Comets Militia: Down on the Farm – January 16th, 2015

15_0114-Comets-Win

Couresy: UticaComets.com

We are back
for another weekly installment of the Utica Comets weekly report, where we
review all of the activities in the past seven days down on the farm.  We know how much you love to hear all about
your favourite farm team, so we have all the details and statistics on how the team as a whole is performing!

Continue
past the jump to learn more.

The
Stats

With the
Comets having gone 2-1 this week, Utica continues to sit in second place in
the Western Conference with 53 points in 37 games. 
Their record of 24-8-5-0 has the Comets 3 points behind the Western
Conference leaders, the Oklahoma City Barons (affiliates of Edmonton), who have played 1 more game.  The Comets are also behind the Springfield
Falcons (affiliate of Columbus, 56 points in 40 games played), and the Manchester
Monarchs (affiliate of Los Angeles, 54 points in 38 games). 

comets rolling possession

Comets 10-game rolling Estimated FenClose%

The Comets
continue to improve their performance as they have increased their goal
differential to +21 (104 to 83), but saw their shot differential decrease to +88 (1083 to 995).  The Comets estimated
Fenwick Close has dropped to 55.6% on the year, which is still first in the
analytics standings.  With games in
hand and strong possession statistics, it is reasonable to expect the Comets to continue to push for 1st place overall.  However, their rolling possession numbers, as seen in the graph above, are steadily getting worse, which is an area of concern and could stem from a number of sources, including consistently losing a top-4 D to the Vancouver Canucks’ pressbox.

The Comets
PDO continues to trend within the 101-102% range, and they are sitting at 101.26%
currently.  This high PDO is largely the result of the excellent goaltending the Comets are
receiving.  The team has
posted a .917 average save percentage in all situations while their shooting percentage is also above
the league average at 9.6%.

The special
teams also saw some improvement this week, as their Special Teams Index increased to
102.0%.  The Comets went 10 for 11 on the
penalty kill to drop to 6th in the league with an
86.76% efficiency.  The powerplay
actually scored a few goals this week, going 3 for 14 and converting at
15.23% clip to increase their ranking by 2 positions to 21st overall.

Friday’s
0-3 Loss @ Hamilton

The Utica
Comets started off the week playing like they had been for all of 2015:
outplayed.  On Friday, Utica faced the
Hamilton Bulldogs (affiliate of Montreal) and were outmatched through 60 minutes.  The Comets lost the game 0-3 and lost the
shot count 33-22. 

Brandon
DeFazio led the team with 4 shots on goal while Joacim Eriksson allowed two
goals on 32 shots.  The penalty kill went
a perfect 4 for 4 while the powerplay was 0-3.  Alex Friesen received a boarding penalty and was suspended for 1 game, and as a consequence had to sit out Wednesday’s game against Adirondack.

This was
also the game where Andrey Pedan fought Montreal’s prospect Jared Tinordi.  Pedan knocked Tinordi out cold with a vicious right hand, and Tinordi was diagnosed with a mild concussion after his head smacked against the ice.

Saturday’s
4-1 Win vs Adirondack

The night after losing to the Bulldogs, the Comets faced Adirondack (Flames affiliate) for the 7th
time of the season.  The Flames did not
have their normal goaltender in net, as Joni Ortio, who the Comets are 5-0-0 against this season, suited up to play for his parent club in Vancouver, shutting out the Canucks.  Instead, the Comets faced Brad Thiessen in net.  Utica was outshot once again in this match,
but at least they walked away the victor.

Despite
winning 4-1, the Comets were massively outplayed and found themselves down 43-29
in the shot department.  Goals were credited to Dustin Jeffrey, Darren Archibald, Will Acton, and Kent Huskins.  Assists were
credited to Bobby Sanguinetti, Brendan Gaunce (2x), Mike Zalewski, Brandon
DeFazio, and Alex Grenier.  

Gaunce lead
the team with 5 shots on net while Jacob Markstrom played like an AHL All-Star, stopping 42 of 43 shots he faced.  The powerplay
went 1 for 5, and the penalty kill was a perfect 1 for 1.  Markstrom, Gaunce, and Huskins were awarded the 1st,
2nd, and 3rd stars of the game.

Wednesday’s
4-2 Win vs Grand Rapids

[Box Score]

This game was the
first time the Utica Comets faced the Grand Rapids Griffins (affiliate of
Detroit) in their franchise’s short history.  

The final score was 4-2 with shots in Utica’s favour 30-28.  Alex Grenier was the only prospect to score a goal and assists were credited to: Bobby Sanguinetti,
Brendan Gaunce, Dustin Jeffrey, Brandon DeFazio, and Alex Grenier.  Gaunce has seen an increase in production
lately, which is no surprise as his average time on ice has increased after being bumped up from 4th line. 

The
powerplay was a successful 2 for 5, while the penalty kill went 6 for 7.  Jacob Markstrom was in net posting 26 saves
on 28 shots.  Jeffrey, Markstrom, and
Grenier earned the first, second, and third stars.

The Players

Name Pos GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPG SOG SoG/G Sh%
16 Cal O’Reilly C 37 4 26 30 -2 6 0.81 50 1.35 8.00%
21 Dustin Jeffrey C 30 10 18 28 6 10 0.93 55 1.83 18.18%
24 Brandon DeFazio RW 36 13 10 23 6 35 0.64 94 2.61 13.83%
6 Bobby Sanguinetti D 30 8 11 19 16 2 0.63 61 2.03 13.11%
17 Nicklas Jensen RW 24 9 7 16 -5 10 0.67 70 2.92 12.86%
28 Alexandre Grenier RW 28 8 8 16 4 43 0.57 60 2.14 13.33%
10 Brendan Gaunce LW 36 4 12 16 5 9 0.44 68 1.89 5.88%
3 Alex Biega D 33 3 11 14 4 14 0.42 62 1.88 4.84%
9 Hunter Shinkaruk LW 36 5 8 13 3 16 0.36 77 2.14 6.49%
36 Wacey Hamilton C 31 4 9 13 4 25 0.42 42 1.35 9.52%
15 Ronalds Kenins LW 34 5 7 12 6 23 0.35 56 1.65 8.93%
25 Darren Archibald LW 33 5 6 11 5 55 0.33 58 1.76 8.62%
41 Will Acton C 19 4 4 8 -1 9 0.42 29 1.53 13.79%
8 Alex Friesen C 22 4 5 9 11 22 0.41 35 1.59 11.43%
4 Kane Lafranchise D 19 2 7 9 5 4 0.47 26 1.37 7.69%
26 Frank Corrado D 21 4 4 8 3 17 0.38 50 2.38 8.00%
37 Andrey Pedan D 17 0 4 4 0 35 0.24 27 1.59 0.00%
34 Carter Bancks RW 28 4 2 6 4 24 0.21 42 1.50 9.52%
40 Peter Andersson D 23 2 2 4 8 16 0.17 28 1.22 7.14%
2 Travis Ehrhardt D 21 1 3 4 3 16 0.19 20 0.95 5.00%
14 Mike Zalewski LW 19 1 2 3 0 4 0.16 20 1.05 5.00%
29 Kent Huskins D 13 1 0 1 0 2 0.08 8 0.62 12.50%
11 John Negrin D 14 0 1 1 2 0 0.07 10 0.71 0.00%
27 Tom Sestito LW 6 0 0 0 0 5 0.00 6 1.00 0.00%

Cal
O’Reilly remains the Comets top scorer. He is currently 24th in the league in scoring with 30 points.

The Goaltenders

Name GP Min GA SO GAA W L OT SA SVS Sv%
1 Jacob Markstrom 15 875:09:00 27 4 1.85 12 2 1 425 398 0.936
2 Joe Cannata 1 59:00:00 2 0 2.03 0 1 0 24 22 0.917
3 Joacim Eriksson 22 1311:26:00 52 0 2.38 12 5 4 604 552 0.914

Jacob
Markstrom regained top goaltender spot in the AHL with a save percentage of
.936.

The Transactions

  • No
    Transactions this week.

The Schedule

There are two games
on the schedule this week, as Utica faces Milwaukee (Nashville’s affiliate) tonight and then on
Wednesday, Utica travels to Milwaukee to face the Admirals (no, not the Norfolk Admirals) for the second half of a home-and-home set.  The Nashville organization has seen a goalie shuffle recently with Pekka Rinne out 3-5 weeks, but expect the Comets to face Magnus Hellberg and his 0.934 save percentage on the year since Marek Mazanec has been recalled to Nashville.  The Admirals have also strengthened their roster recently, as Nashville has has assigned their 2014 first round pick Kevin Fiala to Milwaukee from the SHL.

The News