Photo Credit: Cory Hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Boucher Picks Up 2 More Goals, Comets Fall 4-3 in Overtime

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #24 | Sunday, December 10th, 2017

The Comets and Bruins were right back at it today after battling to a 3-2 Bruins overtime win less than 24 hours ago. Yesterday, the Comets managed to outshoot the Bruins by a count of 36-35 but were unable to defeat the home team in overtime. Below is a link to the Post-Game Report from yesterday’s game.

There could be more roster moves coming soon, either in Vancouver, Utica, or both. The Canucks were already without Derek Dorsett, Brandon Sutter, and Bo Horvat up front before losing Sven Baertschi to a puck in the face last night.

With Baertschi now on the shelf for who knows how long, the Canucks roster will be short one man to make up a 23 man roster.

Both of Goldobin and Burmistrov watched from the press box last night, but I would imagine that at least one of them will get back in for the Canucks next game on Monday vs the Jets. That said, I can see Vancouver either calling up another forward, (hello Reid Boucher…but more likely Jayson Megna or possibly Joe LaBate), or making another trade or waiver claim to flesh out their NHL roster until they get one or more of Sutter, Horvat, or Baertschi back.

Even when healthy, it may be premature to think that Michael Chaput will be back with the Comets right away. As Jason Botchford pointed out in The Provies last night, it seems that Travis Green liked what he saw from the line of Brendan Gaunce, Chaput, and Jake Virtanen. I could see a scenario where Alex Burmistrov is either waived in an attempt to get him to Utica, or traded when it comes time to trim the roster back down in Vancouver, and Chaput sticking around for a little while longer.

Scratched for the Comets today were: Darren Archibald, (injured), Jaime Sifers, (injured), Yan-Pavel Laplante, (injured), Evan McEneny, (injured), Philip Holm, (injured), Danny Moynihan, Brady Brassart, Michael Garteig, and Mackenze Stewart.

Comets Starting Lines

36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 19 Cole Cassels – 58 Michael Carcone

24 Reid Boucher – 11 Cam Darcy – 23 Jayson Megna (A)

16 Joe LaBate – 20 Brendan Woods – 17 Alexis D’Aoust

13 Griffen Molino – 34 Carter Bancks (C) – 15 Zack MacEwen

6 Ashton Sautner – 55 Guillaume Brisebois

23 Patrick Wiercioch – 5 Jalen Chatfield

2 Anton Cederholm – 29 Cliff Watson

32 Richard Bachman

The first period picked up where the two teams left off yesterday. Its hard to believe that two teams that look so evenly matched in a game can be so far apart in the standings. The Comets have a handful of AHL rookies sprinkled throughout their lineup, and a couple of those young players would get the visitors on the scoreboard first. Alexis D’Aoust opened the scoring just 2:24 into the opening period, when he tipped a Guillaume Brisebois point, shot past Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre. For D’Aoust it was goal number six on the season, while Brisebois picked up his third helper, and second in as many games. Brendan Woods earned the other assist on the play, his first with the Comets.

The Comets had some good pressure early and got a couple of good scoring chances along the way. Jayson Megna fired a puck on net that was tipped by a Bruins defenseman, but McIntyre was sharp and made the save.

Reid Boucher kept a puck in at the Bruins blueline and fired it on the net, only to hear it ring off the bar.

Jakub Zboril would be sent off for slashing at the 8:39 mark and the Comets got their first crack on the power-play. The power-play unit of  LaBate, Darcy, and Megna up front with Brisebois and Boucher on the point couldn’t get it done. Neither could the second unit of MacEwen, Bancks, and D’Aoust with Wiercioch and Carcone.

After the power-play ended, we saw Brendan Woods rip another puck off the post as well as McIntyre making a slick pad save off of a Wiercioch point shot.

The Bruins started to get some good pressure of their own going after they killed off the Zboril minor. That pressure led to a Cam Darcy slashing penalty with just under five minutes remaining in the period.

The Comets PK units of Woods, Bancks, Sautner, and Brisebois, Hamilton, Cassels, Wiercioch, and Chatfield, along with Boucher, Megna, Sautner, and Brisebois were able to kill off the Darcy minor.

Less than a minute after the Darcy penalty expired, Jesse Gabrielle scored his first professional goal. Gabrielle’s goal was assisted by Chris Porter, who earned his second helper of the season on the tying goal. That was it for the first period.

The shots on goal favoured the Bruins by a count of 12-8.

The second period saw the Comets get into some penalty trouble early. Sautner went off for hooking just 34 seconds in. The Comets had just finished killing that penalty when Cole Cassels was sent off for slashing at 3:13. Utica would manage to kill off both penalties. Wacey Hamilton is a handy guy to have around for PK duty. It seems like he can singlehandedly kill off a good 30 seconds or so each time he is out there.

Richard Bachman was doing his part on the penalty-kill as well. The goaltender made a couple of good saves to keep his team tied at one.

Reid Boucher would show why he leads the Comets in goals when he put Utica up 2-1 at the 7:50 mark of the second period, going blocker high on McIntyre. For Boucher, it was goal number 12 on the season. Jayson Megna earned his eighth helper of the year on the Boucher goal.

One minute after the Boucher tally, Connor Clifton was sent off for clipping. The Bruins would kill off the Clifton penalty and get a power-play of their own right after when Carter Bancks took an interference penalty. Boucher was solid on the kill, skating the puck around the Bruins zone before sending a pass back into his own end to kill some time.

Chris Porter would take a slashing call as the Bancks penalty ended. It was a special teams contest in the middle frame, with neither team being able to take advantage with the extra attacker. Chris Breen for the Bruins and Joe LaBate for the Comets were the next two sent to the box, about a minute apart.

Bachman was sharp with the glove to pick off a re-direct, keeping his team up a goal.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock to end the period, the Bruins got two quick chances. Jalen Chatfield came up with a timely shot block on the first opportunity, with Bachman making a timely save on the other.

The shot clock for the middle frame favoured Providence by a count of 8-5, for a two period total of 20-13 Bruins.

It was slow going to start the third period. This was the Bruins third game in as many nights, and it showed as the period got underway. Carcone had a nice opportunity early, but McIntyre whipped out the mitt to make the save.

Chris Breen was sent off for delay of game at the 5:32 mark to send the Comets to the power-play. It took Boucher less than 30 seconds to put the Comets up 3-1. For Boucher, it was goal number 13 of the season. It’s almost like Reid sees an opportunity in Vancouver with all of those injuries. I would like to see him called up, even if that means the Comets will have a tough go with all three of he, Chaput and Goldy in Vancouver. Wiercioch with his fourth and Darcy with his 10th picked up the helpers on the Boucher goal.

Bachman was doing his best to keep his team in this one as well.

Cliff Watson was sent off for interference just 37 seconds after the Boucher goal, but the Comets were able to kill off his infraction. Bachman was the Comets best penalty-killer in this one, making saves and keeping his team up by a pair.

Unfortunately, Bachman wasn’t able to stop every puck sent his way today, as Josh Hennessy was able to beat him for his third goal of the season. Chris Porter picked up his third helper of the season on the play while Tommy Cross grabbed his seventh.

Just two minutes later, the game would be tied at three when Rob O’Gara flipped what looked like a harmless shot from the point, and somehow it eluded Bachman. For O’Gara, it was goal number two of the season. Austin Czarnik earned his 14th assist of the season on the goal, while Jakub Zboril earned his third.

The Comets need to stop giving up goals quickly in succession as they have in their last couple of games. Staying out of the penalty box might be a plan as well. Two minutes after the O’Gara goal, Michael Carcone was sent off for high-sticking. Once again, Bachman was doing his best to keep the Comets in this one, and aside from that awful goal to tie the game; he was sharp.

Cassels had a nice shorthanded chance, but McIntyre was there once again with the save. The Bruins did manage to hem the Comets into their own end for a good portion of their final power-play. However, the game would remain tied at three.

LaBate showed some good hustle and skating his way into a clearing to get a shot off in the dying seconds, but couldn’t beat McIntyre, who came up with a nice blocker save on the play. Cam Darcy was showing himself to be quite the puck hound in this game. It’s like his feet never stop moving when he’s on the ice.

Much like the game yesterday, this one would go to overtime. Sadly, also like yesterday, this game would be won by the Bruins, and quickly. Just 26 seconds into the extra frame, Kenny Agostino beat Bachman to end the game. The unassisted goal was the sixth of the season for Agostino.

That would be it for this one. The shots for the third period were even at ten apiece, bringing the game total to 31-23 in favour of the Bruins.

Today’s Official Boxscore

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Josh Hennessy. One goal.

2nd Star: Reid Boucher. Two goals

1st Star: Kenny Agostino. Game winning, overtime goal.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars

3rd Star: Guillaume Brisebois. I mentioned yesterday when I made Brisebois the CanucksArmy’s 3rd Star that I expected that points would start coming for him now that he is getting more ice time and more responsibility. Today he picked up his second assist in as many games. I honestly wasn’t sure what the Canucks had in Brisebois coming into this season, and I still don’t know. What I can see, however, is that he is a player who seems to be able to handle whatever the team throws at him. Earlier in the season, I compared Brisebois to a young Luca Sbisa, I’m not so sure that comparison holds up anymore. I am starting to see a higher upside for Guillaume.

2nd Star: Wacey Hamilton. Hamilton is a player who plays a similar game to Comets captain, Carter Bancks. I haven’t been able to see much of Hamilton this season, as he had missed an extended period with an injury, but I am impressed with his ability on the penalty-kill. He seems to be able to kill good chunks of penalties all on his own at times. Hamilton isn’t a “prospect” for Vancouver, but he is another one of those high-character leaders that the Comets have at their disposal in Utica to mentor their young players as they become pros.

1st Star: Reid Boucher. Put the man on an airplane to Vancouver already. Boucher picked up goals number 12 and 13 today, bringing his point totals to 24 on the year to match his jersey number…in 22 games. I have devoted a good amount of this space to Boucher in my previous posts. I’m not sure what more I can say about him. He has gone down to Utica and has done everything asked of him to improve his game. He is a key cog on both special teams, and when he is on the ice five on five, he stays out of the penalty box. Boucher has really picked up his physical game this season and has still only compiled four penalty minutes for the season. I would hate to see the Comets lose Boucher, but I 100% believe that he has earned another chance in the NHL.

Next Game

VS Rochester Americans

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

4:05 pm Pacific