Lind’s first of the night matches his goal-total from last season in 26 less games played.
- Comets pressing; Zack MacEwen (#15) avoids his check with a slick chip pass up-ice to Carter Camper (#19). Camper attempts a centering feed, but no one’s there
- Brisebois (#55) with a brutal giveaway in the Comets zone as he throws the puck right onto the stick of Matt Lorito. McIntyre comes up huge with a pad save to retain the Comets lead
- Jonah Gadjovich (#21) carries the puck down the left-wing for a shot off the body of Coreau. Good puck protection from Gadj to give himself a clean shot on goal
- Lukas Jasek (#9) picks up a Tigers rebound and sends a rink wide pass up to Kole Lind (#13) who cruises towards the net for his fifth shot on goal
- 6.5 minutes into the period, and Sven Baertschi picks up a tripping minor to put the Comets on their first penalty-kill of the night
- 1st peeker: Jasek, Bancks, Sautner, Juolevi
- Jasek spends a full minute on the PK before leading a shorthanded rush. MacEwen then comes out and dumps the puck into the Tigers zone from behind the Comets goal line.
- Clock winds down on the Baertschi penalty just as Ashton Sautner (#6) clears the zone. The cleared puck winds up on the stick of Baertschi (#47) as he leaves the box, and he drives in alone on goal. Coreau make the save
- GOAL – BRIDGEPORT – 2-2 Tie: Oh boy, Brogan Rafferty (#25) decides to take a pass on the Tigers blue line for a drive on goal, all while the Comets go for a line change. Rafferty doesn’t receive the pass well, and the Tigers capitalize immediately by springing a two-on-none the other way. Ryan Bourque and Jeff Kubiak combine for an easy goal on McIntyre’s five-hole that ties the game at two.
- Josh Teves (#4) backchecks to break up an Andrew Ladd scoring chance
- Francis Perron (#27) attempts a backhand feed to Carter Bancks (#34) in the Tigers zone, but Bancks gets tripped up on his way to the shot attempt. Bancks draws the tripping penalty, and the Comets are off to their third powerplay of the night
- 1st peeper starts
- Reid Boucher (#24) with an absolute laser off the post
- Comets 1st unit putting in work to try and find a shooting lane. Good battle along the boards from Lind, Bouch, and Bailey
- 1st unit loses the zone so the 2nd unit shifts on
- 2nd Unit: MacEwen, Juolevi, Gadjovich, Goldobin, Camper
- Jonah Gadjovich (#21) finds Goldobin (#77) crashing down the left-wing towards the net and hits him with a pass. Goldy loses control of the puck and can’t get a shot off
- Bridgeport is turning up their offense during the final ten minutes of the second period. Comets are attempting to break-up the Tigers offensive rushes, but can’t seem to get the right stick placement to disrupt passes
- Zack MacEwen (#15) bobbles a pass at center-ice but recovers with a takeaway. MacEwen gains the Tigers zone, then gets a beautiful (for lack of better phrase) reach around to cut on goal for a shot-attempt
- Shades of last-seasons MacEwen on that play. Haven’t seen that many successful drives from him this season
- A Tigers shot hits Bailey (#95) in the soft spot on the ankle, and he goes down hard
- GOAL – BRIDGEPORT – 3-2 Sound Tigers: A poor defensive read from the Utica Comets results in another easy goal for the Sound Tigers. Comets see their lead disappear as the Sound Tigers score their second straight goal at even-strength. Play begins with Olli Juolevi (#48) pinching at the Comets blueline to take on Tom Kuhnackl, but the two-time Stanley Cup Champion easily evades Juolevi’s check. Kuhnackl’s pass around Juolevi gets to Otto Koivula, who manages to draw both Gadjovich (#21) and Sautner (#6) to him. With all five Utica Comets players on one side of the ice, Koivula goes to Nick Schilkey on the right-wing as he gets time and space to go five-hole on McIntyre.
- Streamable showing just how fast the Sound Tigers (and many other Comets opponents) capitalize on a lazy shot-attempt to generate a blitzing odd-man-rush the other way
- Above wasn’t even after a long shift either. Shift began at 2:44, and the backchecking effort began twenty seconds later. Not an NHL effort from Goldobin on this one
- time winds down on the period
The score at the end of the 2nd period: 3-2 Sound Tigers
A high event period for both the Comets and the Sound Tigers, as both McIntyre and Coreau faced down a relentless stream of shot-attempts from each’s respective team. Unfortunately for McIntyre, the Comets defensive lapses this past period were much more frequent and flagrant. Comets still relentless in their pursuit of offense; Sound Tigers defense has (had) just been way tighter. Comets need to show the same speed they had in the first period in order to capitalize on their opportunities. Ironically, the Sound Tigers are second-worst in league with 90 goals-against.
- end to end play through the first three minutes of the third, before a holding penalty gets assessed to Carter Bancks
- 1st peeker: Boucher, Juolevi, Camper, Sautner
- lol, 11 seconds into the powerplay, and Travis St. Denis takes a slashing penalty, and the Comets successfully draw the game to a state of 4-on-4
- Kiefer Bellows beats Olli Juolevi (#48) along the left-wing and cuts towards the net of McIntyre for a centering pass to Kyle Burroughs. Fortunately, Burroughs has the puck roll off his stick
- GOAL – UTICA – 3-3 Tie: Comets even it up off a fantastic effort from Zack MacEwen (#15). MacEwen starts it off in the Comets zone, skating hard towards the loose puck to break out into neutral territory. Mac’s effort gives him and Goldobin a two-on-one opportunity, with Goldy crashing down the left-wing. Mac sauces a perfect pass over the stick of Matt Lorito onto the tape of Goldy’s stick, and he makes no doubt about it with the tap-in goal.
- Stefan LeBlanc (#3) with solid hustle to try and out-race an icing call, only to come up short
- GOAL – UTICA – 4-3 Comets: Comets regain the lead off a fantastic effort from Lukas Jasek along the Sound Tigers left wall. Jasek displaying the tenacity and battle level along the boards that earned him 29 points in 63 games last season. Jasek (#9) starts by evading a check to chip the puck ahead to Kole Lind (#13) down at the half-wall. Jasek then continues to help after Lind gets knocked down and plays the puck back to Brisebois (#55). Brisebois goes rink wide to Brogan Rafferty (#25), who goes for a race around the boards before centering a pass to Jasek for the one-timer goal.
- Otto Koivula throws his second high elbow of the game, this time catching Jonah Gadjovich (#21) on the chin, dropping him to the ice. Guillaume Brisebois (#55) steps in to drop the gloves with Koivula, in defense of his teammate
- Koivula takes a penalty for the elbow, and the Comets get their fourth powerplay opportunity out of it
- GOAL – UTICA – 5-3 Comets: Comets go three-for-four on the powerplay as Sven Baertschi (#47) sets up Kole Lind (#13) for a beauty redirect goal from the high-slot. Comets rolling with the offense, as they’ve scored three goals on all three of their shots this period.
- On one side, Tom Kuhnackl knocks down Justin Bailey (#95) with a cross-check, and he’s none too happy. The other side, Ashton Sautner (#6) takes a cross-checking penalty to put the Comets back on the PK
- haha Comets 1st peeker clears the zone, then the second peeker draws a tripping penalty from Kieffer Bellows
- 28 seconds of four-on-four before a brief Comets powerplay
- wellp, nevermind, Josh Teves takes a tripping penalty to give the Sound Tigers an incredibly brief 4-on-3 powerplay before Sautner gets out of the box.
- GOAL – UTICA – 6-3 Comets: Wow, Brogan Rafferty (#25) scores from behind the goal-line to make it four straight unanswered goals for the Comets. Lukas Jasek (#9) starts it off with the carry-in and a quick move to center before handing off to Boucher (#24) for a one-timer from hell. Rafferty picks up the rebound along the end-boards and manages to put the puck off the shoulder Coreau and into the back of the net.
- Rafferty up to one goal and three assists to move himself up to second in AHL defenseman scoring
- Brisebois leaves the box after serving his fighting major
- Off a defensive zone draw for the Comets, Sebastian Aho takes a slashing minor to put the Comets onto their sixth powerplay of the game
- Baertschi (#47) catches a loose puck in the slow and rips a point-blank shot on goal
- Olli Juolevi (#48) with his second shot in as many games to ricochet off the inside of the right goalpost and out
- Sixth powerplay ends without a goal, but good sustained pressure from the Comets
- Seein a lot of bodies I haven’t seen in some time due to the insane amount of special teams time that’s happened this period
- four minutes left, and Ashton Sautner picks up his second penalty of the night as he trips up a Sound Tiger on the backcheck
- Given some of the talent the Sound Tigers have on their roster, it’s genuinely shocking how bad their powerplay looks. Sound Tigers legitimately get one weak shot on goal, and that’s it
- Remaining couple minutes spent with the Comets just wheeling around the ice, occasionally fluttering a shot towards the goal. Sound Tigers are offering up nothing.
- Time winds down and this cruise-control of a third ends. Impressive display of shooting accuracy as the Comets get goals on 50% of their shots on net in the final twenty.
Final Score: 6-3 Utica Comets
|1st||UTI||Justin Bailey||Sven Baertschi||Kole Lind||ppg|
|2nd||BRI||Kieffer Bellows||Colin McDonald||Matt Lorito||5v5|
|2nd||UTI||Kole Lind||Reid Boucher||Brogan Rafferty||ppg|
|2nd||BRI||Jeff Kubiak||Ryan Bourque||Parker Wotherspoon||5v5|
|2nd||BRI||Nick Schilkey||Otto Koivula||Tom Kuhnackl||5v5|
|3rd||UTI||Nikolay Goldobin||Zack MacEwen||—||4v4|
|3rd||UTI||Lukas Jasek||Brogan Rafferty||Guillaume Brisebois||5v5|
|3rd||UTI||Kole Lind||Sven Baertschi||Brogan Rafferty||ppg|
|3rd||UTI||Brogan Rafferty||Reid Boucher||Lukas Jasek||5v5|
- Defensively, the Comets still leaves a lot to be desired as they still managed to give up three even-strength goals to the worst team in the Atlantic Division. Nine even-strength goals if you count their last matchup this past Friday
- That’s bad!
- The Comets despite this managed to score four unanswered in the third period after giving up a lead in the second
- That’s good!
- Brogan Rafferty’s four-point night puts him second amongst AHL defenceman scoring, and fifth amongst AHL rookie scoring
- That’s good!
- The Comets got outshot at even strength by a total of 28 to 25 and only controlled the game at even-strength in the first period
- That’s bad!
- Zane McIntyre posted his second straight .900+ save percentage after having not done so since November 6th and 15th this season
- That’s good!
- Ya boi has to somehow track the stats on this game before reviewing tomorrows and Saturdays games, before tracking those games stats, ALL WHILE preparing for a work Christmas party and miscellaneous family concerns
- That’s bad…
- Can I go now?
Comets Three Stars
- Brogan Rafferty
- Kole Lind
- Lukas Jasek
The Comets Trajectory?
The Cmets wed 11 Marlies
^ this was the one thing I got written before being unable to review this game yesterday. I kinda like it. Brief and to the point
If you want more Comets coverage from yours truly, you can now find MORE of my writing at thesinbin.net