Image courtesy of UticaComets.com
While you were busy focusing on the Roberto Luongo trade, and whether or not Ryan Kesler should be dealt, I was pounding the pavement, looking to find some answers to the question of the day for those of you prospects junkies out there: “who the heck is Jeff Costello?”.
The team made three trades during this year’s trade deadline frenzy, and from a prospect perspective, the impact was fairly limited. Jeff Costello was brought in, and Patrick Mullen/Steven Anthony were shipped out.
Just past the jump we’ll have some thoughts on that, though, as well as all of the latest Comets Militia updates, and all of the other things you’ve become accustomed to reading up on here (OHL, WHL, ECHL, NCAA, and even Europe). We do it all.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @nuckprospects for the latest in prospect news. You’re more than welcome to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish for me to cover in the future.
Friday: Comets Fall 3-2 to Adirondack Phantoms
On Friday night the Comets played the Adirondack Phantom (AHL Affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers) at home. While the Comets managed to score a power play goal (a rarity worth mentioning these days!) controlling the game they couldn’t walk away with a win.
The final score was 3-2 for Adirondack with the SOG total 29-23 in favour of Utica. The Comets goals were scored by Mashall and Ferriero, with assists coming from Mullen, O’Reilly and Pelletier. Eriksson was in net and made 20 of 23 saves (and earned the 3rd star of the night). The special teams went 1 for 4 on the PP and 2 for 2 on the PK.
Sunday: Comets Defeat Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1
Sunday afternoon the Comets traveled to Bridgeport to face the AHL Affiliate of the New York Islanders. Jensen was quick to get on the board scoring only 17 seconds in, the fastest goal in Comets franchise history (a long, and storied one, that). The other Comets goal came from Ferriero and assists were from DeFazio, Pelletier and O’Reilly (x2).
The final score was 2-1 with final SOG 30-29 in favour of Bridgeport. Eriksson started the game making 29 of 30 saves and earning another quality start. Special teams went 1 for 5 on the PP and 8 for 8 on the PK! Eriksson and Ferriero earned the first and second starts of the afternoon, respectively.
Wednesday: Comets Defeat Oklahoma City Barons 4-3 in SO
Wednesday night the Comets faced the Edmonton Oilers affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons at home. The Comets scored the go ahead goal after trailing early and even ended up having a 3-1 lead at one point (their first 2 goal lead in what seems like half a season). Unfortunately they weren’t able to hold onto that lead as half way through the third OKC scored and then followed it up with a second goal to send the game to extra time. After no one scored in the overtime period, Jensen (who just barely missed winning it in the aforementioned OT) won it for the Comets in the shootout.
Goals from the Comets came from Stuart, Friesen and Pelletier. This was actually Friesen’s first goal all year. Assists came from Welsh, Kennedy, Lain, Corrado, Jensen and O’Reilly. Everyone was involved in this game. The Comets were outshot 35-34 and Eriksson made 32 of 25 saves good for a .914 Sv% on the night. They went 3 for 3 on their PK which has been outstanding the last few weeks while the PP went 1 for 4. Jensen earned the first star while Friesen earned the third.
Players stats who have played at least one game with the Comets, (X) indicates not currently on the active roster, so far are:
|14||Patrick Mullen (X)||D||27||46||7||13||20||0.22||72||1.57||-2||23||9.7|
Goalies so far:
- Lain returned to Utica from Vancouver
- Archibald called up to Vancouver
- Mullen traded, loaned to Binghamton Senators
- Jeff Costello acquired by Vancouver, still playing in the NCAA
- Steven Anthony sent to Florida in the Luongo trade
- Archibald “sent down” to Utica, but it’s only a paper transaction to make him available for the Calder Cup.
- The Comets are currently sitting in 13th place in the conference (23rd in the league) with 55 points (24-26-3-4). They are still 7 points out of a playoff spot and this week they earned 4 of a possible 6 points, bringing them closer to finally being a .500 team.
- After scoring and surrendering an even 4 goals apiece, they are now at a goal differential of 139 to 172 (-33) and have been outshot 1628 to 1676 (-48). They are controlling 49.27% of the shots with an on ice shooting percentage of 7.9 and an save percentage of .906 (for a PDO of 98.5%).
- In two games the Comets saw their special team numbers improve. The PP went 2 for 9 bringing them up to 18th in the league while their PK went 10 for 10 bringing them up to 27th in the league (a huge improvement!)
- The Comets have had 32 (of 53) 1 goal games and in those games they’ve gone 15-10-3-4.
- On the injury front Grenier still hasn’t returned. Hopefully we’ll see him play this week. It’d be a shame if he had his breakout season ended in this fashion.
- With Archibald’s call up people are continuing to ask why Jensen is not being given a chance. Especially after his recent performance where he was tied for second in the AHL for scoring in the month of February. My view is that the Canuck’s would rather see him play top line minutes in Utica than 3 minutes a game in Vancouver. And that makes plenty of sense right now.
- One of the trades at the deadline saw the Canucks send defencemen Patrick Mullen to the Senators for Jeff Costello. For the Canucks organization this is a good trade but it hurts the Comets in the short term. Mullen was a solid d-man contributing to the offence, and lead the team in all situations Gf% Diff while playing in the top 4. The Comets are already thin at the blue line and it looks like they will have to go get another PTO from the ECHL. This’ll hurt their chances to make up ground on a playoff position.
- The Comets play two games this week, on Friday vs the W-B/Scranton Penguins and then Saturday night @ Binghamton.
Some extra reading for you:
- Ottawa Senators pick up Patrick Mullen [Senators]
- Vancouver’s Comet’s Rewind [Canucks]
- Learn more about Comets play by play man Brendan Burke [Utica Comets]
- Listen to Jensen’s latest interview with Team1040
|Miles Liberati||D||North Bay||38||5||1||6||0.16||-10||19|
- Bo Horvat played in 2 games scoring 1 goals, notching 3 assists and earning a +1. Horvat was recently listed as 6th in NHL drafted prospects. Unfortunately, he tweaked his knee during a game on Thursday, but it doesn’t appear to be anything that’ll keep him out for longer than a few days. Pheeew.
- Cole Cassels played in 3 games putting up 5 assists and earning a -1. The most eventful player of the week. He keeps piling on the points.
- Dane Fox edges ever closer to 100 points as he played in 2 games, scoring 2 goals and 1 assist while earning a +2.
- His linemate Brendan Gaunce remains to be lower event, playing in 2 games, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist and earning a +1 barely maintaining his 1.0 PPG.
- Jordan Subban played 2 games this week going -4 and earning 4 PIM.
- Evan McEneny played 3 games earning 2 assists, going +5 and gritting out 2 PIM
- Liberati had his most productive week all year playing 2 games and scoring 1 goals and 1 assist. For his efforts he was rewarded with a -1.
- It is looking like all prospects but Subban will be playing in the OHL postseason this spring. Belleville is in 10th place and 6 points away from 8th in the East.
|Hunter Shinkaruk (IR)||L||Medicine Hat||18||5||11||16||0.89||-2||29|
- Shinkaruk has been doing hip rehab for the last three weeks and is not sure when he can skate next but hopes it is soon. We wait with bated breath.
- Anton Cederholm remains the quiet defenseman that he is, having played 2 games, earning a +1 and 4 PIM. Portland has already clinched a playoff spot.
|Mike Williamson||D||Penn State||20||1||4||5||0.25||0||31||1.55||21|
- The University of Maine lost both games this weekend to
Providence with a score of 4-2 and 3-2. Maine will play Merrimack on
the 8th, the last game on their schedule. For his efforts Hutton had
played in both games earning 10 SOG and a -1. Unfortunately he couldn’t
get that 14th goal to set a University record for most goals scored in a
year by a defencemen. Maine is currently in 6th place in Hockey East. Hutton’s success this year has been getting him noticed.
University of Wisconsin rested this week but will be playing Penn State
twice this upcoming week. Wisconsin remains 2nd in the Big 10.
State is last in the Big 10 down in 6th place. The Nittany Lions lost
5-1 and 2-1 this weekend to Minnesota and will be facing LaBate and
Wisconsin this upcoming weekend. Williamson played in both games earning
- Harvard beat Colgate 2-1 and then lost to Cornell 3-2
this weekend. Harvard is now done their regular season and will face
Yale in the first round of the 2014 ECAC Ice Hockey Championship.
Harvard is tied for 10th in the ECAC. McNally did not play in either
game this weekend.
- The Yale Bulldogs are down tied in 5th in the
ECAC. This weekend Yale lost 2-0 to top ranked Union and then beat
Rensselaer 50. They will start playing against Harvard this weekend on
Friday. Beattie played in 1 games notching 3 SOG. Beattie is also the resident Oscar Winner picker!
- Jeff Costello
is the Canucks newest NCAA prospect and it looks like he will have some
chance of making the NHL in the future. He’s currently the captain of
his Notre Dame team as he is approaching the end of his Senior Year. He
has been over 2 SOG/G player and earned almost 1 PPG in his junior
year. This year it looks like his assists have dried up. Tyson Giuriato describes him as a “Power forward who plays hard, hits and fights”; learn more about him here. It seems that the Senators gave him up because they have a glut of young forwards in their systems and a lack of defencemen.
- I went to look at Costello’s numbers a bit deeper because it was concerning to see he went from a .91 PPG player in his junior year to a .54 PPG. Part of the reason he dipped in his Senior year is because his assist count has dropped by nearly half. His Sh% dropped by almost 5% this year from .159 to .103. What’s very encouraging is so far his SOG/G has greatly sky-rocketed this year from 2.25, 2.11 and 2.09 in his first three years, to 3.03. Very promising numbers.
- On the other hand he is being out performed by Ben Hutton who has a high SOG/G rate an PPG/G and more goals. Hutton is also two years younger and is a defencemen. This isn’t to say Costello looks to be like a bad player, but is more of a testament to what Hutton has been able to do.
|Anthony||F||CHL St Charles||33||4||10||14||0.42||-12||54||1.64||10|
- David Pacan had an eventful week playing 4 games, scoring 2 goals, earning 3 assists, going +4, notching 14 SOG and finding 4 PIM.
- Jeremie Blain played in 4 games notching 6 SOG, going +1 and earning 10 PIM.
- Wes Myron played in 4 games earning a -2 and finding 4 SOG.
- Blomstrand is still injured.
- Steven Anthony played in 2 games in the CHL earning 1 SOG. He was traded as part of the Canucks deal with Luongo, mostly to shed some contracts. He was a late pick and never really stood out. He did come off an injury at the beginning of the year and started the season hot but that did not last. Not a huge loss for the organization.
- Sacha Guimond played in 1 game for Ontario this week notching 3 SOG.
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Gwinnett||G||6||312||18||3.46||2||3||0||133||0.881|
|CHL St. Charles||G||6||236||21||5.35||0||2||1||103||0.831|
- Corbeil did not play a game this week.
|Anton Rodin||W||SHL Brynas||22||44||10||21||31||0.70||-11||36|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||Swiss ZSC||22||38||8||17||25||0.66||15||40|
- Rodin finally played some hockey, suiting up for 3 games for Brynas and earning an assist.
- Olympian Ronalds Kenins played in 2 games in Zurich earning 1 goal, going +1 and finding an additional 14 PIM.