February 05 2014 10:58AM
Courtesy of @UticaComets
Welcome to this week's Comets Militia Week Prospect Report. With the extensive number of injuries and call-ups we've seen the Canucks endure over the past however many weeks, the regular everyday analysis on this platform has quickly become very Comets-centric (which isn't necessarily a good sign for the team's chances of accumulating wins).
With that being said, there's still a bunch of things to look at and discuss in this week's report regarding players that haven't had the spotlight shined on them yet. You can read on for more on that, and if you'd like day-to-day updates on the team's prospects moving forward, make sure you follow me on twitter at @nuckprospects!
Friday's game, 3-1 Win vs Syracuse
This was "Pink in the Rink" night in Utica, in support of breast cancer awareness, research, and fundraising. The Comets were decked out in all-pink jerseys, which were later auctioned off as part of a fundraiser. Pretty cool stuff.
Their opponent for this outing was the Syracuse Crunch, who they had previously met once before in the season. The first period was all Crunch, but the momentum quickly swung back to the Comets by the second period, with the Comets scoring twice. The final score wound up being 3-1, with the lone goal by the Crunch coming with their goalie pulled in the final minute or so. Joacim Eriksson's shutout bid was ruined, but he still put together another Quality Start, making 31 of 32 saves.
The goals were scored by DeFazio, Pelletier, and Archibald. One of the goals was initially credited to Kennedy, which would have been his first AHL goal, but it was later changed (so he'll have to wait a while longer!). The assists came from O'Reilly, Grenier (x2), Archibald and Pelletier. As for the special teams play, the PP did not manage to score in 5 attempts, but the #POWERKILL went 5 for 5.
Saturday's Game, 2-1 Loss vs Rockford
In the 2nd leg of back-to-back games, the Comets played the Rockford Icehogs on Saturday night at the Aud. While the game was initially fairly even, in the second the Icehogs came out strong dominating possession (that only relented once Score Effects came into play).
The Final score was 2-1 for the Icehogs, with shots in favour of the Comets at 35 to 30. The lone Comets goal came from Pelletier and was assisted by O'Reilly and Mullen. The Comets finally scored a power play goal (after receiving an additional 5 attempts), while the Icehogs did not score on their's going 0 for 1. Going against conventional wisdom Eriksson started this game (with the alternative being Cannata), making 28 of 30 saves, barely getting credit for another Quality Start. Considering the way he started the season, though, it's hard to argue with the performance he put forth.
Tuesday's Game, 4-2 Loss @ Chicago
The final game of the week was a rare lunch-time weekday game in Chicago. The Wolves host a yearly lunch-time game for school children to come and watch for educational purposes (yeah, I don't buy it either, but I'm jealous I never get to take part in this as a kid!).
The Wolves took over from the get-go, quickly going up 2-0 on the Comets. Utica fought back tieing it up at 2 but could not score again, with the Wolves eventually winning 4-2.
The two Comets goals came from Ferriero and Jensen. Assists came from Tommernes, Mullen, Grenier and Lepine (his first AHL point). Eriksson got the start once again, stopping 31 of 35 shots. Coming into this game the Comets had previously stopped 32 of their last 33 penalty kills, but wound up surrendering two goals against on the #POWERKILL to the Wolves.
Players stats who have played at least one game with the Comets, (X) indicates not currently on the active roster, so far are:
|23||Pascal Pelletier (X)||C||30||39||9||30||39||1.00||69||1.77||0||42||13|
|4||Yann Sauve (X)||D||23||39||0||9||9||0.23||65||1.67||-16||37||0|
|26||Frank Corrado (X)||D||20||36||3||4||7||0.19||55||1.53||-5||24||5.5|
|19||Kellan Lain (X)||C||24||35||7||4||11||0.31||39||1.11||0||84||17.9|
Goalies so far:
- Corrado called up to Vancouver.
- Sauve called up up to Vancouver.
- Guillaume Lepine was signed to a PTO with Utica.
- Pelletier called up to Vancouver.
- Comets add depth to their forwards signing ECHLer, Ray Kaunisto, 26, to a PTO.
Currently the Comets are in 15th place (and 29th overall) with 38 points (16-22-2-4). They have been outscored 104 to 134 (-30), and have been outshot 1276 to 1326 (-50). They're controlling 49.04% (acknowledging score effects) of the shots with an on ice shooting percentage of 8.1% and a save percentage of 90.2%. A simple version of PDO puts them at 98.3% which continues to improve with Eriksson establishing himself in this league (now up to a .914 Sv%, currently in the top 20 AHL goalies).
Their special teams are... well, special. They must be learning from the Canucks. The power play continues to drop as they are now ranked 19th. And the real problem is that Raphael Diaz ain't walkin' through that door!
VAN's A Grenier's ice time way up from early on in the season. In top six rotation and top PP unit. 6'4'' 200 F with skill.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) February 2, 2014
Other points on the Comets this week:
- After the "Pink the Rink" night the locals in Utica were able to bid on the individual jerseys as a fundraiser. It gives you some perspective on how much the fans value the individual Comets. At the high end individual jerseys were sold for $4,500 for Eriksson, Archibald at $4,100 and Ferriero at $3,200. On the low end of the team was Audie (the mascot) at $450, Mallet at $700, Mullen at $750 and Jensen at $800. Full list of numbers are found here.
- The amount of injuries that are happening with the Canucks are also affecting the Comets, which GM Pat Conachar mentioned, but the Comets are pushing through it. With all the D being called up the Comets had to find someone to fill in their sixth defencemen position. Instead of calling up their own (Guimond from the ECHL) they decided to give a shot to 26 year-old Guillaume Lepine and signed him to a PTO.
- Negrin is starting to feel better, which means we might finally see him play. He is still injured but is now traveling with the team. Via @brendanmburke, he was injured during pre-season play with an upper-body injury.
- Tonight the Comets play the Wild in Iowa. On Friday they head to Milwaukee to play the Admirals. Then on Sunday they head to Rockford to play the Icehogs (hoping to avenge their previous loss). The Comets are then off until next weekend.
- For those Canucks/Comet fans in Southern Ontario, the Comets will be playing in Toronto next weekend. Check 'em out!
- If you think this review was terrible and want an alternate opinion, Canucks.com have their Comet's Rewind.
Not an overly exciting week this week in the OHL for Canucks Prospects, unfortunately. Our very own Cam Charron did have this to say about Horvat:
London aren't as hot as division rivals Guelph or Erie, but the Knights also managed a breakout offensive performance Thursday, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over North Bay after 20 minutes and cruising from there to a 9-4 victory. The Vancouver Canucks first rounder Bo Horvat was the points-getter on the night, recording two goals and two assists and getting two points on the powerplay helping London go 3-for-5 on the night in that department.
A somehow important night offensively for Horvat. He's been ice-cold ever since returning from Malmo and a disappointing performance at the World junior championship in December and early January. Horvat had just four points in six games to start 2014, but after a two-point game Saturday and the four-pointer against the Battalion, maybe he can get something going.
And so far this year the stats of these players are:
|Miles Liberati||D||North Bay||27||3||0||3||0.11||-5||17|
Similarily to the OHL there has been nothing exciting of note to come out of the WHL this week. Cederholm has notched another assist on the year and continues to increase his +/- which is in a 5 way tie for second in Portland. The Winterhawks, by the way, are 2nd in the WHL West with 77 points. Hunter Shinkaruk.. well he's just chillin'.
|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|
The University of Maine did not play this week. They have two games on the schedule, with two weekend dates against Notre Dame.
The University of Wisconsin played Michigan twice, on Friday and Saturday, losing 3-1 and tieing 2-2. Wisconsin plays again this Thursday and Friday against the top ranked Minnesota Gophers. This week LaBate played in both games, scoring once and notching 6 SOG.
Penn State lost twice to Ohio State, 5-2 and 5-1. The Nittany Lions will play on Thursday and Friday against Michigan. Williamson has been playing more as of late and was in both games, registering 2 SOG and earning a -3.
Harvard lost 6-0 to Northeastern in the Beanpot Tournament with McNally registering 4 SOG in that game. Harvard plays Darmouth on Friday and then vs Boston University on Tuesday in the Beanpot Tournament. Here are some Beanpot Tournament predictions.
Yale beat Colgate 4-1 and lost to Cornell 3-2. Yale travels to Rensselaer on Friday and then Union on Saturday. Beattie played in both games only registered 15 PIM in one game for kneeing and a game misconduct.
Statistics of NCAA players:
|Mike Williamson||D||Penn State||13||1||3||4||0.31||-4||21||1.62||19|
- Pacan had an active week playing three games, scoring a goal and an assist and earning 8 SOG. Blain is still injured as is Blomstrand.
- Steven Anthony has been moved to the 14-day IR with St. Charles, his second long term injury of the year. That might explain why his production slowed down as of late.
- Guimond played 3 games this week earning 2 assists and 6 SOG.
|Anthony||F||CHL St Charles||26||4||8||12||0.46||-12||40||1.54||10|
Corbeil played one game this week for Gwinnett making 31 of 32 saves bringing his ECHL Sv% up to .912 on the year and .917 with Gwinnett.
Corbeil's statistics for the year:
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Gwinnett||G||2||119||5||2.51||1||1||0||55||0.917|
|CHL St. Charles||G||6||236||21||5.35||0||2||1||103||0.831|
Anton Rodin scored a goal this week, which was his first point in a while. Ronalds Kenins put up 2 assists in three games, as he continues to prepare for the Olympics!
|Anton Rodin||W||SHL Brynas||22||39||10||19||29||0.74||-8||34|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||Swiss ZSC||22||36||7||17||24||0.67||14||26|