12/11/19 – Utica Comets vs. Toronto Marlies

What’s up Canucks fans, it’s a quick turnaround for the Comets Harvest, as we dive deep into a battle between the Utica Comets and the Toronto Marlies.

The Marlies currently sit atop the Eastern Conference, with a sparkling 17-4-2-1 record. The Comets sit fifth in the east with a less than ideal, but acceptable, 14-8-1-2 record. The Comets have earned points in three of their last four games despite being 4-3-1-2 in their previous ten. The Comets past-ten record pales in comparison to the Marlies 8-2-0-0.

The Marlies and Comets are quite familiar with each other, having played a back-to-back stint two weekend’s ago, in which they split wins. The Comets almost came away with two wins, but they threw it away with a complete third-period collapse that saw the Comets give up four unanswered goals at even-strength.

To beat the Marlies, the Comets will have to be stronger at even-strength, and limit the number of odd-man rushes faced by their goaltender. A tall task given the Comets would be, again, without the services of forward, Zack MacEwen. Here’s hoping this young Comets team picks up from where they left off against Bridgeport and has an impressive showing in front of the home crowd at the Adirondack Bank Center!

 

THE STARTING LINEUP

LW C RW
Baertschi (#47) Malone (#17) Boucher (#24)
Goldobin (#77) Camper (#19) Perron (#27)
Bailey (#95) Jasek (#9) Lind (#13)
Gadjovich (#21) Bancks (#34) Stevenson (#26)
LD RD
Juolevi (#48) Sautner (#6)
Brisebois (#55) Rafferty (#25)
LeBlanc (#3) Teves (#4)
G
Michael Di Pietro

 

With MacEwen out, Dyson Stevenson slides in on the fourth line while Francis Perron moves up to the second-line alongside Camper and Goldobin. Pretty surprised that Cull went with Stevenson over Arseneau, who’s been a pretty useful soldier on the Comets fourth-line. Stevenson, however, is no slouch and has shown marked improvement game-over-game in limited minutes.

 

RE: INJURY REPORT

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

 

Healthy Scratches
Richard Bachman Vincent Arseneau Mitch Eliot

 

The Comets released David Pope and Tanner Sorenson back to the Kalamazoo Wings. Sorenson got his first career AHL point in his first game, while Pope was mostly up to get a look by the coaching staff. Guess there wasn’t much to see.

 

1st period

 

Comets in White

 

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

 

Comets outshot eleven to five after twenty minutes of play. Given how their last meeting went, I’m a little concerned at the direction this game might be heading. Comets had multiple golden scoring opportunities, but Kaskisuo has looked tremendous so far. Similar to the Canucks versus Fredy Andersen last night, they’re going to have to double-up on their efforts if they want to prevent another repeat, third-period-implosion.

 

2nd Period

 

 

The score at the end of the 2nd period: 5-3 Comets

 

What is it with the Utica Comets and batshit crazy second periods? One fight, phantom too-many-men penalties, phantom roughing penalties, phantom boarding calls, called-back goals, six goals total scored between both teams, and a partridge in a pear tree! Absolutely insane period of hockey punctuated by absolutely baffling refereeing decisions that clearly have skewed the direction of this game. Toronto ended the final ten minutes of the period with a noticeable momentum shift and will head into the third chasing down the Comets two-goal lead. Fingers crossed the Comets hold strong and put this one away before the refs do

 

3rd period

 

 

Final Score: 6-3 Utica Comets

 

Scoresheet

 

Period Team Goalscorer Primary assist helper type
1st UTI Lukas Jasek Justin Bailey Kole Lind 5v5
1st TOR Tanner MacMaster Tim Liljegren Matt Read PPG
2nd UTI Francis Perron Nikolay Goldobin Carter Camper 5v5
2nd UTI Guillaume Brisebois Reid Boucher Brogan Rafferty 4v4
2nd UTI Lukas Jasek Nikolay Goldobin 4v4
2nd UTI Kole Lind Sven Baertschi Brogan Rafferty PPG
2nd TOR Darren Archibald Nicholas Baptiste Tim Liljegren PPG
2nd TOR Garrett Wilson Kenny Agostino Kasimir Kaskisuo PPG
3rd TOR Mason Marchment 5v5
3rd UTI Reid Boucher Sven Baertschi Ashton Sautner SH/EN

 

Takeaways

 

  • Comets sandwich a dominant second period with a weak first, and a rather uninspired third period. Don’t think the Comets have nearly the defensive talent to get away with a “sit back and hold the lead” kind of strategy. It worked this time, only, barely. Thanks in part to the fantastic goaltending from Mikey Di Pietro.
  • MDP’s numbers on the outset don’t look great; a 0.871 save percentage, and a 3.01 goals-against-average. Di Pietro kept the game from devolving into a repeat of the last third period the Comets had against the Marlies.
  • Since moving to center, Jasek has struggled hard with the role-change, the past two games have seen a marked improvement in his overall ability. I have to think someone in the organization told him to not play so tentatively in the offensive zone. He’s looked much more engaged offensively, without it coming at the expense of the defensive side to his game. Hopefully, his three goals and one assist in his last two games serve as a confidence boost for him moving forward
  • Kole Lind quietly has three goals and three assists with 15 shots on goal through the month of December. Kid has looked fantastic the last two games for the Comets. Hopefully, he can keep this up and can maintain a semblance of consistency moving forward. Give me tonight’s Kole Lind every game, not every third game.
  • Brogan Rafferty has one goal and six assists this month, and despite having an assist called back by the AHL, Rafferty sits second amongst all AHL defenceman for points.
  • Francis Perron ended his five-game pointless drought tonight with a goal. He was screwed pretty hard on that tripping penalty. Otherwise, Perron looked pretty decent. Streaky, but decent.
  • Overall, a pretty messy game that left a lot to be desired from their defensive coverage. Something that I think will likely be a season-long issue. However, I can forgive a young team goofing on their checks if they can consistently score four even-strength goals against top-tier opponents. Hopefully, the Comets move forward with repeats of tonight’s and Monday’s efforts. The schedule is jam-packed through December, so that might be a big ask. Beginning this Friday, the Comets start a stretch of five games in eight nights. A tough outing for a young AHL squad looking to find consistency.

 

Comets Three Stars

  • Lukas Jasek
  • Kole Lind
  • Reid Boucher

HM: Brogan Rafferty

 

The Comets Trajectory?

The Comets return this Friday when they face off against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the third time in eight days. Just a heads up, I’ve got a boatload of Christmas Parties and Friendsmas’ events that I’m committed to for the next couple of weekends. Unfortunately, the next couple of weeks might not be my best displays of tardiness.

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

Leave a Reply