Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #9

Providence Bruins at Utica Comets

Friday, November 1st, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific


Pre-Game Guesses From Twitter


Scratched Today For Utica

  1. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – Upper-body strain, week-to-week. NHL deal.
  2. Tyler Graovac: C – Lower-body injury, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  3. Carter Camper: C – Middle-body injury, no timetable. AHL deal.
  4. Dylan Blujus: RD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  5. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

Today’s Comets Lines

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

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 9 Lukas Jasek – 24 Reid Boucher (A)

34 Carter Bancks (C) – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 15 Zack MacEwen

95 Justin Bailey – 27 Francis Perron – 13 Kole Lind

18 Vincent Arseneau – 17 Seamus Malone – 19 Dyson Stevenson

48 Olli Juolevi – 7 Oscar Fantenberg

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 25 Brogan Rafferty

4 Josh Teves – 5 Jalen Chatfield

64 Mikey DiPietro

31 Zane McIntyre (backing up)

First Period

This first period was a little strange. It went by fairly quickly, but there wasn’t a lot of excitement to speak of.

Lukas Jasek had an early takeaway in the Comets’ zone that led to a Comets rush the other way, but no play developed. Justin Bailey made a nice play to Kole Lind who in turn, dished to Francis Perron but Frankie couldn’t get his shot away.

The speedy Bailey followed up by wheeling into a shooting lane before letting fly with a shot that was blocked.

We had some back and forth before Lind fired a long shot, looking for a rebound. Josh Teves eventually got the puck and wired a shot that was denied by netminder Max Lagace.

Vincent Arseneau did Vincent Arseneau things with a board shaking hit before Urho Vaakanainen had his shot swallowed up by Mikey DiPietro.

Guillaume Brisebois and Brogan Rafferty have had a good start to their season as a pair, but the duo had a miscue that led the to go-ahead goal for Zach Senyshyn. The goal was the second of the season for Senyshyn, while Cameron Hughes earned his third helper of the year on the play.

Not to be deterred, Rafferty showed a smart stick to break up the odd-man rush that came after the goal. The Bruins kept it coming as Olli Juolevi bailed in his own end and while trying to get the puck to Oscar Fantenberg, he turned it over. Fortunately, the resulting shot was fired off the target.

There was some sloppy play from Utica in the opening frame.

DiPietro had to keep the saves coming with a quick leg to stifle a Ryan Fitzgerald chance as the Bruins pressed.

The Comets tried to get something going with the Jasek line as Goldobin dished to Boucher for a one-timer that was fired wide of the net. Jasek had his chance kicked out before Lagace got his blocker on a Goldobin offering to keep his team up by a goal.

It was the Comets turn to press as Goldy and Fantenberg had chances turned aside before Justin Bailey tried a wraparound that he couldn’t get to go.

At the other end of the ice, Jalen Chatfield had a solid shift to force a turnover and cleared the puck out of the zone. The Bruins came back in and DiPietro had to be sharp to stymie Jack Studnicka after he got behind Juolevi for a free chance.

Wacey Hamilton came up with a stiff hit at his own blueline that led to a chance by Carter Bancks at the other end. The captain put his shot wide. Zack MacEwen and Jalen Chatfield had late chances turned aside and the Comets would go into the middle frame down 1-0.

Utica held a 9-7 advantage on the shot clock for the first period.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

Full disclosure… I lost my internet connection for the final three and a half minutes or so of this period and missed what happened that led to Reid Boucher leaving the game.

Oscar Fantenberg used a nice pass to send Boucher in early but the Comets’ sniper had his shot denied. Carter Bancks followed up by teeing up a one-timer for Brogan Rafferty and he too had his shot turned aside.

The Comets were applying pressure early.

Guillaume Brisebois came into this game leading the Comets blueline in shots and he got a wrister through that was gloved down by Lagace.

At the other end, Mikey DiPietro whipped out the blocker to foil a Zach Senyshyn chance before he came up with another stop on a shot through traffic. Oskar Steen came with another shot from the left side and DiPietro gobbled it up for the whistle. The Comets were hemmed in their own end and DiPietro had to come up with a pair of back to back saves to keep his team within a goal.

Justin Bailey used his ample wheels to skate the puck out of the zone, driving the net with speed, but Lagace was equal to the task with another save. Bailey followed up with a pass to Perron all alone in front, but Frankie put his shot over the net.

We had some back and forth before Wacey Hamilton had his shot kicked out. Lagace kept the saves coming with a quick glove on the Juolevi chance that followed.

At the other end, DiPietro knocked down a shot from the high slot before Jalen Chatfield did good work to break up a Studnicka play.

BigVinny came with a shot off the left side that was turned aside with the wave of a blocker before he dished to Hamilton for another shot that was fired off the target. Zack MacEwen followed up with a physical shift.

Guillaume Brisebois was picked off but former Comets forward Brendan Woods put his shot wide of the net.

The Bruins ended up taking advantage of a Keystone Cops routine as the puck went up high and DiPietro and Olli Juolevi got tied up. Joona Koppanen ended up being the benefactor for his first goal of the season out of the deal.

Zack MacEwen was looking to help get that one right back with a stretch pass to Goldobin, who in turn dropped to Brisebois but Guillaume couldn’t get a shot away.

It was at this point when my internet dropped out for roughly the final three and a half minutes or so. I was able to listen in on the KROCKCNY app to finish the period and had my signal back up to start the third.

Apparently, Reid Boucher got dinged up in the late going as he did not play in the third. The Comets held an 11-10 advantage on the shot clock for the middle frame.

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

The lines had to be juggled for the final frame with Reid Boucher out of commission and the Comets had to make do without their leading scorer.

Trent Frederic gave the Comets the first power play of the game when the was dinged for holding at the 1:09 mark of the period.

Without Boucher, we saw a first unit consisting of MacEwen, Perron, Goldobin, Lind, and Juolevi. MacEwen and Perron took turns putting shots on net and Legace steered them all out of harm’s way. Before the second unit could make an appearance, Josiah Didier was sent off for slashing after he hacked MacEwen down like he was cutting this winter’s firewood.

The Comets had 1:17 of five-on-three time to work with. Trent Cull called his timeout with 18:07 remaining before sending out the group of Juolevi, Rafferty, MacEwen, Goldobin, and Perron to try to get a goal.

Juolevi has been burned at the opposing blueline more than once when his team is up a man, and it looked like it might happen again, but the rookie rearguard made a smart diving play to hold the line and give his team a chance to make this PP work.

The Comets were controlling the play but weren’t getting much in the way of shots. TheBigFella was owning the faceoff circle with four wins on this power play alone, but that wasn’t enough to help the team grab a goal. Rafferty had a one-time blast denied before Frederic was released and brought the Bruins to four penalty killers.

Trent Cull sent Oscar Fantenberg, Kole Lind, Brisebois, Justin Bailey, and Lukas Jasek over the boards to try to finish this one off, but they came up empty as well.

The Comets had a promising looking play developing as Justin Bailey and Olli Juolevi broke in for a chance, but Juolevi passed the puck when he probably should have called his own number and Bailey’s shot was redirected off target.

The Comets looked flat and tired and it showed throughout the lineup. MacEwen lost the puck at the offensive blueline and did well to get back on the backcheck, but DiPietro was still forced into a pair of saves that he shouldn’t have had to make.

The Bruins kept giving the Comets chances to get back into this one as Oskar Steen was whistled for interference on that play and the Comets were back to the man advantage.

This power play saw a new, and weird wrinkle as Vincent Arseneau was seen in the net-front position. I have all kinds of time for BigVinny as a crash and bang fourth-liner who brings energy and helps get his young teammates going, but if he’s seeing power-play time, you know things haven’t been going well in man-up situations.

The Comets power play came up empty and not long after, Zack MacEwen was heading off for holding.

With Zack in the box, we saw Bancks and Hamilton climb over the boards along with Juolevi and Fantenberg. The group eventually yielded to Brisebois, Chatfield, Jasek, and Bailey. DiPietro got his blocker on a point shot before knocking down the next shot that came his way as well.

Hamilton and Bancks came back out to steer this kill home, but not before Frederic ripped a shot off the post and DiPietro whipped out the mitt to shut down the Senyshyn shot that followed. Mikey froze the shot through traffic that came his way next and the Comets had a good kill.

We had some sloppy back and forth before Bailey had another shot denied by Lagace. MacEwen won an offensive zone faceoff back to Bailey and the big winger saw both of his chances denied by the Providence netminder, as did Brisebois on his follow-up chance. Lagace was full value in this one.

Josiah Didier corked Lind along the boards and the second-year winger looked uncomfortable and angry as he skated back to his bench. Kole wouldn’t miss a shift and made sure to give a Bruin a poke as he left the ice.

I lost my audio feed with about 4:13 left, but the sound would come back on before too much was missed.

DiPietro came up with a save and then had to steer another shot out of play as the Comets were looking sloppy while the Bruins pressed.

It was the Bruins who would be dinged for having too many men on the ice at the 17:11 mark and the Comets had one last chance to get back into this game. Trent Cull decided to keep DiPietro on the bench and instead elect to go with six attackers.

We saw Rafferty, Juolevi, Goldobin, MacEwen, Perron, and Bailey as the first group but they came up empty. They were replaced with Fantenberg, Brisebois, Jasek, Lind, Seamus Malone, and Vincent Arseneau. Again, this was not a typical Comets power-play unit and they were unable to make anything happen.

The Comets finished this game in a sloppy fashion and Justin Bailey had to use his speed to shut down a shorthanded chance by Studnicka. That was it for this one as the Bruins handed the Comets their first loss of the season.

Utica held a 13-7 advantage on the shot clock in the final frame and a 33-25 advantage for the game.

Your third-period shot map:

Today’s Official Boxscore

Special Teams

Power Play: 0/4

Penalty Kill: 1/1

PP1: Goldobin, MacEwen, Perron, Lind, Juolevi.

PP2: Arseneau, Jasek, Rafferty, Fantenberg, Bailey.

Penalty Killers: Bancks, Hamilton, Bailey, Jasek, Juolevi, Fantenberg, Brisebois, Chatfield.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Joona Koppanen. One goal.

2nd Star: Zach Senyshyn. One goal.

1st Star: Max Lagace. 34 saves for the shutout.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars

This one was a stinker, folks and it is kind of difficult to pick out three stars from the Comets, so I will try something different.

3rd Star: Rain and Scoop. If you are unable to watch the Comets play, but still want to know what’s going on heading into a game, Rain (@KrockRain) and Scoop (@KROCKscoop) have a Utica Comets pregame show that you can catch on the KROCK (@KROCKCNY) app before every game. They usually get underway 30 minutes before game time and have some handy info and tidbits for you to digest. It’s always a good way to get primed for a Comets game.

2nd Star: Joe Roberts. Joe Roberts is the Comets play-by-play man and the man is entertaining. He is always well prepared with facts for the games and brings a great sense of humour to the broadcasts. I have legitimately caught myself laughing out loud at some of the things he says during games. Some people might not know this, but Joe also does a Comets podcast, (CometsCAST) as well as a video segment called Comets in Cars Getting Coffee that can be seen on the team’s YouTube channel. Joe brings a high level of entertainment to the Comets games and he happens to be a pretty good dude to boot.

1st Star: The October Comets. I just wanted to give the team, management, and coaching staff props for giving us an October to remember. The team went 8/0 and we saw some fantastic goaltending along the way. We got to see Reid Boucher make a meal out of opposing goaltenders while young prospects showed that they can hang with the veterans at the top of the lineup. Olli Juolevi has been delighting us with glorious stretch passes, while fellow rookie blueliner Brogan Rafferty is showing that the Canucks are looking wise for scooping him up as an undrafted free agent late last season. All in all, it was a fantastic month of hockey to watch and to cover.

Next Game

Game #10

Rochester Americans at Utica Comets

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific