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Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #25

Utica Comets at Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Monday, December 9th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

Post-Game

Scratched Today Game for Utica

  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
  2. Dylan Blujus: RD – Lower-body injury, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  3. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Tanner Sorenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  6. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  7. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  8. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Healthy scratch.

Comets Starting Lines

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

47 Sven Baertschi – 17 Seamus Malone – 24 Reid Boucher (A)

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 19 Carter Camper – 15 Zack MacEwen

 95 Justin Bailey – 9 Lukas Jasek – 13 Kole Lind

21 Jonah Gadjovich – 27 Francis Perron – 34 Carter Bancks (C)

48 Olli Juolevi – 6 Ashton Sautner (A)

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 25 Brogan Rafferty

4 Josh Teves – 3 Stefan LeBlanc

31 Zane McIntyre

64 Mikey DiPietro (backing up)

First Period

Okay, folks… full disclosure. This game was unwatchable in the opening frame as there were a ton of audio/video issues, so I will be doing my best with what I had to work with.

Zane McIntyre was back in the pipes today and he was busy with a trio of early saves before Olli Juolevi came up with a nice shot block, as has become his way.

Justin Bailey had a chance from the slot denied and the Tigers went back the other way.

The Comets made their way back to the offensive zone and Guillaume Brisebois let fly with a shot that was gloved down by netminder Jared Coreau. The Comets kept it coming as Reid Boucher sent Seamus Malone in for a chance that was kicked aside by Coreau.

At the other end of the ice, Mason Jobst had a chance in tight that McIntyre turned aside before Perron went the other way and used a nice move near the offensive blue line to beat his man. He got his shot away, but Coreau was equal to the task.

Carter Camper followed up with a shot of his own that was kicked aside before Bode Wilde was dinged for tripping at the 10:45 mark. The Comets were off to the power play.

We saw a new-look first unit that consisted of Justin Bailey, Reid Boucher, Sven Baertschi, Kole Lind, and Brogan Rafferty. It didn’t take long for Sven Baertschi to set Bailey up for his ninth goal of the season and fifth in as many games. Sven grabbed his 13th helper of the year on the play, while Kole Lind earned his 14th.

The Tigers were looking to answer back when Tom Kuhnackl had a chance swallowed up by McIntyre and the Comets netminder held for the whistle.

The Comets headed the other way and Juolevi unloaded with a shot from the high slot that was kicked out by Coreau before Jasek had his chance denied as well.

The Bailey-Jasek-Lind line was a handful and we saw Lind let fly with a long shot that was kicked out before Jasek and Bailey had roughly 35 chances each while Coreau was making snow angels… somehow the puck stayed out.

The Tigers went the other way and we saw Stefan LeBlanc and Olli Juolevi sandwich their man as he tried to make it to the Comets net to no avail. Bridgeport kept it coming as McIntyre had to come up with a pair of saves before the buzzer sounded.

The Comets were up 14-7 on the shot clock in the opening frame.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

Things were sorted out with the audio/video issues for the middle frame and we saw some pretty decent back and forth action.

Nikolay Goldobin was playing his first game since returning from recall to Vancouver and he went down awkwardly early on in the second period. He skated slowly to the bench but stayed in the game.

The Sound Tigers had a better run of the play in the middle frame and McIntyre had to come up with an early leg save before denying Otto Koivula on the follow-up chance.

At the other end, Jonah Gadjovich had a chance denied from in close before Coreau turned aside his next offering when he got a piece of another shot.

Kieffer Bellows tied the game at two when he redirected a shot past McIntyre for his fifth goal of the season. Colin McDonald earned his eighth helper of the year on the play while Matt Lorito picked up his ninth.

Roughly 15 seconds after the tying goal. Travis St.Denis was dinged for goaltender interference and the Comets were back to the power play.

That new look first unit started things off and Coreau had to glove down an early chance before Kole Lind made it a 2-1 game after burying a cross-ice feed from Boucher for his fifth goal of the season. Boucher grabbed his 11th helper of the year on the play, while Brogan Rafferty continued to collect assists with his team-leading 15th.

The Tigers started to press and McIntyre turned aside a shot from Matt Lorito before steering aside another chance with his stick.

At the other end, Gadjovich was denied before Lind and Bailey went back in for an odd-man rush. The passing lane was taken away and Lind let fly with his shot. Coreau was there with the save.

Sven Baertschi was sent off for tripping at the 6:28 mark and it was off to the kill for Utica.

Jasek, Bancks, Sautner, and Juolevi started things off and we saw McIntyre make another stick save. That stick was busy today. LeBlanc, Brisebois, Bailey, and Boucher took over before Bancks, MacEwen, LeBlanc, and Sautner wrapped the kill up.

Baerstchi left the box and found himself all alone with the puck but Coreau stymied him with the save. The Tigers went back the other way and Jeff Kubiak made it a 2-2 game with his second of the season. Ryan Bourque picked up his fourth helper of the year on the play, while Parker Wotherspoon earned his eighth.

The Tigers kept the heat on as Josh Teves had to do good work on the backcheck to foil an Andrew Ladd play.

Bode Wilde was sent off for hooking at the 10:13 mark and the Comets had another power play to work with. The same group started things off and Boucher quickly ripped one off the iron. Baertschi followed up with a chance of his own but Coreau got a glove on it. The second unit of MacEwen, Camper, Gadjovich, Goldobin, and Juolevi took over but they came up empty as well.

The penalty had barely ended when Juolevi did Juolevi things and blocked another shot before Lukas Jasek showed good hustle on his backcheck to break up a play as Bridgeport started to apply some pressure. McIntyre followed up with a stop on a backhander as the pressure continued.

Andrew Ladd let fly with a shot that McIntyre steered out of play and the Comets regrouped for a faceoff.

Zack MacEwen whipped out the moves to get by his man on the left side but Coreau was ready with the save. It was the Comets turn to press as Goldy dished to Camper for a chance that was denied.

At the other end, McIntyre knocked down a rising shot and Jasek cleared the puck out of the zone.

Justin Bailey has been on a tear of late, so it was a little scary to see him go down after blocking a shot and heading off to the bench slowly. He would return and didn’t look any worse for wear.

Nick Schilkey put the Sound Tigers up 3-2 when he found himself all alone for a chance from the right side and beat McIntyre for his sixth of the season. Otto Koivula picked up his fourth helper of the year on the play while Tom Kuhnackl earned his second.

Josh Teves was looking to get that one back but Coreau was there with the save before Matt Lorito was denied by McIntyre. Kuhnackl had a chance turned aside at the buzzer and the teams went into the final frame with the Sound Tigers holding on to a 3-2 lead. Bridgeport also held a 14-11 advantage on the shot clock in the second period.

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

We saw Ashton Sautner take an early hit that looked to shake him up a little, but he soldiered through and stayed in the game.

We had some back and forth as McIntyre came up with a save in the Comets end before TheBigFella rattled the boards with a big hit in the offensive zone. Lorito went back the other way with a shot through traffic that was swallowed up by McIntyre for the whistle. The physical played picked up in the third.

Carter Bancks was sent off for holding at the 3:02 mark and the Comets had another penalty to kill. Boucher, Camper, Sautner, and Juolevi started this kill off, but they didn’t have to work for very long as Travis St. Denis was whistled for slashing 11 seconds later and the teams were headed to some four aside hockey.

Tom Kuhnackl rang the iron before Zack MacEwen forced a turnover and went the other way to set up Goldobin for his ninth goal of the season. TheBigFella earned his sixth helper of the year on the play.

Grant Hutton followed up that goal with a shot that McIntyre was ready for before the Comets took control of the game on a Lukas Jasek tally.

Brogan Rafferty did great work on this one to draw the defender to him before dishing off to Jazzy for the one-timer. The goal was Jasek’s fifth of the season, while Rafferty grabbed his 16th assist of the year and Guillaume Brisebois earned his eighth. Brisebois is currently on pace for a career-high 30 points.

It wasn’t long after when Jonah Gadjovich took an elbow up high and Brisebois was having none of it, jumping in to tangle with the 6’4″, 220lbs Otto Koivula. Kudos to Guillaume for jumping in against the much larger Koivula, but I’m not sure that fighting is something that Breeze should be doing on the regular.

Koivula and Brisebois were each sent off for the fight and the Sound Tiger got the extra two for the elbow. The Comets were off to the power play and it wasn’t long before Kole Lind had his arms raised for his sixth goal of the season. Sven Baertschi set this one up with his 14th helper of the year, while Rafferty collected his third assist of the game.

The Comets were up 5-3 but Ashton Sautner was sent off for a cross-check roughly a minute and a half later. Now, remember, Brisebois was already in the box and now Sautner, one of the Comets other staples on the penalty kill was joining him.

Jasek, Bancks, LeBlanc, and Juolevi started this kill off and before long, Boucher and Baertschi replaced Jasek and Bancks.

Kieffer Bellows was dinged for tripping at the 9:32 mark and it was back to four aside… briefly. The four aside was brief because Josh Teves was sent off for tripping at the 9:56 mark and the Comets had three defenders in the penalty box and a four on three to kill.

Juolevi, Bancks, and LeBlanc kicked things off and we saw a Travis St. Denis offering turned aside before Sautner was released and joined the kill. The Comets went from having three defenders in the box to having three on the ice at one time.

During the four aside play, Andrew Ladd had a chance turned aside before Brogan Rafferty capped off his night with his third goal of the season and fourth point of the game. This one was a flukey one, but it brought Rafferty to 20 points on the season to put him one behind the league-lead amongst defencemen. Reid Boucher picked up his 12th helper of the year on the play, while Lukas Jasek grabbed his fourth.

Less than a minute later, the Comets were back to the power play with Sebastian Aho being fingered for a slash.

Rafferty was looking for his fifth point of the game but Kyle Burroughs got in the way of his shot. Baertschi followed up with a chance but Coreau was there with the save.

Zack MacEwen was playing his first game back after a run of seven with the Canucks and he was bringing a physical brand of hockey to the table as he corked Jeff Kubiak with a solid hit. The second unit of MacEwen, Goldobin, Camper, Gadjovich, and Juolevi looked like they wanted to get in on the scoring action but Juolevi fired his shot off the iron. The Comets power play came up empty.

Time was winding down, but the officials hadn’t put the whistles away yet as Sautner was sent off for tripping and the special teams parade continued. Jasek, Bancks, Juolevi, and LeBlanc started this kill off before Bailey, MacEwen, Teves, and Brisebois took over. The original foursome came back out to wrap this one up as the Comets killed off another one.

We saw some late back and forth but the wind was out of the Sound Tigers’ tails and this one was in the books. Bridgeport led the final frame with 10 shots to Utica’s eight, but Utica led 33-31 for the game and came away with the win.

Your third-period shot map:

 

Today’s Official Boxscore

Today’s Comets Goals

  1. Justin Bailey (9) from Sven Baertschi (13) and Kole Lind (14). PP goal.
  2. Kole Lind (5) from Reid Boucher (11) and Brogan Rafferty (15). PP goal.
  3. Nikolay Goldobin (9) from Zack MacEwen (6).
  4. Lukas Jasek (5) from Brogan Rafferty (16) and Guillaume Brisebois (8).
  5. Kole Lind (6) from Sven Baertschi (14) and Brogan Rafferty (17). PP goal.
  6. Brogan Rafferty (3) from Reid Boucher (12) and Lukas Jasek (4).

Special Teams

Power Play: 3/6

Penalty Kill: 5/5

PP1: Boucher, Bailey, Baertschi, Lind, Rafferty.

PP2: MacEwen, Goldobin, Camper, Gadjovich, Juolevi.

Penalty Killers: Bancks, Jasek, MacEwen, Bailey, Boucher, Camper, Baertschi, Brisebois, Sautner, LeBlanc, Juolevi, Teves.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Lukas Jasek. One goal, one assist.

2nd Star: Kole Lind. Two goals, one assist.

1st Star: Brogan Rafferty. One goal, three assists.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Lukas Jasek/Reid Boucher/Sven Baerstchi. Call them the two-point club today as all three grabbed a pair of points. All three also spent some time killing penalties and helping out on the other side of the puck. Boucher is now second in the league scoring while only having played 20 games this year. Jasek has taken on a prime role as a penalty killer and has been doing decent work as a winger playing out of position in the middle. Baertschi, for his part just continues to pick up points at a silly rate with 18 in his 13 games with the Comets this year.

2nd Star: Kole Lind. It’s hard to believe that putting up three points in a game isn’t enough to earn Kole the first-star nod for this one, but hey… Rafferty grabbed four! With 20 points in 25 games, Kole is on pace for a 60 point season after putting up 17 in 51 games last year. That seems like a player who is developing in a decent way. We still haven’t seen Kole getting any looks on the penalty kill, and with the Comets PK currently sitting near the top of the league, we might have to wait a bit before that happens, but I do see that as Kole’s next natural challenge.

1st Star: Brogan Rafferty. Four points! That will probably get you the first star on most nights. When I spoke with Brogan last Tuesday, he was on pace for 55 points in his rookie campaign. One week later, and now he’s on pace for 60. That seems good. Now, Brogan isn’t likely going to have multiple four-point games this year, but he is proving to be a player who can be counted on for offence from the blueline. Again… that seems good. There are still some things to clean up in Brogan’s game, but he is on the right track to be pushing for fulltime work at the NHL level by his next training camp with the team, if not sooner.

Next Game

Game #26

Toronto Marlies at Utica Comets

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific