CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Comets get back on track with 3-2 Shootout Win Over Rochester

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game 10 | Saturday, November 4th, 2017

The Utica Comets played their second game in as many days today as they looked to rebound after back to back losses. Thatcher Demko would not be available to the home team today, but more on that later. Today the Comets faced off against the team that beat them in an eight-round shootout loss in Wednesday’s home opener. Thus far this season the Comets have a record of 2-1 vs the Americans and they were looking to make it 3-1 in the season series.

The Americans last played yesterday, defeating the Hershey Bears 7-6 for what was their second shootout victory in as many games. The Americans exploded for six goals in the second period of yesterday’s game. We know how things went for the Comets yesterday with their 2-1 loss to the Devils.

Kyle Criscuolo came into today as the leading scorer for Rochester with 10 points in his first 10 games. Brendan Guhle was their leader on the back-end with six points in his first 10 games. For the Comets, Nikolay Goldobin has pulled ahead of Reid Boucher with 11 points to Boucher’s 10. On defense, Philip Holm and Evan McEneny were also neck and neck. Holm came into today with seven points while McEneny had six.

Before puck drop, the Comets power-play was operating at 26.7%, good for second overall in the AHL. Their penalty kill was good for 87.2%, placing them fifth overall in the league in that category. The Americans were well behind with a power-play running at just 17.2% and a penalty kill that was good for 83.6%.

Scratched today for Utica were: Yan-Pavel Laplante, Wacey Hamilton, (day to day), Cam Darcy, (week to week), Brendan Woods, (day to day), Michael Carcone, (down with the illness) and Jordan Subban.

In other roster news, Canucks goaltender, Anders Nilsson’s wife is about to give birth any day in Vancouver so Thatcher Demko was summoned to the big club in case Nilsson is suddenly called into action for the birth of his child. With Demko having played and lost his previous two games, one of them last night, he wasn’t likely to start today for the Comets anyway.

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With the Demko recall, Michael Garteig has been called up to back up Richard Bachman. In his two games this season with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL, Garteig has two victories. The 25-year-old Prince George B.C. native is sporting a goals-against average of 3.50 and a save percentage of 0.903%. Last season Garteig got into eight games with the Comets, posting a record of 0-4-1 with a 3.01 GAA and a 0.987 SV%.

It was also announced by the Canucks today that Brendan Gaunce would be recalled from his conditioning assignment after the Comets game wrapped up this afternoon.

Trent Talk

Ahead of the game today, head coach Trent Cull was asked if he was concerned about his team playing back to back games and the busy schedule ahead. His response was that his roster has plenty of players and he wasn’t concerned. He said his team needs to come ready to play every night no matter what the circumstances are.

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Comets Starting Lines

25 Darren Archibald (A) – 24 Carter Bancks (C) – 24 Reid Boucher

13 Griffen Molino – 21 Michael Chaput – 17 Alexis D’Aoust

8 Anton Rodin – 10 Brendan Gaunce – 77 Nikolay Goldobin

16 Joe LaBate – 19 Cole Cassels – 15 Zack MacEwen

6 Ashton Sautner – 5 Jalen Chatfield

4 Evan McEneny – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)

52 Philip Holm – 7 Jordan Subban

32 Richard Bachman

Cull started the game today with Darren Archibald on the left side of Carter Bancks and Reid Boucher, however, Anton Rodin took Archibald’s place after the first shift. Ashton Sautner and Jalen Chatfield were given the start on the blue line. Veteran goaltender Richard Bachman got the start in net for the second half of back to back games with the above mentioned Michael Garteig backing him up.

The first period started quickly for Bachman as he was forced to make a big save early on a two on one break for the Americans. The period would continue to move along fairly quickly, although the majority of the action wouldn’t come until late in the period. Michael Chaput was whistled for cross-checking at 8:47 of the first to send the Americans to their first power-play of the game. The Comets penalty kill did its job and kept Rochester from going up a goal as first-unit penalty killer, Boucher drew a tripping call on Steve Moses to put an early end to the Americans power-play.

The Comets were awarded a brief, two-man advantage as Barry Goers was sent off for Hooking with 35 seconds remaining in the Moses penalty. The Comets were unable to capitalize. Just three minutes later the Comets were back to the man advantage when Dalton Smith was whistled for charging. The Comets power-play showed a new wrinkle as Goldobin took the left point while Boucher set up in the “Henrik Sedin” spot along the boards. Less than 30 seconds later Boucher took a high stick in the mumbles from C.J. Smith and the Comets were awarded a two-man advantage. Just 13 seconds later Andrew MacWilliam was sent off for a slash. The Comets poured on the pressure but were unable to score. The period came to a close as Darren Archibald took an interference penalty with just 20 seconds remaining in the opening frame.

The Comets had managed just one shot on the Rochester net through the first 10 minutes but managed to close the shot gap as the first period shot totals ended up favoring the Americans by a count of 13-10.

The penalty parade continued in the second period, which made it tough to get much flow to the game. Rochester’s Adam Krause was up first, going off for high sticking 2:42 into the period. Dalton Smith was up next for slashing less than three minutes later. The Comets wouldn’t score with either man in the box.

Philip Holm would take his turn in the box just 25 seconds after Smith was whistled to start Utica’s turn on the penalty kill. Brisebois, Holm’s usual partner on the penalty kill, swapped sides and teamed up with Jaime Sifers to kill the Holm penalty.

Richard Bachman was solid in the middle frame, making a few big saves to keep his team in the game.

Anton Rodin was whistled for interference at 11:12 of the second and the Comets penalty kill went back to work. This kill is stingy and does not give up goals easily. Anton would make up for that penalty shortly after.

What looked like a Zack MacEwen tip ended up being an Anton Rodin laserbeam goal at 13:26 of the middle frame. MacEwen did earn an assist on the goal, his first helper of the season. Joe LaBate was awarded his second assist of the year on the play as well. The goal was the first of the year for Rodin.

Rochester’s Dalton Smith didn’t do his team any favors by taking a slashing penalty just 24 seconds after the Rodin goal. Nikolay Goldobin took advantage of a fortunate bounce to pick up his fifth goal of the season on the ensuing power-play. Michael Chaput picked up his third helper of the season while Philip Holm continued to add to his total with his seventh assist of the season.

Some good hustle by Goldy on the play to put the Comets up by two.

The Comets managed to really pour the shots on the Americans net during the second frame as they put a total of 20 on the Rochester net in the period.

The third period would see more special teams work as a total of five penalties were called. Kyle Criscuolo was sent off just 41 seconds in for boarding but before the Comets could mount a sustained attack, Jalen Chatfield took them off the power-play with a hooking penalty.

Chatfield’s penalty had just expired when Sahir Gill cut the Comets lead to one with his fourth goal of the season. Brendan Guhle was awarded the lone helper, his sixth.

Chaput put the Comets right back on the penalty kill two minutes later when he went off for high sticking. It took Brendan Guhle just 19 seconds to even the score at two, picking up his second goal of the season. C.J. Smith grabbed his eighth assist on the play while Steve Moses was awarded his fifth.

Nikolay Goldobin and Hudson Fasching were given coincidental minors when Goldobin’s stick got up on Fasching and he made sure the refs saw it.

There was a lot of back and forth play for the remainder of the period and the physical play picked up. Sifers, Brisebois, Cassels, LaBate, Archibald…they were all throwing the body around and making their presence felt. Chatfield was jumping up in the play and looking dangerous at times. Neither team would be able to pull ahead before the horn went to signal the end of regulation.

The three on three overtime saw Utica pour it on and dominate the control of play early but they couldn’t get much in the way of shots on net. Rochester had chances late but Bachman was equal to the task. Overtime once again solved nothing and just like when the two teams faced off on Wednesday, we were headed to the shootout.

Unlike Wednesday, this would not be an eight-round marathon shootout. This one would be solved quickly as Richard Bachman made sure that Kevin Porter, C.J. Smith, and Eric Cornel would come up empty. Anton Rodin was first up for the Comets but was unable to beat Amerks goaltender Adam Wilcox.

Wilcox had no answer for Goldobin though when Goldy came at him and snapped one past him. The Goldobin goal would stand to be the winner as the Comets got revenge for Wednesday’s shootout loss and took a three games to one advantage in the first four games of their season series with Rochester.

The final tally for shots on goal in this game favored the Comets by a 37-24 margin.

Today’s Official Boxscore

Quick Hits

  • Griffen Molino has not had a good start to his season. He has only played in six of the Comets first 10 games and hasn’t been noticeable in many of them. He has managed a total of just four shots on net over those six games as well. Part of it may be that he doesn’t play either of the special teams thus far, but he will need to start showing more than he has if he wants the Canucks to notice him in a good way.
  • Guillaume Brisebois is still feeling his way through the beginning of the season. He has twice been a healthy scratch in the first 10 games and has picked up just one point. He does show a physical side and he can skate well, but there are still mistakes being made in his own end. This is understandable with this being his first pro season, however, the team seems to have higher hopes for him than what he has to this point.
  • Jalen Chatfield is also feeling his way through. He has played in nine of the Comets first 10 games and has yet to register a point. He does, however, jump up into the play on a regular basis though and it looks as if it’s only a matter of time before the points start to come for the rookie pro.

The Three Stars in the building tonight were:

3rd Star: Adam Wilcox. 35 saves

2nd Star: Richard Bachman. 22 saves

1st Star: Nikolay Goldobin. One goal in regulation and one in the shootout.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars

3rd Star: Anton Rodin. Anton has had a roller coaster of a couple of years. He has gone from being a forgotten prospect to a Swedish league MVP, earning him another look at the NHL level. Injuries have limited his availability to play and when he has been available, its as if the team is baffled as to how/when to use him. It was nice to see him fly down the wing and rip one home for a goal today. Maybe his luck is finally turning.

2nd Star: Richard Bachman. Bachman wanted redemption today and he got it.  Bachman has played in just three games through the first 10 and has given up 11 goals. He has to be better than that and he knows it. He made big saves in each period today and gave the Comets the chance to win the game.

1st Star: Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin has been dangerous all season for the Comets and looks to be putting in the work while in Utica. Tonight he scored an opportunistic goal with good hustle and he buried one in the shootout to halt the Comets losing streak at two. He still has his defensive lapses from time to time but his game is coming along. He makes plays, scores goals and can be exciting to watch. The Canucks could use a guy like that in Vancouver….hopefully before this season has expired. Also….dude is a snazzy dresser….check the suit and slippers look that he was rockin’ on the red carpet today ahead of game time.

Next Game

VS Charlotte Checkers

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

4:00 pm Pacific