Photo Credit: Cory Hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Comets Down Laval 2-1 in Overtime

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #48 | Friday, February 9th, 2018

4:00 pm Pacific


The 27th ranked Laval Rocket, (Montreal affiliate), rolled into Utica today to take on the eighth overall Comets. Laval had 43 points coming into today’s contest, while the Comets had 57. The two teams had faced off in five games already this season, with Utica holding a four-games-to-one advantage, having outscored the Rocket 20-14 along the way.

The Rocket had the league’s 10th ranked power-play, going 40-219, to go along with the league’s worst penalty-kill, sitting 30th overall after giving up 57 goals while shorthanded 219 times. The Comets, for their part, had the AHL’s fifth-best power-play, scoring 41 times while having the man advantage 203 times this season. Their penalty-kill sat second in the AHL, having given up 29 goals while being shorthanded 212 times.

Chris Terry led all Rocket scorers with 43 points in 39 games, while Matt Taormina led their backend with 40 points in 46 games. Nikolay Goldobin led the Comets active players in scoring with 29 points in 27 games. Philip Holm led the blue-line with 27 points in 40 games.

Laval last played to a 4-1 win over the Binghamton Devils, while the Comets were coming off a 4-2 win over Syracuse. The Rocket had gone 3-7-0-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets had gone 8-0-2-0 over the same span.

The Comets had a home record of 9-9-3-2 this season, while the Rocket had a road record of 10-9-3-1. Utica had scored 137 goals this season coming into today while giving up 129. Laval had been outscored 167-137 by their opponents so far this season.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Comets made a couple of roster moves in the last week as well. David Dziurzynski and Mitch Gillam have been released from their respective PTO deals and Tony Cameranesi has been brought back on another PTO.

And just like that, David Dziurzynski is back. As I was doing my pre-game prep for today, it was announced that David Dziurzynski was coming back on another PTO, and this time he had company. The Comets have also brought forward Justin Taylor in on a PTO. I was listening to the Raincast Podcast today with Andy Zilch and KRock Rain and they mentioned that the flu was running through the Comets team and that Joe LaBate wasn’t able to practice today and his availability for the game was uncertain.

Advertisement - Continue Commenting Below

In other Comets news, we have been asking for it to happen in this space for some time, and the Canucks have finally obliged. Darren Archibald has been signed to a two-way deal and will make his season debut with the Canucks tonight vs Carolina. Not only that, but Comets’ sniper, Reid Boucher has also been called up by the big club.

Scratched today for the Comets were: Carter Bancks, (injured), Yan-Pavel Laplante, (injured), Jayson Megna, (injured), Brendan Woods, (injured), Griffen Molino, (injured), Jalen Chatfield, (injured), Evan McEneny, (injured), Joe LaBate, (illness), and Justin Taylor.

Comets Starting Lines

58 Michael Carcone – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 15 Zack MacEwen

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 21 Michael Chaput (A) – 17 Alexis D’Aoust

44 Adam Comrie – 19 Cole Cassels – 82 Andrew Cherniwchan

22 David Dziurzynski – 11 Cam Darcy – 27 Tony Cameranesi

28 Patrick Wiercioch – 55 Guillaume Brisebois

52 Philip Holm – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)

6 Ashton Sautner – 8 Dylan Blujus

32 Richard Bachman

First Period

This period kicked off with Zack MacEwen dishing to Michael Carcone for a chance but the winger put his shot high and wide. At the other end of the ice, Adam Cracknell let fly with a shot from the face-off circle and Bachman made the save and held on for a whistle. Bachman would not be busy in the first period.

Jordan Boucher broke in for a chance on Bachman, but the Comets netminder turned his shot aside.

The Comets were getting some good zone time in the Laval end, but they were not able to get much going. Jordan Boucher was whistled for tripping at the 4:04 mark and the Comets would get the first power-play of the game.

Philip Holm looked like he might do it all by himself when he went end to end for a rush, but his shot was gobbled up by Laval netminder Charlie Lindgren and he held on for a whistle. Adam Comrie looked to be setting up in the Reid Boucher spot for the one-timer, but it just isn’t the same without Boucher there.

Comrie would get a wrist shot away, but once again, Lindgren turned it aside. The Comets would find themselves going 0-1 on the power-play for the first period.

Michael Carcone continues to use his wheels, getting in hard on the forecheck and getting the puck to Ashton Sautner at the point for a shot that was turned aside by Lindgren. Patrick Wiercioch dished to Guillaume Brisebois who took a few strides in and let a shot go. Lindgren said no and held on for the whistle.

Jaime Sifers had a point shot tipped wide by David Dziurzynski before Nikolay Goldobin had a wrist shot gloved down. Lindgren was the busier goaltender in the opening frame of this one.

Zack MacEwen continues to show some physical edge as he erased Jordan Boucher along the boards in front of the Laval bench.

Ashton Sautner had a point shot tipped wide. The Rocket were doing great work blocking shots or redirecting them wide. Dylan Blujus let fly with a point shot with Carcone parked in front looking for garbage, but the puck squirted loose to the corner.

Andrew Chernichan got a quick shot off, but Lindgren denied him. Philip Holm is having a great season in Utica, but he will still make mistakes, like the one he made when he passed a puck from behind his own net right through Bachman’s crease. Luckily for Holm, no damage was done.

Michael Carcone and Zack MacEwen went the other way with a two on one opportunity, but Carcone’s pass was tipped off MacEwen’s stick.

Ashton Sautner was sent off for slashing at the 15:03 mark to send the Comets back to the penalty-kill. Former Canuck, Adam Cracknell would ring iron on the power-play before Jordan Boucher would put the Rocket up 1-0 with his sixth goal of the season. Tom Parisi earned his fourth helper of the year on the play, while Markus Eisenschmid picked up his sixth.

Zack MacEwen was using his body well in the opening frame, dishing some heavy hits when he had the chance.

Eisenschmid would be sent off for slashing at the 19:23 mark and Nikolay Goldobin would waste no time evening the score. With just 0.8 seconds remaining on the clock, Goldobin ripped his ninth goal of the season past Lindgren. Adam Comrie picked up his sixth assist of the season on the play, while Philip Holm nabbed his 17th helper of the year.

That was it for the first period. The Comets had a 13-3 edge on the shot clock, with Jordan Boucher having all three shots for Laval.

Second Period

Michael Carcone did not get the second period off to a good start for the Comets when he was whistled for tripping just 28 seconds into the middle frame.

On the ensuing power-play, Michael McCarron walked in and got a shot off that Bachman swallowed up for the whistle. The Rocket would have some good pressure but they wouldn’t be able to get anything to go.

David Dziurzynski was back with his physical brand of hockey, getting a good hit on Bret Lernout in the Laval zone. Dziurzynski will need to keep up the physical side of his game while Darren Archibald is in Vancouver.

Patrick Wiercioch got a nice wrist shot away but was once again denied by Lindgren. Adam Comrie got the puck back to Wiercioch for another shot but this one was tipped wide of the net.

Laval started to come on strong, spending a good shift and a half with the Comets hemmed in their own zone.

When the Comets finally did get out of their own zone, Tony Cameranesi got a nice wrister away that was gloved down by Lindgren before Andrew Cherniwchan let fly with a clapper that Lindgren gloved down and held for a face-off.

Kyle Baun found himself being sent off for slashing at the 11:19 mark and the Comets were back to the power-play. Michael Chaput probably had the best chance on this power-play when he tried to uncork a one-timer but saw his stick explode on contact. There was nothing doing on this Comets’ man advantage.

Shortly after the power-play ended, Zack MacEwen turned and fired the puck but Lindgren flashed the leather to make the save.

This middle frame was kind of what you call all hat and no cattle. Both teams would spend time in the other’s end, without making much happen.

Daniel Audette unloaded with a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle and Bachman was ready with a save and got the whistle. Kyle Baun let a point shot go that Bachman stopped, only to have the giant Michael McCarron get into his face. Comets’ veteran defenseman Jaime Sifers was having none of that and popped McCarron in the yap. McCarron went down like he was shot, but the refs weren’t buying what he was selling. No power-play for you big fella.

Tom Parisi got a shot off and Bachman made another save, and another crowd gathered for some more pushing and shoving. Cooler heads would prevail and the period would finish up with Laval showing a 13-5 advantage on the shot clock for the middle frame.

Third Period

So far in this game, Utica had the shot lead in the first period, Laval had the shot lead for the second frame, and they would also take the shot lead for the third period. It would be closer in the third, as far as shots go and Laval would get the first one of the period.

Eric Gelinas got a heavy shot away after a face-off in the Comets’ zone, but once again, Bachman was ready with the save. That was followed up by another turnover in front of Bachman, which gave Michael McCarron a prime chance. Once again, Bachman said no.

Nikolay Goldobin had his stick chopped out of his hands and skated to the bench looking like he was in discomfort, thankfully, he would be back for his next shift.

Cam Darcy came up with a timely shot-block that looked like it stung a little. Darcy would also be back in the game after leaving the ice looking uncomfortable.

Bachman wasn’t done making big saves in this one as he stymied Chris Leveille on this play.

At the other end of the ice, it was Lindgren’s turn to stand tall, first on a Zack MacEwen offering, and then again when Philip Holm unloaded one of his crisp wristers from the point.

Adam Cracknell and Zack MacEwen would exchange pleasantries between the players’ benches and MacEwen would find himself in the box for cross-checking.

Cracknell would get the only real chance on the Laval man advantage when he hammered a shot on net, but Bachman got a pad on it and steered it aside.

Tony Cameranesi set up Guillaume Brisebois for a chance, but Lindgren was ready with a save. Jeremy Gregoire had a point-blank chance in front of Bachman and Bachman denied him.

Back at the other end of the ice, Patrick Wiercicoh stepped over the blue-line and leaned into a shot that Lindgren got a piece of and steered to the corner. Wacey Hamilton let fly with a wrist shot from the point and Lindgren had that one too.

McCarron had a dangerous opportunity at the other end and once again, Bachman had his number.

Cole Cassels took an untimely penalty at the 16:48 mark of the third when he was whistled for high-sticking. The Comets showed why they came into the game with the AHL’s second-best penalty-kill when they shut Laval down and got this game to overtime.

The shot clock for the third period favoured Laval by a count of 12-8.


This one would end quickly as Michael Chaput took advantage of a Laval mistake and went in on a breakaway and buried his chance just 49 seconds into the extra frame. It was goal number 10 of the season for Mikey Chaps and it was unassisted.

That was it for this one. The game finished with Laval having a 28-27 edge in shots.

Today’s Official Boxscore

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Charlie Lindgren. 25 saves.

2nd Star: Michael Chaput. Game-winning overtime goal.

1st Star: Richard Bachman. 27 saves.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars

3rd Star: Nikolay Goldobin. Goldy scored his ninth goal today, a power-play marker with 0.8 seconds remaining in the first period to tie this game. He also made some pretty solid defensive plays today and spent some time killing penalties. Don’t be surprised if Goldobin is on his way back to Vancouver very soon. The parent club has lost Gagner, Gaunce and Granlund to foot/ankle injuries in the last handful of days, so why not call up another guy whose surname begins with the letter “G”?

2nd Star: Michael Chaput. Chaput made a heady play to win this one in OT, taking advantage of a Laval mistake. With Archibald and Boucher already in Vancouver, and Goldobin likely on his way there as well, Chaput will be leaned on heavily to keep this Comets team chugging along.

1st Star: Richard Bachman. The timing couldn’t be better for Bachman to be on this run of his. He has now gotten at least a point for the Comets in his last eight starts, going 6-0-2 over that span. Bachman made another 27 saves today and he was very sharp to make a handful of the saves that he made.

Next Game

VS Belleville Senators

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

4:00 pm Pacific








  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    Hey Cory what do you think the chances of Zack MacEwen getting a call up this year? Boucher is never going to make the NHL, Goldobin cant play defence and has zero trust from TG so im willing to bet hes a bust as well, and we know what Chaput is. Really interested in seeing some new blood think it could happen?

    • argoleas

      I do see him making the team next year or the one after that. My only concern for all these callups is not wanting to completely depopulate the Comets for their playoff run.

      • Ser Jaime Lannister

        Yeah good call argoleas didnt think about that, to be honest id send JV down for the playoff run maybe he can gain some confidence because he is braindead in the NHL and TG imo just cant deploy him properly.

        • argoleas

          Virtanen being sent down for the playoffs IMO is a very good idea. Let him experience something positive for a change. Obviously Boucher and Goldy will be there too. Not sure what the rules are for Archie with his new contract, but he should be there as well.

          What I found missing in Virtanen’s deployment is consistency. The kid is obviously struggling with the complexity of the NHL, and a simpler, consistent deployment would be IMO more beneficial. That to me is even more important than playing a few more minutes. I do think TG sees this, but managing an NHL roster day-to-day is effing hard. The main reason I see that TG decided it is better to have Virtanen with the main club all season is that there is just no way to get to the other side than to go through the muck. He will be better for it, and a better player next year.

          But again, some positivity from an extended Utica playoff run will be good home cooking for Virtanen.

    • Cory Hergott

      I think it would be a little early to call MacEwen up this season. I would like to see him spend another season in Utica and take on a bigger role both on and off the ice. I’d like to see him get some penalty-killing time to help his overall defensive awareness as they have done with Boucher and Goldobin. I think he could use some work on his skating still as well. I do think that he has promise and could potentially be a player in Vancouver down the road, but he will need a little time.

  • argoleas

    I know that some are clamoring for Holm and Demko to be called up, and I do expect some of that in March, when Comets schedule provides for many windows. But not too much. Holm still needs some defensive work, and I really don’t want Demko to be exposed to that crapshow in the parent club.

    • Cory Hergott

      I agree with you. I think that both of Holm and Demko have earned a look, but I would prefer Demko to be left in Utica this season. Maybe give him a brief taste of a game or two, but otherwise, I’d like to see him go on a run with the Comets. Holm, on the other hand, I would be okay with going up for a few more games. I agree that he needs a little work in his own end, but I don’t think that he is “too” far off. A good run of games at the NHL level might be just what he needs to push him to that next step in his progression. I think the Comets could survive better without Holm for a stretch than they could Demko. As well as Bachman has played of late, this is Demko’s net and he should be the one leading the team into the playoffs.

  • Fred-65

    The way Green allocates TOI better Goldobin stays in NY. Despite the truth for all to see Green is still fighting for his job ad a play-off berth, so Goldobin would warm the bench in vcr

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      i have zero hope for him making the NHL with his defensive deficiencies, being waiver fodder next year we are better off trying to package him at the deadline hes a washed up prospect at this point, along with Boucher. And i dont even wanna see Chaput again ffs!

      • argoleas

        You’re probably right, but I do smell another try (maybe starting now). Once the TDL is done with, Goldy will have his last chance to impress. I would hope it would be on a line with Boucher to maximize the use of their chemistry from Utica. And that it is an extended look.

        And if Gaudette is available before end of season, perhaps a Boucher-Gaudette-Goldy line?

        Otherwise, yes, he will be packaged if he does not earn himself a spot be end of next training camp.

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          Dont get me wrong im rooting hard for some of these guys too make it for the sake of our rebuild, really dont want too see us set back further… As for Gaudette im not sure how hell be deployed, feel like TG might deploy him with Sutter for a while as a shutdown guy thats my hunch.