Comets Militia: Down on the Farm – October 17th, 2014

14_1011-@-TOR

Courtesy of UticaComets.com

This past
weekend, the American Hockey League finally started up its regular season with
the Utica Comets playing their first two games. It’s looking to be a very
exciting team this year with plenty of firepower, some good defence and two
solid goaltenders in net.  The depth is
looking so good that the Comets had to send a few popular Canucks prospects
down to the ECHL to give them more playing time.

With that
being said, read past the jump to see how this week has gone for the Comets.

The Comets
could have not asked for a better, and polar opposite, start to their year as
they did in their inaugural season. 
After two games, the Comets are leading the North Division with a total
of 4 points and are currently in third place in the conference.  Only the two teams (San Antonio and
Milwaukee) above them have more points than them in the entire league.

In four
games the Comets have scored 4 goals and had 4 goals scored against them for a
goal differential of 0.  They have
outshot their opponents 61 to 53 and have controlled approximately 68.18% of
possession during close situations in the two games.  Their PDO still needs to regress to the norm
as they are sitting at 99.01% due to their extremely low shooting percentage of
6.56%. 

Their
special teams have not been too bad either. 
Currently the Comets have a powerplay success of 20% (2 for 10 in the
last week) which is good for 10th in the league.  Their penalty kill has been perfect at 7 for
7 which is also tied for first in the league. 
Their special teams index is 120% so that should see some regression
unsurprisingly.

October 11th,
2-1 Win @ Toronto

Forwards in this game:

Shinkaruk – O’Reilly – DeFazio
Archibald – Jeffrey – Grenier
Kenins – Friesen – Jensen
Gaunce – Hamilton – Bancks

Defencemen

Huskins – Corrado
Andersson – Sanguinetti
Tommernes – Biega

In net was Jacob Markstrom.

Kennedy, Kellan Lain and Ryan Jones were sitting out for the forwards while on defence, Jeremie Blain and 3 other non-prospects were sitting out.

The Comets started their season by facing the Toronto Marlies, a team they finished off their inaugural season playing.  The Marlies (AHL Affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) were the first to get on the
board only seven minutes into the game with a goal by Trevor Smith.  Jacob Markstrom remained solid for the
remainder of the game as he did not let in another goal.  The Comets managed to score two goals on
ensuing 5-on-3 power plays in the 1st and 2nd periods
with goals from Alex Grenier and Dustin Jeffrey, assisted by Captain Cal O’Reilly (2x), Bobby Sanguinetti,
and Grenier. 

The final
score was 2-1 for the Comets with the shots in their
favour 34-25.  The Comets registered 20
shots on goal in the second period, 1 short of their one-period record.  Nicklas Jensen lead the team in SOG with 5, followed
by Hunter Shinkaruk and Jeffrey with 4 each. 
Markstrom made 24 of 25 saves in net good for a .960 sv%.  The PP went 2 for 7 while the PK went 4 for
4.

Alex Friesen was also hurt right behind the third period and did not return to the game.  He sat out the next game, allowing Mike Zalewski to draw into the lineup.  

October 12th,
2-3 OT Loss @ Toronto

Further detail of the players, line ups and systems used in this game will be in my scouting report from the 12th of October game, which will be published sometime this weekend.

The script
started similar in this game with the Marlies being the first to get on board
with a shorthanded goal by T.J. Brodie Troy Bodie. 
By the beginning of the 3rd period the Comets were up again
2-1 with goals from Jeffrey and Brandon DeFazio, with assists to Grenier, Shinkaruk and Brendan Gaunce.  But a goal by Marlies’ Viktor
Loov tied up the game before he scored again in OT, during the 3-on-3 portion, to win the game.

In net was
Joacim Eriksson who made 25 saves on 28 shots, good for a .893 save percentage, which won’t
help his argument for the 1A goaltender position.  The defence lead the attack with Henrik Tommernes leading the team in shots with 5, and Alex Biega right behind with 4.  No special teams goals were scored as both
teams went 0 for 3

Transactions

  • Frank
    Corrado was assigned to the Utica Comets

Player
Stats

# Name POS GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG SOG SoG/G Sh%
28 Alexandre Grenier RW 2 1 2 3 1 0 1.5 4 2 25.00%
21 Dustin Jeffrey C 2 2 0 2 -1 0 1 6 3 33.33%
16 Cal O’Reilly C 2 0 2 2 -2 2 1 3 1.5 0.00%
24 Brandon DeFazio RW 2 1 0 1 -2 4 0.5 6 3 16.67%
10 Brendan Gaunce LW 2 0 1 1 1 0 0.5 2 1 0.00%
6 Bobby Sanguinetti D 2 0 1 1 1 0 0.5 4 2 0.00%
9 Hunter Shinkaruk LW 2 0 1 1 -1 0 0.5 5 2.5 0.00%
8 Alex Friesen C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.00%
14 Mike Zalewski LW 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.00%
40 Peter Andersson D 2 0 0 0 1 4 0 1 0.5 0.00%
25 Darren Archibald LW 2 0 0 0 0 20 0 5 2.5 0.00%
34 Carter Bancks RW 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.00%
3 Alex Biega D 2 0 0 0 -1 0 0 4 2 0.00%
26 Frank Corrado D 2 0 0 0 -1 2 0 3 1.5 0.00%
36 Wacey Hamilton C 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.5 0.00%
29 Kent Huskins D 2 0 0 0 -1 0 0 1 0.5 0.00%
17 Nicklas Jensen RW 2 0 0 0 -2 0 0 5 2.5 0.00%
15 Ronalds Kenins LW 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.00%
7 Henrik Tommernes D 2 0 0 0 -2 0 0 6 3 0.00%

Schedule

The Utica
Comets have three games this upcoming week. 
On Friday, the Comets will be heading to Texas to play San Antonio
(affiliate of Florida), then on Saturday to Texas to face Willie Desjardins’
old team, the Texas Stars (affiliate of Dallas).  Then, the
Comets head home to play their first home game of the season on Wednesday
against Adirondack (affiliate of the Calgary).

Around the
AHL

  • The above video shows Trevor Gillies of the Adirondack Flames, local rivals to the Utica Comets, slamming a guy’s head into the ice.  He received an instigator penalty which comes with it an immediate one game penalty.  He was then further assessed an additional 12 game suspension.  Even Matchsticks and Gasoline were not too happy with him or Burke’s decision to employ him.
  • The Adirondack Flame’s mascot lasted a total of 6 days before it was canned.  A number of different media outlets wrote about it, such as the Hockey Writers and Puck Daddy.