Courtesy of UticaComets.com
It’s been another week of play for the Utica Comets with
another 3 games under their belt. The team’s success continued as they won 2 of 3 games, collecting 4
points. All of the Comets’ underlying numbers
remain very positive, and even with the reshuffling of lineups due to injuries in
Vancouver, the team continues to play some encouraging hockey.
Continue past the jump for an update on the Comets this week.
Utica is sitting first in their division with a 10-2-2-0 record, good for 22 points in 14 games, 9 points ahead of second place (who have a game in
hand). This also ranks the Comets in first place in the Western Conference, just 1-point ahead
of Rockford, who have a game in hand.
Much like the NHL, the Western Conference is much stronger in the AHL, and the Comets have been the the clear number one team in the league
through the first fifth of the season.
The Comets have outshot their opponents 442 to 392 (+50) and
outscored their opponents 38-23 (+15).
Their estimated Fenwick Close suggest this success should continue as
they are sitting at 58.72%, which is also first place in the entire league.
Utica’s PDO continued to fall a bit closer to the mean this week, as they are currently
sitting at 102.73%, which split up into its components is a 8.60% shooting percentage and a 94.13% save percentage. The Comets’ shooting percentage has dipped below league average this past week, while their save percentage is still
sky high at 94.13%. Although Markstrom and Eriksson are really good AHL goalies, we can expect this number to fall sooner than later.
The special teams index also shows the power-play and the
penalty-kill are moving towards much
more reasonable numbers. As their biggest
weak spot, the power-play went 1 for 14 this week – good for a 13.79% efficiency;
this is 22nd in the league and has dropped 3 places. Losing their two most dangerous shooters in Jensen and DeFazio to Vancouver didn’t help this either. The penalty kill remains excellent though,
having gone 10 for 12 this week, converting at a 87.93% success-rate, and leaving
their PK as the 6th best in the league.
Friday’s 4-1 Win @ Lake Erie
The Comets started their road trip in Lake Erie (affiliate
of Colorado) and dominated both the gamed the final score. The Comets outshot the Monsters 35-30 and won
4-1. Utica goals were scored by: Hunter
Shinkaruk, Mike Zalewski, Darren Archibald, and Frank Corrado. The assists were scored by: Alex Biega (2x),
Kellan Lain, Dustin Jeffrey, Brandon DeFazio, and Alexandre Grenier (2x). DeFazio lead the team with 4 shots on goal
while Joacim Eriksson stopped 29 of 30 shots, earning himself the third
star on the night. Frank(ie) Corrado was named the first star.
Saturday’s 3-2 Win @ Rochester
Expecting a schedule loss (as I was ready to throw out as
a pre-emptive excuse), the Comets came in to Rochester (affiliate of Buffalo) and
won 3-2. This game was much closer in
play with the Comets having a slower start, but the shot clock was slightly in the Americans’ favour by the end, as they outshot Utica 35-33. The Comets goals were
scored by: Bobby Sanguinetti, Ronalds Kenins, and Wacey Hamilton. The assists were credited to: Henrik
Tommernes (2x), Brendan Gaunce, Cal O’Reilly, Frank Corrado, and Wacey
Hamilton. Jacob Markstrom stopped 33 of 35 shots, earning the third star on the night. Wacey Hamilton was given first
Wednesday’s 0-3 Loss vs Chicago
Back at home and after a few days of rest, the Comets played
the Canucks old farm team: the Chicago Wolves (now the affiliate of the St. Louis
Blues). Despite outplaying the Wolves
(including leading 10-2 in shots after the first period where the score was
tied at zero) they could not put any pucks past Chicago netminder Jordan Binnington, and were shut out 0-3. Shinkaruk, Grenier, Lain and Kenins
each had 4 shots on goal, while the team out-shot Chicago 30-19. Eriksson was in net for Utica, making 16 saves on 19 shots. It was one of those nights where the process
was there, but the puck luck was not so kind.
- Patrick Kennedy recalled to Utica.
- Brendan DeFazio recalled to Vancouver.
- Curtis Valk recalled to Utica, played in one
game and registered 0 points, 0 SOG and a +0.
Much like in Kalamazoo, he seems to not produce without the help of top
prospect Ludwig Blomstrand.
- Brendan DeFazio returned to Utica.
- D Nick Tuzollino signed to a PTO with the
Comets. He scored 3 points in 36 games with Rochester last year.
- Nick Tuzollino released from PTO after playing in 1 game for the Comets.
- Kane Lafranchise recalled from Kalamazoo.
- Bobby Sanguinetti called up to Vancouver.
- Jeremie Blain recalled from Kalamazoo to Utica.
This week, the Comets have a lighter load with only two games
on the schedule. On Friday the Comets
have a re-match with the Chicago Wolves at home, and then on Wednesday, the Hamilton Bulldogs will come to visit.