COMETS HARVEST: Woo-Gang Ain’t Nuttin To F**k Wit

– Utica Comets Post-Game Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

After posting last night’s recap, I stayed up until midnight recording a deadline recap episode of the CreaseCast podcast. Check it out!

After a 5:30 AM  wakeup, safe to say I’m feeling pretty exhausted.

Thus, this will probably be a lowkey game recap that relies a lot on gifs to summarize my thoughts instead of words.

Comets run it back against the Syracuse Crunch tonight, with both teams running the same lineups.

DO SOMETHING

Still keep shaking off those cobwebs, boys!

STARTING ROSTER

  • The only switch-up in tonight’s lineup is the starting netminders.
    • Starting his first game of the season for Utica is Evan Fitzpatrick.
    • Starting for Syracuse is Spencer Martin, the soon-to-be brother-in-law of Jonah Gadjovich!

Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!

GAME 13:

1st period:

2nd period:

  • So the Comets and Crunch will play the remaining 2:30 of the first period before the officials roll the clock over and the goalies switch sides.
  • Antoine Morand picks up a roughing minor penalty with less than 50 seconds remaining in the “first period.”

PP1 – Bärtschi, Anas, Gadjovich, Jasek Reinke

  • Comets are forced out of the offensive zone and end up facing off a high-danger scoring chance from the Crunch’s penalty-killers. Not a great start
  • PP1 generates nothing as the first-period session expires
    • PP2 takes the second-period faceoff

PP2 – McKenzie, McGing, Focht, Rathbone, N. Stevens

  • GOAL – UTICA – 1-1 TIE: The Comets rookie powerplay group tie the game at once apiece off some crisp passing plays between Carson Focht (#19), Jack Rathbone (#3), and Nolan Stevens (#17). Spencer Martin kicks out a Rathbone point-shot right onto the tape of Stevens stick. Stevens buries the puck under Martin’s blocker side. Great set up from the Comets young forwards and an excellent finish from Stevens.

PK1 – Kaspick, Lockwood, Woo, Tucker

  • PK1 kept in their end for a solid minute, but they deny any shot attempts by the Crunch. Great work by them to keep the Crunch to the perimeter looking for outlets.

PK2 – Stevens Bro’s, Eliot, Wesley

PK3 – Jasek and McKenzie sub on for the Stevens Bro’s

  • A scrambly moment in the crease of Martin’s net, and he gets up shaking his head after the whistle.
    • Being put to work in tonight’s matchup is Spencer Martin
  • Comets are just completely pouring on the offence in this period. Syracuse looks entirely out of sorts with the long change.
    • Syracuse then gets caught with too many men on the ice. Comets to their third powerplay of the game
  • PP1 starts for this powerplay
  • Gadjovich (#21) screening well to allow Anas (#7) to put a shot off Martin’s glove.
  • PP1 is caving the Crunch on this powerplay. Crunch players look completely gassed trying to clear the zone.
    • Syracuse’s first PK group finally dump the puck and change personnel with less than thirty left on the powerplay.
  • Spencer Martin “loses” his helmet and takes his precious time putting it back on. Brilliant play to buy his team some reset time.
  • PP2 gives up a shorthanded rush to the Crunch before time expires on the powerplay. Tremendous pressure despite the lack of scoring on this one.
  • Tyler Tucker gets into a shoving match with Gabe Fortier after Fortier gets a little too close to Fitzpatrick off of a save.
  • Sean Day rips a shot that echoes off of Fitzpatrick’s goalpost
    • Shots heavily favour Utica, but that bomb almost undid a ton of work put into this period by the Comets
  • Focht (#19) with a solid defensive effort to break up a two-on-one play.
  • Grigori Denisenko puts his crossovers to work to race around Rathbone (#3) for a wraparound attempt on Fitzpatrick.
  • Time winds down on the period, and the Comets are legitimately crushing Syracuse in shots on goal.

  • Syracuse had a couple of good looks late in the period. Comets hopefully won’t try to sit back with the one-goal lead.

3rd period:

PK1 – Stevens Bro’s, Tucker, Reinke

  • Nolan Stevens with a good shot block to force the Crunch out into the neutral zone for a reset
  • Lockwood and Kaspick step on for the Stevens Bro’s
  • Katchouk claps iron! Close call for the Comets!
  • Comets kill Woo’s penalty, and we’re back at 5v5 with less than six minutes remaining in the game
  • 2:38 left, and a giveaway from Mitch Eliot in the d-zone prompts Syracuse to pull Martin for the extra attacker
  • Tyler Tucker attempts to hit the empty net but ices the puck
  • Josh Wesley (#24), without his stick, ties up his man at the front of the net to deny a prime scoring chance for Syracuse. Comets just barely miss the empty net.
  • GOAL – SYRACUSE – 3-2 COMETS: With less than fifty seconds remaining in the game, the Crunch’s Boris Katchouk rifles a shot, bar down, past an exhausted Tyler Tucker (#2) and over the shoulder of Evan Fitzpatrick.
  • Crunch pull Martin after winning the faceoff draw
  • Comets put out Rathbone and Woo to close the game out and do a great job tying the puck up along the wall.
  • Syracuse put themselves offsides on an entry attempt. The final faceoff at center-ice is mostly a formality as there is only one second left on the clock.
  • Comets dominate in back to back outings
  • The Final shot totals 40 to 18, favouring Utica.

RESULT:

Utica Comets def. Syracuse 3-2

SCORESHEET:

 

GAME THOUGHTS:

  • Watered down forward, defence, and goalie talent aside, it is quite impressive that this Comets team has come back from a month-long layoff with two dominant games in a row. Especially considering these past two games followed two very concerning games in a row over the weekend. Doubling an opponent in shots on goals is hard when fully healthy, let alone in back-to-backs after missing a month of play due to COVID-19—really impressed by the resiliency of this group these past two games. I might have to lift my moratorium on the DO SOMETHING section of my game recaps; the rust appears to have been shooketh away.
April 13th, 2021 SOG
April 14th, 2021 SOG

  • Lukas Jasek and Sven Bärtschi looked great together tonight. Jasek’s play reminds me of Bärtschi, though the difference in their shot quality and their overall utility as players remain the separator.
  • Jack Rathbone was flexing all night on every shift. He led the Comets in shots on goal with seven total.
  • This is blowing my mind.

  • Quiet night from Will Lockwood again. Two nights in a row with zero shots on goal. I’m still hesitant with my critique as none of us know the extent of COVID’s impact on this Comets roster.
  • Carson Focht with another solid effort tonight. Crisp passing on display whenever he was in the offensive zone and even displayed solid defensive chops on the few times when he was tasked with playing D. Which honestly wasn’t often tonight at the Comets thoroughly dominated the Crunch in all facets of the game.
  • I wonder if the Comets would get more out of Mitch Eliot if they put him on PP2 as a one-timer option. He has the second-best slapshot among blueliners (second to Rathbone) and is one of the team’s only high-volume shooters. If the Comets re-jigged their powerplay units so that Eliot could slide in as, essentially, a forward to take one-timers, then I think they might get more use out of him than as just a 3rd pairing penalty killer.
  • Overall, impressive work rate from this young Comets group. They didn’t get rattled by that late goal from Syracuse, and kudos to the coaching staff for trusting the rookies, Woo and Rathbone, to shut down that final minute of play for the team. Good stuff. You love to see it.
  • Really pulling for this kid. Hope his goal tonight opens the floodgates!

 

COMETS HARVEST THREE STARS

  1. Jett Woo
  2. Lukas Jasek
  3. Evan Fitzpatrick

HM: Sven Bärtschi, Nolan Stevens, and Evan Fitzpatrick

Next Up on the Docket

The Comets will be back in action this Friday when they take on the Providence Bruins at 3 PM EDT.

I won’t be recapping this one because I have a full-time job. But Check out Chris Faber on Twitter, as he’ll likely have gifs of all the goals!

Plugs

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Hope everyone enjoyed this recap. Unfortunately, the next one won’t be coming until this Monday when I cover yet another game against the Syracuse Crunch.

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