Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #5

Rochester Americans at Utica Comets

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific



Scratched Today For Utica

  1. Tyler Graovac: C – Lower-body injury, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  2. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – Upper-body strain, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  3. Carter Bancks: W/C – Upper-body injury, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  4. Michael DiPietro: G – Healthy scratch.
  5. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  7. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

Comets Starting Lines

95 Justin Bailey – 27 Francis Perron – 15 Zack MacEwen (A)

24 Reid Boucher (A) – 19 Carter Camper – 13 Kole Lind

47 Sven Baertschi – 9 Lukas Jasek – 77 Nikolay Goldobin

17 Seamus Malone – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 18 Vincent Arseneau

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 25 Brogan Rafferty

48 Olli Juolevi – 5 Jalen Chatfield

4 Josh Teves – 8 Dylan Blujus

31 Zane McIntyre

32 Richard Bachman (backing up)

First Period

The Comets hung eight goals on the Charlotte Checkers last night and they looked like they were planning to do the same to Rochester today.

There was some early back and forth in this one, but we didn’t have any audio for the first 10 or so minutes of the game.

Zane McIntyre swallowed up a point shot before we saw Olli Juolevi spring Zack MacEwen with one of those stretch passes that he is quickly becoming famous for. TheBigFella let fly with his shot but it was deflected out of play by a defender.

The Comets were putting on some early pressure, but it would be the Amerks who started to outshoot the home team.

Josh Teves has been showing well this year and he used a nice pass to feed Lukas Jasek. Jazzy dished off to Sven Baertschi, but the winger couldn’t get his shot to go. In fact, the Comets had yet to be credited with a shot on goal.

Vincent Arseneau did Vincent Arseneau things when he drove right through his man on a zone entry before Wacey Hamilton was dinged for slashing at the 2:39 mark.

We saw MacEwen come out with Justin Bailey, Olli Juolevi, and Jalen Chatfield to get things started. McIntyre swallowed up a shot before a new foursome climbed over the boards. This time it would be Goldobin, Jasek, Blujus, and Brisebois taking their turn.

McIntyre came up with a trio of saves and the Comets had a good kill in the books. The Amerks kept the pressure on and McIntyre had to come up with another pair of saves to keep his team in the game.

Brogan Rafferty has gotten off to a good start and it looked like he was about to add to his point totals when he sent a stretch pass to Goldobin that was just out of the winger’s reach. The Comets were still without a shot on goal at the 12:30 mark, but they would end up leading 3-1 before this period ended.

Tage Thompson had his shot gobbled up by McIntyre before the goaltender kicked out a Brett Murray offering from the high slot. CJ Smith came right back with another chance off the right side and McIntyre shut him down as well. The Comets netminder stymied another chance from the outside as the Amerks were pressing.

Sven Baertschi put an end to that pressing when he beat Andrew Hammond for his second goal of the season with an unassisted tally. Not unlike a couple of the Comets goals last night, this one could be blamed on the opposing goaltender overplaying the puck.

Also not unlike last night’s game, the Comets scored again quickly as Reid Boucher came right back in and beat Hammond for his seventh goal of the season. Dylan Blujus with his first assist and third point in as many games and Kole Lind with his sixth helper of the year earned the assists on the play.

BigVinny followed up the Boucher tally with a physical shift, as is his way.

At the other end, McIntyre turned aside a shot from Jarrett Burton before the Comets went the other way thanks to some nice puck movement from the Jasek line along with Teves and Blujus. Teves managed to get a shot away that was steered aside by the stick of Hammond.

Jasek let fly with a shot that was tipped and Hammond came up with another save. Boucher followed up with a shot off the right side that was denied by Hammond as the Comets started to pour on the pressure.

Rafferty came with a point shot and Boucher ripped the rebound off the iron. Zack MacEwen was making his presence felt with a physical shift in the offensive zone that saw the boards rattling.

Seamus Malone was dinged for tripping at the 15:05 mark and the Comets had a penalty to kill. Not only did they kill this one off, but they also scored a shorty thanks to one of those Juolevi stretch passes. Olli dished up to Boucher who got the puck to Hamilton for his first goal of the season. Boucher earned his second helper of the year on the play, as did Juolevi.

The Comets were up 3-0 but still had to kill off the remainder of the Malone minor. Kill it they did and the game was back to evens.

Reid Boucher has been known to score a goal or two and he came looking for another one, letting fly with a shot off the left side that handcuffed Hammond, but the netminder managed to make the save.

McIntyre wouldn’t be able to stop everything that came his way as Tage Thompson found himself with some space and wired one over the blocker of the Comets goaltender. The goal was the third of the season for Thompson, while Sean Malone and Brett Murray picked up their first helpers of the year.

The period ended with a save being made at each end before the horn sounded. The Amerks held an 18-10 advantage on the shot clock for the opening period, but the Comets were up 3-1.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

The Comets were up 3-1 going into the middle frame, so what would they do to get things going? Why they went up 4-1 of course!

McIntyre got an early blocker save on Tage Thompson out of the way before Zack MacEwen whipped out the Stratford Slide to dangle his way to the net before depositing the biscuit behind Hammond for his second goal of the season. Justin Bailey picked up his second assist of the season on the play for the lone assist.

It’s okay, I’ll wait for a second while you go back and watch that goal a couple more times…

Okay, back to it.

Zane McIntyre was having a game today as he was seeing quite a few more shots than Mikey DiPietro saw in his two games. The Comets vet shut down a wrister from Murray and held for the whistle. We saw some back and forth before Juolevi used a nice pass to set up MacEwen for a chance that was denied by Hammond.

Francis Perron was whistled for tripping at the 4:05 mark and the young winger-turned-pivot didn’t like the call and flipped the puck into the stands. That’s a no-no, folks. He ended up getting the two minutes for the trip, plus a game-misconduct for flipping the puck out of play. I’m guessing that we won’t see Francis make that mistake again. His night was over.

Thompson came right away with a shot off the shoulder of McIntyre as the Comets goalie stood tall to make the save.

Lukas Jasek has quickly become a staple on the penalty kill and the shifty forward ended up with a shorthanded break that saw him get a backhander away that was shut down by Hammond.

Arseneau, who was in the box serving the Perron minor exited the bin and promptly took a tripping penalty. That wasn’t his best work, but the Comets have become adept at killing penalties already this year.

Lawrence Pilut let fly with a point shot that was swallowed up by McIntyre before the Comets netminder kicked out a quick leg to shut down a Thompson redirect.

Wacey Hamilton, yeah… you know the guy. He’s the grizzled vet who is great on the penalty kill but also makes a habit of serving time himself. He put the Comets down two men when he was sent off for slashing 36 seconds later.

With two-thirds of his fourth line doing time, Trent Cull rolled TheBigFella over the boards along with Dylan Blujus and Jalen Chatfield.

McIntyre made quick work of a Curtis Lazar shot from the high slot when he gloved it down and followed up by stopping a shot that Lazar tipped his way. Blujus enjoys the whole throwing his body in front of fast-moving pucks thing and he blocked the next shot before McIntyre had to. The Comets came up with a good kill.

Wacey Hamilton followed up that kill with a three-on-one opportunity that he chose to call his own number on. He took his shot and it was denied, but Remi Elie was whistled for interference on the play and it was back to the man advantage for Utica.

The Comets rolled out their second unit first and Justin Bailey had a tipped shot kicked out before the first unit made their appearance. Lukas Jasek had taken Perron’s spot on that second unit.

MacEwen looked like he was about to put the Comets up 5-1 when his stick was lifted as he took his shot and Hammond made an easy save.

Goldobin followed up with a chance of his own that Hammond got a blocker on and the Comets came up empty. They were putting on the pressure, but they were unable to beat Hammond.

The Comets fourth line followed up the power play with an excellent shift in the offensive zone before McIntyre had to come up with a save on Zach Redmond.

With Perron out of the rotation after his game misconduct, Seamus Malone was taking a turn in the middle between the twin towers of Bailey and MacEwen.

The Amerks started to wake up for a shift or two and McIntyre had to come up with a trio of saves, the third of which was on an Andrew MacWilliam blast off the rush.

Brogan Rafferty has been acquitting himself well in the early going and has formed a really nice defensive pair with Guillaume Brisebois. The rookie defender did great work to stick with the 6’6″, 205lbs Tage Thompson and forced him out of the Comets zone.

There was some back and forth before Eric Cornel let fly with a shot and McIntyre whipped out the mitt to crush his dreams.

Lukas Jasek is quickly becoming a go-to player for Trent Cull and you can see why. The pivot used a great stick to break up a play in the defensive zone and transitioned the puck the other way.

The Amerks came back for more and McIntyre stymied CJ Smith on a chance through traffic before shutting down the Amerks next chance with a quick kick of the leg.

Josh Teves was whistled for holding at the 18:11 mark and the Comets would have to finish the middle frame down a man… or would that be down two men? Dylan Blujus was dinged for a high-stick at the 20:00 minute mark and the Comets would have to kill off 11 seconds of five-on-three time to open the final frame.

The Amerks outshot Utica 17-9 in the second period and were up 35-19 on the shot clock for the game. The Comets, however, were up 4-1 on the scoreboard.

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

McIntyre started the final frame the way he finished the middle one, with a save and the puck was sent the other way. JS Dea came back with a shot from the right circle that McIntyre flashed the leather on to make the save. The Comets had another good kill in the books.

The penalty might have been over but the shots were still coming and Olli Juolevi came up with what seemed like his 500th shot block in the last five games. Okay, that might be an exaggeration.

Kevin Porter was whistled for hooking at the 3:59 mark and the Comets were back to the man advantage. Neither of the Comets power play units could get anything going and they came up empty once again. Justin Bailey did get a shot away that was denied by Hammond though.

Wacey Hamilton was out for his shift and the vet duffed a weak backhander at Hammond that was gobbled up and held for the whistle.

It was at this point, with about 13:25 left in the game when Joe Roberts informed us that Dylan Blujus was heading down the tunnel and his night was over. I’m unsure of what happened to the defender, but let’s hope it isn’t anything serious. Blujus has picked up two goals and an assist in his three games since Ashton Sautner was recalled to Vancouver.

Vincent Arseneau put a backhander on the net and Hammond had to come up with another save before Thompson went in alone at the other end, only to have McIntyre say no.

My AHL TV feed froze up for a few seconds and I had to boot things back up, but when the game came back on, McIntyre was making another save on Curtis Lazar in close.

MacEwen gave the puck away and McIntyre came up with a Demko Special and stopped the puck with his face. Soon after, MacEwen was dumped by William Borgan and apparently either lost or chipped a tooth or two. Joe Roberts came up with the line of the game when he said, “Unless he pulled a thumbtack out of somewhere” as he wondered aloud why Borgan didn’t get more time for causing the leak. It turns out that the Borgan penalty was for holding and not a high-stick, so that’s that.

Boucher had a shot swallowed up before Juolevi came up with a shorthanded shot block on a Curtis Lazar offering. The more I see of Juolevi, the more he reminds me of a young Dan Hamhuis.

Jacob Bryson was whistled for delay of game when he sent the puck over the glass and Utica had a five-on-three advantage for a little under a minute. Hammond stoned Baertschi with the glove and then Boucher missed the net with his one-timer, but none of that mattered when the pair hooked up on Boucher’s eighth goal of the season. Yeah… Reid has eight goals in five games. It’s kind of his thing. Baertschi made this one happen with his spinning move before the setup. Sven picked up his fifth assist of the season on the play, while Juolevi grabbed his third.

The Comets were up 5-1.

At the other end of the ice, McIntyre came up with another big save before Brisebois dumped his man and was sent off for roughing. The Amerks power play would be short-lived as Lawrence Pilut was whistled for tripping 17 seconds later.

With the teams skating at four aside, Bailey got in deep and found MacEween with a pass, but Lazar was there to get a stick on MacEwen and Hammond made another easy save.

Goldobin put the Comets up 6-1 with his first of the season before assisting on Lukas Jasek’s 7-1 marker just 10 seconds later. The Comets have scored in bunches so far this season. Sven Baertschi picked up his sixth assist of the season on the Goldobin tally, while Goldy earned the lone assist on the Jasek goal for his eighth of the year.

That was it for Hammond’s night as he was replaced by Jonas Johansson.

The Comets kept their collective foot on the go pedal as Rafferty walked into the Amerks’ zone and undressed everyone on his way there before dropping a pass for a shot that was fired wide of the target.

There was some sloppy play from the Comets in the late going that lead to some extra zone time for Rochester, but they were unable to make anything happen. Teves and Rafferty did some great work along the boards in their own end to kill some time off the clock.

Jalen Chatfield had a wrister denied by Johansson before McIntyre stopped Pilut at the other end. Carter Camper had a shot gloved down by Johansson as time wound down and this one came to an end.

Utica held the advantage on the shot clock in the final frame by a 12-11 margin, but Rochester outshot them 46-31 overall. Thank you, Mr. McIntyre.

Your third-period shot map:

Today’s Official Boxscore

Today’s Comets Goals

  1. Baertschi (2) unassisted.
  2. Boucher (7) from Lind (6) and Blujus (1).
  3. Hamilton (1) from Boucher (2) and Juolevi (2). Shorthanded goal.
  4. MacEwen (2) from Bailey (3).
  5. Boucher (8) from Baertschi (5) and Juolevi (3). Power play goal.
  6. Goldobin (1) from Baertschi (6).
  7. Jasek (2) from Goldobin (8).

Special Teams

Power Play: 1/5

Penalty Kill: 8/0

PP1: Goldobin, MacEwen, Lind, Boucher, Juolevi

PP2: Baertschi, Bailey, Camper, Rafferty, Perron/Jasek

Penalty Killers: Hamilton, Boucher, Jasek, MacEwen, Goldobin, Bailey, Brisebois, Blujus, Teves, Rafferty, Juolevi, Chatfield.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Sven Baertschi. One goal, two assists.

2nd Star: Reid Boucher. Two goals, one assist.

1st Star: Zane McIntyre. 45 saves for the win.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

It’s pretty tough for me to argue with the three stars as selected in the building tonight. I will give an honourable mention to Olli Juolevi for his pair of assists, coupled with his excellent shot-blocking game in addition to those stretch passes that we are seeing so often from him.

I’d also like to give some props to the coaching staff for putting together some well-balanced lines and keeping them together for the most part. This rendition of the Comets can come at teams in waves with three lines that will pressure with offence and another that will threaten to beat you black and blue along the boards, or out in the open if you don’t have your head up. Let’s hope the fun can keep rolling for a while longer yet.

Next Game

Game #6

Binghamton Devils at Utica Comets

Friday, October 25th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific