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Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #28

Utica Comets at Binghamton Devils

Saturday, December 14th, 2019

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

Post-Game

Scratched Today For Utica

  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
  2. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Undisclosed injury, no timeframe. AHL deal.
  3. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

Comets Starting Lines

(First forward line/defence pair listed started the game. The remainder are in no particular order)

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 27 Francis Perron – 34 Carter Bancks (C)

47 Sven Baertschi – 9 Lukas Jasek – 24 Reid Boucher (A)

95 Justin Bailey – 19 Carter Camper – 13 Kole Lind

21 Jonah Gadjovich – 17 Seamus Malone – 18 Vincent Arseneau

6 Ashton Sautner (A) – 25 Brogan Rafferty

48 Olli Juolevi – 5 Jalen Chatfield

3 Stefan LeBlanc – 8 Dylan Blujus

32 Richard Bachman

31 Zane McIntyre (backing up)

First Period

The Devils were having their teddy bears toss night and it took just 51 seconds for the stuffed toys to rain down in Bingo as Ben Street blocked an Olli Juolevi shot attempt at the offensive blue line and raced in to beat Bachman for an unassisted 11th goal of the season.

This was not the start that the Comets were looking for and not unlike his first game of the season, Richard Bachman was being hung out to dry by his teammates. The shots kept coming as Bachman had to come up with a big save on a redirected point shot before Juolevi showed a smart stick to break up a play but the puck ended up on the stick of Josh Jacobs for a shot that Bachman swallowed up for the whistle.

At the other end of the ice, Kole Lind hit Justin Bailey with a feed in the high slot and Bailey used a spin and fire play but Gilles Senn was there with the save. The giveaways kept coming as Rafferty coughed one up to Mikhail Maltsev but the Comets rookie got lucky when the Devils were called offside.

Bachman was earning his pay as he kicked out a Nathan Bastian offering before gloving down another from Kelly Summers.

At the other end, Dylan Blujus had a shot tipped wide of the net by Sven Baertschi before the Comets defender pinched to hold the puck in and let fly with a shot through traffic that was denied by Senn.

The Devils went the other way and Julian Melchiori soon redirected a Joey Anderson offering past Bachman for his second goal of the season. Anderson picked up his 12th helper of the year on the play, while Michael Paliotta grabbed his first. The Comets were down 2-0.

Olli Juolevi missed time with a sore hip this season but his hips were looking just fine when he dished out a Dan Hamhuis Special just inside the Comets blue line. Egor Sharangovich managed to beat nearly everyone on the ice before not being able to beat the yawning cage with Bachman out of position.

The Comets were playing sloppy hockey and Bacher wasn’t getting a ton of help.

The Comets netminder denied a wide-open chance from Joey Anderson and followed up with a kick save on the chance that came next. He had to make another stop as the fourth line was hemmed in.

When the Comets finally got back into the Devils end, we saw Senn shut down chances from LeBlanc and Sautner as the defenders were trying to get some shots through.

Brandon Baddock had a one-timer swallowed up by Bachman before Jeremy Groleau fired a shot off the glove of the Comets netminder.

Groleau followed that shot up with a hooking penalty and the Comets were off to the power play.

We saw another new look with these power-play units… which is a little puzzling as the PP has been doing well of late. Baertschi, Boucher, Perron, Gadjovich, and Rafferty made up one unit, while the other consisted of Lind, Bailey, Camper, Goldobin, and Juolevi.

Boucher had a chance kicked out, while Rafferty and Gadjovich were denied as well before Juolevi coughed up the puck but the Devils couldn’t make him pay. The Comets power play came up empty.

Michael Paliotta let fly with a long shot that Bachman stopped and held for the whistle before Sautner fired from the high slot at the other end but with no traffic in front, Senn gloved down an easy one.

The Devils came back the other way and Lind blocked a shot with his team hemmed in again. Kelly Summers had a chance turned aside before Ryan Schmelzer followed up by turning on the jets to beat… well, pretty much everyone before getting his shot away. Bachman was there with the save.

Fabian Zetterlund came back with a chance from a wide-open position and Bachman shut him down. Boucher and Jasek went the other way and Boucher was denied by Senn. Zetterlund came back with another shot that was denied by the blocker of Bachman before Vinny Arseneau and Dakota Mermis were sent off for roughing.

The period came to a close with a big shot block from Carter Bancks as the Devils outshot the Comets by a staggering 21-8 margin. It wouldn’t get a whole lot better in the middle frame.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

The middle frame started much the same as the opening one for the Comets as the Devils got a quick goal to start things off.

It was Ryan Schmelzer doing the damage as he got in behind Juolevi and Chatfield for a freebie and had his third of the season from Brandon Gignac with his sixth helper of the year.

Once again, that’s not the way the Comets wanted to start things off.

The Comets were looking to get that one back as Sautner sent a shot on net that Senn steered aside. There was a bit of back and forth without much going on before Francis Perron was dinged for roughing. The Comets were back to the kill.

Boucher had a shorthanded chance that he fired off the target before Melchiori had his shot tipped and Bachman came up with the save. The Comets would come up with a good kill, but they would be right back to a shorthanded situation as they were dinged for having too-many-men on the ice soon after.

This time, the Devils made them pay as Fabian Zetterlund skated in all off the rush and went top shelf on Bachman for his fourth goal of the season. Egor Shanangovich picked up his fifth helper of the year on the play.

Ludvig Larsson wanted to get in on the scoring action but had his chance denied by Bachman, as did Joey Anderson with his one-timer that followed as Bachman was there for that one as well. It was all Binghamton as Brett Seney saw Bachman shut his chance down also.

Bachman wasn’t getting a ton of help, but Stefan LeBlanc did good work to stymie Brandon Gignac one-on-one. Dakota Mermis had a chance kicked out by Bachman, as did Kelly Summers as the Comets netminder was busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

At the other end of the ice, Reid Boucher was busy trying to score his 76th goal in a Comets uniform to take sole possession on first place on the team’s all-time list. Spoiler alert… that wouldn’t happen today. Boucher let fly with a shot from the left side that Mermis got a piece of before Senn gobbled it up for the save.

Nikolay Golsobin was dinged for a high-stick at the 18:26 mark and the Comets would finish the period down a man… or would they?

Lukas Jasek had a shorthanded chance but fired wide before Mermis beat Bachman for his second of the season on a defensive breakdown by the Comets. The goal came with just two seconds remaining in the frame. Joey Anderson picked up his 13th helper of the year on the play, while Brett Seney earned his 12th. Sorry, I don’t have a gif of that one.

The period finished with the Devils up 14-3 on the shot clock. Gee… I wonder why the Comets were heading into the final frame down 5-0?

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

The coaching staff put the lines into the blender for the third period as Seamus Malone was back between Baertschi and Boucher, while Jasek found himself between Lind and Goldobin. Arseneau, Camper, and Bailey made up another line, while Gadjovich, Perron, and Bancks formed the final group.

Brett Seney had an early chance swallowed up by Bachman before Goldy took an elbow in the yap from Brandon Baddock and headed down the tunnel with the trainer. Baddock was dinged for the elbow, while Goldy missed a few shifts before returning to finish the game.

The Comets went back to their more familiar power play alignments and we saw Baertschi have a chance turned aside before Senn robbed Justin Bailey to keep his team up by five. There was a review on the play, but I have no idea why as it was pretty clear that there was no goal scored. The Comets power play came up empty again.

Brandon Baddock exited the box and broke in for a chance that was denied by Bachman.

Seamus Malone scored three goals plus a shootout tally in his six games with the Comets late last season when he was with the team on a tryout, but he had been held pointless so far this season until getting a piece of a Boucher shot to knock it past Senn. The goal was the first of the season for Malone, while Boucher picked up his 14th helper of the year and Baertschi earned his 19th.

This goal was also reviewed but it ended up counting.

The goal hadn’t even been announced yet when Carter Camper was whistled for holding and the Comets had another penalty to kill. Binghamton had a chance from Melchiori that was gobbled up by Bachman, but otherwise, this power play was held in check and the Comets came away with a good kill.

It was after this kill ended when Goldy returned to the game and Comets fans breathed a sigh of relief.

There were not many bright spots for the Comets in this game, but one of them was the no-quit brand of hockey played by Jonah Gadjovich as he did great work to beat his man to the puck and set up Carter Bancks for a chance that was denied by Senn, as was the LeBlanc shot that followed.

The good hustle continued when Reid Boucher climbed over the boards and quickly drew a slashing penalty on Michael Paliotta.

Bachman had to come up with a big save on a shorthanded odd-man rush from Sharangovich and Schmelzer. Lukas Jasek was getting some PP time but ended up having to use his backchecking skills to take Chris Connor off the puck when he tried his luck shorthanded. The Comets came up empty.

They would get their chance again soon after when Ben Street was sent off for tripping. The Comets first unit had a hard time setting up before Boucher let fly with a one-timer that was denied by Senn. The Comets came up empty again.

Time wound down and Sautner had a shot denied by the blocker of Senn and this one was over. Utica finished the third period with a shot advantage of 13-6, but Bingo held the edge for the game, outshooting Utica 41-24 overall.

Your third-period shot map:

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goal:

  1. Seamus Malone (1) from Reid Boucher (14) and Sven Baertschi (19).

Special Teams:

Power Play: 0/4

Penalty Kill: 2/4

PP1: Baertschi, Boucher, Perron, Gadjovich, Rafferty.

PP2: Juolevi, Goldobin, Lind, Camper, Bailey.

PP3: Baertschi, Bailey, Boucher, Lind, Rafferty.

PP4: Goldobin, Perron, Camper, Gadjovich, Juolevi.

Penalty Killers: Bancks, Jasek, Baerstchi, Boucher, Bailey, Goldobin, Sautner, Juolevi, Chatfield, Blujus, LeBlanc.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Ryan Schmelzer. One goal.

2nd Star: Gilles Senn. 23 saves.

1st Star: Ben Street. One goal, one assist.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Richard Bachman. I feel bad for Bachman. The man battled back from a brutal injury, missing a year of hockey in the process and came in this year ready to play. He had a great camp with the Canucks and had a big game for them in the preseason before heading back to Utica, only to be shelved while Zane McIntyre and Mikey DiPietro ran with things. When Bacher finally had gotten in for two games, his teammates decided not to show up for him, allowing a combined 84 shots against in his two starts. He let in a couple of clunky ones today, but he did what he could to keep his team in the game.

2nd Star: Nope.

1st Star: Nope.

Next Game

Game #29

Utica Comets at Belleville Senators

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific