January 30 2014 12:37PM
Courtesy of @ClintTrahan
In this week's
CometsMilita CanucksArmy Weekly Prospect Report the Utica Comets went back to BC to play a pair of games in their home away from home. Many local Vancouver fans got to see future parts of their team play live against the Abbotsford Heat, who are currently riding quite the PDO/Special Teams wave.
But there's a lot more than just AHL coverage ahead, and you'll need to read on see what else is happening in the prospect world. As always, follow me @nuckprospects on Twitter for the latest in prospect news and feed free to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish me to cover.
Courtesy of @Tolerated13
Friday's game, 1-0 OT Win @ Abbotsford
The Comets began this week by playing a pair of games at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. The Heat have the worst average attendance in the league, around 1,900 fans during regular home games, but with the Comets in town that number more than doubled to 4,400. You're welcome.
The Comets were outplayed in Friday's game and it was only thanks to Joacim Eriksson's performance in net that they hung around. By the end of third the SOG were 35 - 26 for Abbotsford, but because of the tenders great play their were a couple of goose eggs on the board. The game went into OT where the Comets managed to score on their third shot, a goal from Ferriero, assisted by Biega and Andersson. Eriksson earned another shutout (and Quality Start) making 36 for 36 saves. The powerplay went 0 for 5 and the #POWERKILL went 5 for 5.
Schroeder made his return to hockey in this game, registering 5 SOG and 2 PIM for hooking.
Saturday's Game, 4-3 OT Win @ Abbotsford
On Saturday night the Comets played their second of back to back games against the Heat, but this time they were the ones who dominated play. Unfortunately the great goaltending of Friday night didn't show up. What did show up, though, was the rare unicorn that is Comets scoring. Through three periods the SOG were 37-25 in favour of the Comets, with the score tied at 3 sending the game to OT again. With only a 1:10 left in OT Ferriero got the OT winner (for the second straight night!) allowing the Comets to win the weekend series against the Heat.
Comet goals came from DeFazio, Grenier (x2) and Ferriero. Grenier is now tied for 5th in AHL rookie scoring, by the way! Assists were given to Schroeder (with one 1 SOG in the game), Pelletier (x2), Andersson, and Sauve. Eriksson made 23 of 26 saves. The PP went 0 for 6 and the #POWERKILL went 3 for 4.
The one major issue for the Comets, that has been very apparent the last few games, is their complete lack of offence. Their Power Play has dropped significantly this season, starting in the top five, only to consistently drop every single week. The only reason the Comets have been winning their last few games is because they are standing on the shoulders of Eriksson who is really starting to come into his own. Their last three wins (prior to Saturday) have only came because they gave up 1 goal or less.
Tuesday's Game, 3-2 SO Loss vs Lake Erie
The final game of the week for the Comets was on Tuesday night against the Lake Erie Monsters at the Aud. Right from the get-go the Comets were outplayed (though some might blame their long travel from Abbotsford). Despite being outplayed and outshot they Comets were lucky to quickly get up 2-1 at the end of the first period. The lead didn't last long as the Monsters scored to tie it up at the beginning of the second. With no goals scored after that the game went to OT and eventually the shootout. The issue of the complete lack of offence was obvious as the Comets could not score on any of their four chances while the Monsters scored on their first two.
Goals were scored by Mullen and Ferriero (bringing his point/game streak up to 9) and the assists came from Ferriero, O'Reilly, Andersson and Biega. Eriksson made 33 of 35 saves (good for another Quality Start). The Power Play finally scored, going 1 for 2 while the #POWERKILL went 1 for 1.
Players stats who have played at least one game with the Comets, (X) indicates not currently on the active roster, so far are:
|19||Kellan Lain (X)||C||24||35||7||4||11||0.314285714||39||1.11||0||84||17.9|
Goalies so far:
- Prospal signed a PTO with the Comets
- Prospal was released from his PTO with the Comets
- Comets pulled a reverse-Prospal and release C.J. Severyn from his PTO after only 2 games
- Schroeder was loaned to the Comets for a conditioning stint
- Huskins was signed to a Standard Player Contract
- Schroeder was returned to Vancouver
Currently the Comets are in 15th place in the West with 36 points (15-20-2-4). They are only 2 points away from 14th and 13th place with 2 and 3 games in hand. They've been outscored 99 to 126 (-27), and have been outshot 1179 to 1229 (-50). The Comets are currently sitting at 16th in possession.
Utica is controlling 48.96% (acknowledging score effects) of the shots with an on ice shooting percentage of 8.2% and a save percentage of 90.0%. A simple version of PDO puts them at 98.2% which is starting to return to normal with the great play of Eriksson (who now boasts a .912 Sv%, from sub .900 all year). Their powerplay is terrible, and at this point you have to wonder whether they're learning from their parent club!
- Kellan Lain has now played four games with the Vancouver Canucks and with his limited time and deployment he is not looking too bad for a 24 year old prospect. Thanks to ExtraSkater.com we can look more into his #fancystats; At 5 on 5 he has a 59.3% Corsi For coming mainly from Offensive/Neutral zone starts with little in the defensive end.
- Schroeder was sent down to the Comets for a conditioning stint playing a total of 2 games. He earned 6 SOG, 2 PIM and 1 really nice assist in that time. What I like about this is that this would have been the third time the Canucks are using their assets of controlling their own farm team for usage outside of development of prospects (#TeamWithBenefits). The other two times were sending Booth to the Comets for a conditioning Stint and the tryout of Vinny Prospal. This is something they were not able to do in Chicago, though Manitoba was much more willing to be flexible.
- Prospal was its own adventure. It has been widely covered so I wont go too much into the details. Prospal had skated with the Comets but it seems his heart was not truly in it and at the last minute turned down the PTO. It's interesting that TSN reported him having signed the PTO (which was later completely retracted) and then they re-issued a new story after Prospal turned down the try-out. That all being said, even the AHL Transaction page listed that Prospal signed the PTO and then was released from it. Now all mention of it has been removed. Maybe it was a figment of our imagination.
- Kent Huskins has finally been signed to a SPC with the Comets. He has been a main stay on the backend for Utica all year, really helping develop the Canucks prospects with his veteran presence. He has mainly been in a pairing with Corrado. You can learn more about the Stanley Cup winning Defencemen from the Utica Comets.
- As we now approach the halfway mark of the inaugural season of the Utica Comets make sure to check out the top 10 moments so far [Utica Comets].
- Grenier continues to produce well above what we would've expected for him. On Saturday he was tied 5th in AHL Rookie Scoring but given how tight the race is, by being one point behind he has dropped to 11th. Not too shabby for playing on a team with no offence.
- Eriksson was named the AHL's Player of the Week last week as he went 3-0-0-0 with a 1.31 GAA and a 0.953 Sv%. He has really started to be comfortable in this league compared to his first ten games or so. Also coming up to Vancouver to work with the Vancouver goalie coach didn't hurt [Utica Comets].
- Don't want to read my review of the Comets this week? Check out the Comets Rewind from Canucks.com.
The upcoming week is going to be a busy one for the Comets with four games on the schedule.
Another week in the OHL with all six prospects playing. Though, as @ElliotPap reported, Bo Horvat did miss a game on Friday due to a lower body injury (which isn't considered to be anything serious). The only real stand out player this week was Brendan Gaunce, who put up a cool 1G, and 5A in 3 games, helping his teammates Conner Brown and Dane Fox approach the 100 point mark.
If you want to read more on Dane Fox (and some other prospects), another blog has published the third installment of their
Stolen Prospect Prospectors Report.
The stats of the players in the last week are as follows:
And so far this year the stats of these players are:
|Miles Liberati||D||North Bay||24||3||0||3||0.13||-1||17|
As Cederholm is the only active WHL prospect, and he is not a very high event player there is not much to say this week on the WHL as a whole (which has been something of a trend for a while now). It should be noted that, while we know that +/- is a terrible statistic, players at either extreme end on a team usually indicate a strength or weakness. Cederholm is a +22 which puts him at third on the Winterhawks. He is also in fourth for defencemen on Pdx in ES rel Gf%. The only players ahead of him are Dumba (who has only played three games), a 3-game call up and Haar.
Canucks.com has a recent article on Cederholm on his adaptation to the WHL.
As for the latest news on Shinkaruk, not too much is happening with him as he is just sitting around Palm Springs being lazy.
|Hunter Shinkaruk (IR)||L||0||0||0||0||0.00||0||0|
And so far this season the players stats in the WHL are:
|Hunter Shinkaruk (IR)||L||Medicine Hat||18||5||11||16||0.89||-2||29|
University of Maine played two games this week against New Hampshire, splitting the series. Hutton played in one game earning 1 SOG, and a +2. Don't forget to vote for Hutton in the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. He was winning the voting but since has dropped down to 4th place. Stop being lazy, you guys.
University of Wisconsin played two games this past week against Ohio state, also splitting the series with a 5-3 Win and a 3-1 Loss. LaBate played both games earning a goal, 5 SOG, a -2 and 2 PIM. He still maintains a 3 SOG/G ratio but is being outscored by the younger prospect, defencemen Ben Hutton.
Penn State played once this week, a 3-2 loss to Boston College (and improvement from the previous time they played which lead to an 8-2 loss). Williamson did end up playing this game earning 3 SOG (what must be a season high), 1 assist and 2 PIM (making him by far the most penalized NCAA prospects the Canucks have).
Harvard had a one game on their schedule this week losing 4-3 to Union. They will play twice this upcoming week, on Friday vs Princeton and on Monday vs Northeastern (@ the TD Garden) in the 62nd Beanpot Tournament. McNally played in the one game this week earning 3 SOG.
Yale faced Brown twice this week, a 3-1 loss @ Brown and a 6-0 Win vs Brown. Beattie played in both games earning 3 SOG, a -1 and his first penalty of the year. Yale plays twice this upcoming week on Friday vs Cornell and Saturday vs Colgate.
Statistics of NCAA players:
|Mike Williamson||D||Penn State||11||1||3||4||0.36||-2||19||1.73||19|
Jeremie Blain is still on the IR, as is CanucksArmy's top prospect Blomstrand. Pacan played two games this week earning 1 assist and 4 shots on goal.
Corbeil... Well the mup is on his fourth team of the year. He did not post bad of numbers with Wheeling so I am not sure about the politics there that had him moved. In his first game with Gwinnett he has gone back to his CHL numbers. He did not look too bad in the AHL, at least better than Cannata, so we shall see if the Comets resign him next year.
In Sacha Guimond's first week with the Ontario Reign he has played a total of 2 games earning 1 goal and 1 assist. He started off hot with Gwinnett but ended up posting a team worst of -14. We shall see if a change of scenery will help him.
Steven Anthony did not play a game this week. What is interesting is that Hockey DB has him no longer listed on the active roster for the St. Charles Chill. I could not find any information or news on if he had been moved or not. It is possibly he got injured again so I shall continue to explore this and see where he is.
|Anthony||F||CHL St Charles||26||4||8||12||0.46||-12||40||1.54||10|
Statistics of Corbeil on the year:
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Gwinnett||G||1||59||4||4.04||0||1||0||24||0.857|
|CHL St. Charles||G||6||236||21||5.35||0||2||1||103||0.831|
Not too much news coming out of Europe this week. Anton Rodin played three games earning 0 points, a -1 and 2 PIM. Ronalds Kenins played 2 games this week as he prepares for the Olympic Games, but didn't do anything of note. Once the Olympics start I can update you with more detail as he will receive much more attention.
|Anton Rodin||W||SHL Brynas||22||36||9||19||28||0.78||-4||30|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||Swiss ZSC||22||33||7||15||22||0.67||13||26|