Photo Credit: Cory Hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game Report: Comets Keep Rolling With 4-3 Win Over Belleville

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #49 | Saturday, February 10th, 2018

4:00 pm Pacific


The 27th ranked Belleville Senators, (Ottawa Affiliate), rolled into Utica today to take on the eighth overall Comets for game 49 of the season. The Senators came into the day with 44 points, while the Comets had bumped their season total to 59 points.

Belleville brought the league’s 28th ranked power-play, (13.9%), and 29th worst penalty-kill, (77.3%), into the game today, while the Comets boasted the league’s fourth-ranked power-play, (20.4%), and third-ranked penalty-kill, (86.1%).

Jim O’Brien led the Senators’ scoring race with 25 points in 48 games this season, while Jordan Murray was their blue-line leader with 15 points in 38 games. Nikolay Goldobin led the Comets’ active scorers with 30 points in 28 games, while Philip Holm was still the big cheese on the back end with 28 points in 41 games.

*Edit, Nikolay Goldobin was called up ahead of this game, but after this section was written. That would now make rookie Zack MacEwen the Comets’ active leading scorer amongst forwards with 22 points in 43 games coming into today.

The Sens were coming off a 7-4 loss to Toronto, while the Comets last played to a 2-1 overtime win over Laval yesterday. Belleville had gone 4-5-1-0 over their previous 10 games, while the Comets had gone 8-0-2-0 over the same span.

Belleville had a road record of 9-14-0-3 this season, while the Comets had gone 10-9-3-2 at home. Utica came into today having outscored their competition by a 139-130 margin, while the Sens had been outscored 184-124 this season.

The two teams had played each other just once this season in a game that the Comets won 7-1.

In other Comets related news, Darren Archibald made his season debut with the Canucks last night, and “The Gooch” made his presence felt on more than one occasion.


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

Comets Starting Lines

14 Justin Taylor – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 15 Zack MacEwen

58 Michael Carcone – 21 Michael Chaput (A) – 17 Alexis D’Aoust

44 Adam Comrie – 19 Cole Cassels – 27 Tony Cameranesi

22 David Dziurzinski – 11 Cam Darcy – 82 Andrew Cherniwchan

52 Philip Holm – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)

28 Patrick Wiercioch – 55 Guillaume Brisebois

6 Ashton Sautner – 8 Dylan Blujus

30 Thatcher Demko

First Period

I will start this off with a disclaimer. I did a radio interview during the first period of this game on TSN1040 for a Utica Comets segment with Jon Abbott, (@HockeyAbbs) and JD Burke, (@JDylanBurke) for Nation Network Radio. As such, the first-period portion of this post-game report will be a condensed version. I did actually “see” the action, but I was obviously unable to pay proper attention.

If you would like to hear what I had to say on that radio segment, you can listen in the link below. The Comets segment that I was involved in comes on around the 21-minute mark. Please bear with me during the Archibald part, I fumbled my notes and misspoke. He played 10 games before his injury, not 25 as I had mentioned.

The Comets opened the scoring in this one at the 6:30 mark when Andrew Cherniwchan scored his third goal of the season. Patrick Wiercioch earned his 13th helper of the year on the play, while Guillaume Brisebois picked up his eighth.

About a minute and a half after the Cherniwchan goal, Filip Chlapik was sent off for hooking. Cam Darcy would make him pay when he picked up his third goal of the season, beating Belleville goaltender Danny Taylor for a power-play marker. Michael Chaput earned his 12th assist of the season on the play, while Zack MacEwen grabbed his 17th.

Michael Chaput would be sent off for interference and Nick Paul would make him feel shame. Paul picked up his sixth goal of the season, beating Thatcher Demko for a power-play goal. Jordan Murray picked up his 10th helper of the season on the play, while Ben Sexton was awarded his third.

Michael Carcone would be whistled for hooking at the 14:57 mark and the Comets would come up with a good kill.

That was it for the first period. Belleville showed a 12-10 advantage on the shot clock for the opening frame.

Second Period

The second period got off to a quick start with Nick Paul getting an early shot, and Demko making an early save. Demko followed that up with another pair of saves, after which, he held on for the whistle. Max Reinhart was up next with a shot and Demko denied him as well. The Sens came out hot in the middle frame.

At the other end of the ice, Cole Cassels managed to tip a Jaime Sifers point shot but sent the puck wide of the net. Philip Holm followed that up with a shot of his own and Taylor made the save and held on for the whistle.

Comets’ newcomer, Justin Taylor blazed into the Belleville end and lost an edge, sending him hurling into the Belleville net. The net came off the moorings but no further damage was done.

Cam Darcy tried to set up Andrew Cherniwchan for a goal, sending a hot one-timer pass, but Taylor turned the Cherniwchan offering aside.

Tony Cameranesi sent a shot on net that fooled the goal judge as it clanged off the iron. The goal light went on but the officials were not fooled, immediately waving the goal off.

The puck went the other way and Jim O’Brien beat Demko to tie the game at two. The officials did their due diligence and had a look at the Cameranesi shot, but again ruled no goal, allowing the O’Brien marker to stand. The goal was O’Brien’s 12th of the season. Maxime Lajoie picked up his eighth helper of the season on the play, while Max McCormick earned his 19th.

Filip Chlapik would force Demko to come up with a pair of saves before Justin Taylor would put the Comets up 3-2. Taylor has been with the Comets since yesterday on a PTO, but this was his first game with them. Nice way to introduce yourself, Mr. Taylor. The goal was Taylor’s first with the Comets and first AHL goal. Wacey Hamilton picked up his sixth assist of the season on the play, while Philip Holm earned his 18th.

Thatcher Demko made another pair of saves before Max McCormick beat him for a goal and tied the game at three. The two goals came less than two minutes apart. The goal was McCormick’s eighth of the season, while Gabriel Gagne picked up his fifth assist of the year and Jim O’Brien earned his 15th.

It was just about a minute after the McCormick marker when Zack MacEwen got a break which led to a Ben Harpur slashing call. MacEwen would have the last laugh when he buried a chance behind Taylor for his seventh goal of the season and second point of the game. Philip Holm picked up his 19th assist of the season and second of the game, while Michael Chaput also earned his second assist of the day, to give him 13 on the season.

The two teams would have some back and forth for the remainder of the period, with David Dziurzynski scoring a goal that was waved off for goaltender interference. They would finish the middle frame tied with 10 shots apiece.

Third Period

This third period was no barn burner. The two teams managed just nine shots between them.

Demko made a save on a NIck Paul backhander early before Andrew Cherniwchan came up with a big shot block that looked like it might make him think twice about his next shot block.  Cherniwchan would shake it off and stay in the game.

Zack MacEwen dished a nice pass to Jaime Sifers for a quick point shot, but Taylor denied him. Cam Darcy caused a turnover and quickly went in for a shot, but once again, Taylor was equal to the task.

Michael Chaput was sent off for slashing at the 12:03 mark, and the Comets were back to the penalty-kill. Filip Chlapik got a shot off from the circle and Demko shut the door, then it was Demko with a blocker save off of a Jim O’Brien shot, but the Sens were not going to beat Demko for another power-play goal today.

Chaput had a nice chance as he exited the penalty box, getting a break and then making a nifty move to get past the Belleville defender, but Taylor was ready with another save.

Alexis D’Aoust continues to impress, showing that he has some defensive chops to his game. D’Aoust stole a puck from a Belleville player inside the Comets’ zone and headed the other way to break up a Belleville chance.

Patrick Sieloff was sent off for tripping at the 17:53 mark and the Comets would run the clock down to finish this one off.

The Sens would show a 5-4 advantage on the third period shot clock, and a 27-24 advantage for the day. The Comets, however, showed a 4-3 advantage on the scoreboard. That was it for this one in Utica.

Today’s Official Boxscore

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Michael Chaput. Two assists.

2nd Star: Jim O’Brien. One goal, one assist.

1st Star: Zack MacEwen. One goal, one assist.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars

3rd Star: Michael Chaput. Chaput came up big in yesterday’s game, netting the overtime winner, and he came up with a big two points today. Chaput will need to keep putting up points and he will need to shoulder a heavy load now with Boucher, Goldobin, and Archibald all up with the Canucks. Mikey Chaps now has 10 goals and 13 assists to give him 23 points in 30 games with the Comets this season.

2nd Star: Philip Holm. There isn’t a whole lot left to say about Philip Holm. The man has come across the pond and has made a heck of an impression in his first season of hockey in North America. He still needs a little work in his own end, but he isn’t far off. With his two assists today, he now has 11 goals and 19 assists to give him 30 points in 42 games. He now leads all active Comets’ players in points.

1st Star: Zack MacEwen. The big rookie is now the Comets’ points leader amongst active forwards. With his goal and assist today, MacEwen now has seven goals and 17 assists to give him 24 points in 44 games played this season. He is putting up 0.55 points per game in his rookie pro season. This is promising folks. I am hoping that the coaching staff might give him some PK duty now with Archibald, Goldobin, and Boucher called up. I think it would be great to help round out MacEwen’s overall defensive awareness, much like it has with Boucher and Goldobin this season.

Next Game

VS Syracuse Crunch

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

4:00 pm Pacific








  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    Great stuff as usual Cory, agreed give this kid every opportunity to round out his game love to see some new blood in a few years. Hope Chatfields injury isnt serious hope that kid gets a call up later as well.

  • Sandpaper

    Wish these games were easily accessible on tv. Much rather watch what we can look forward to down the road, rather than this trainwreck of senior citizens and has-beens.
    Great report again Cory.

  • argoleas

    In Holm we trust,
    MDZ trade we must.

    I think a Holm-Tanev alignment next season could work. That could allow Hutton with, say, Pouliot, on 3rd pairing, to recover his confidence.

    No MDZ, and no Guddy? A future we can believe in.

      • argoleas

        Basically, Holm, Hutton, and Joulevi fight for the 2 left positions after Edler. Assuming Holm holds one, then its Hutton vs Joulevi. If Hutton better, then Joulevi goes down. Otherwise, Joulevi takes it, and Hutton is then traded. Or Hutton is traded outright, and Joulevi just takes the spot as I dont see him competing with anyone for it.

    • Cory Hergott

      I think Brisebois has been steady all season. Between injuries and call-ups, he has been given more opportunity than I think the team thought he would get to this point and he has acquited himself fairly well. He’s another guy that will take time, but he shows glimpses of being a player. He is a no frills kind of player right now, and I think that is just fine in his first year of pro hockey.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    Nice report again. I think all the people putting hutton in the Canucks lineup next year are badly mistaken. He is a nice skater but has no intensity or natural aggression in his game. For that type of player he needs to be putting up points to be in the lineup and he doesnt. His shot is probably the worst on the team.

    • Nuck4U

      Yes his shot or finish is not good enough as an offensive force. Maybe that’s what they are trying to do with him now with the tough love lessons. Get more physicality out of his big body. Would be a decent balance to his puck moving to carve out a role going forward.

  • Nuck4U

    MacEwen’s emergence has been the best development on Comets this season. There was talk he would “Laplante” himself into ECHL as he had holes and too raw for pro game out of junior.

    The hopefuls on D need more time but that’s expected. Though Holm’s “adjustment period” progression may get him a shot on Canucks sooner then later.