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Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Comets Drop 6-3 Decision To Marlies To End Roadtrip

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #40

At Toronto Marlies

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

All of the information that was normally found under the Pre-Game heading in the past can now be found in the new Pre-Game post that is linked below. This will allow folks who want a somewhat shorter read the chance to skip that part. Also, since there seems to be some confusion on this, if you’d like an even shorter read, you can skip to the bottom of this post to the highlighted section that says, “Today’s Official Boxscore.” It can be found right below the third-period portion and above where today’s Comets goals are listed. There you will find a link to the AHL’s boxscore of the game.

Comets Scratches

Richard Bachman, (out for season) Olli Juolevi, (out for regular season) Jalen Chatfield, (month-to-month) Ashton Sautner, (month-to-month) Brendan Woods, (indefinite) Dylan Blujus, (day-to-day) Jagger Dirk, Colton Saucerman, Tanner MacMaster, and Vincent Arseneau.

Comets Starting Lines

34 Carter Bancks (C) – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 15 Zack MacEwen

9 Lukas Jasek – 10 Tanner Kero – 24 Reid Boucher

54 Jonathan Dahlen – 16 Brendan Gaunce – 20 Tom Pyatt

22 Jonah Gadjovich – 11 Cam Darcy – 13 Kole Lind

2 Evan McEneny – 64 Jesse Graham

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)

29 Cliff Watson – 38 Craig Wyszomirski

31 Ivan Kulbakov

33 Alex Sakellaropoulos (backing up)

First Period

This period started out at a pretty decent pace but started to slow near the end of the frame. We saw some early back and forth before Sam Gagner had a chance turned aside by Kulbakov. Kole Lind continued his strong play away from the puck with an active forecheck before Wacey Hamilton had a chance denied by goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo.

The Hamilton line was bringing a great forecheck, as is the way with any line being centred by Wacey. Zack MacEwen was looking to set up Guillaume Brisebois in close, but TheBigFella’s pass was picked off by a defender before it made it’s way to Brisebois.

Lukas Jasek was back in the lineup after a couple of healthy scratches and he was looking to stay in with some strong defensive play to break up a scoring chance in the Comets end. Guillaume Brisebois followed up with a nifty move to sidestep a hit and clear the puck from the Comets zone.

Colin Greening put the Marlies up 1-0, beating Ivan Kulbakov and giving him three goals on the season. Dmytro Timashov earned his 18th helper of the year on the play, while Vincent LoVerde grabbed his fourth.

The Marlies kept the pressure coming as LoVerde had a one-timer soaked up by Kulbakov before the netminder shut down chances from Calle Rosen and Pierre Engvall.

Tanner Kero knotted the game at one when he had a gimme for his 14th goal of the season after some great work from Lukas Jasek to make it all happen. Reid Boucher earned his 17th assist of the season on the play, while Jasek picked up his 10th helper of the year.

Just over two minutes later, LoVerde put his team down a man after being whistled for tripping at the 13:00-minute mark.

We saw a power play unit of Dahlen, Kero, MacEwen, Graham, and Boucher, as well as the second unit of Jasek, Gaunce, Lind, McEneny, and Brisebois. Dahlen had a chance tipped wide and out of play, but otherwise, the Comets couldn’t get anything going and came up empty.

Utica put on some pressure before Calle Rosen got a piece of a shot and the Comets were down 2-1. It was the third goal of the year for Rosen, while Josh Jooris earned his fourth assist of the year on the play. Jeremy Bracco was credited with his 27th helper of the year on the play as well.

Jonah Gadjovich was decked along the boards in his own end but bounced right back up before Pierre Engvall put the Marlies up 3-1 with his eighth goal of the year. The goal came after a lively bounce from the active end boards. LoVerde picked up his fifth assist of the year on the play, while Bracco grabbed his 28th.

That was it for the opening period as the Comets found themselves in a 3-1 hole on the scoreboard and a 9-3 hole on the shot clock.

Second Period

The second period went by reasonably quickly as well. Lukas Jasek hit Brendan Gaunce for a one-timer chance that was denied and we had some early back and forth.

Kole Lind let fly with a shot off the left side that was denied before he went to work in the defensive zone, doing well to track the puck in a scrum and come away with it, sending his team the other way.

The Comets had an early chance when we saw MacEwen hit Brisebois with a nifty feed before the defender dished off to Bancks for a shot that was turned aside. The captain drew a penalty on the play, however as Adam Brooks was off to the box for hooking.

Reid Boucher had a chance denied by defender Sam Jardine before a scramble broke out. Somehow, the puck stayed out of the Marlies net. The Comets would come up empty with the extra man.

Utica kept it coming, however, and we saw Kole Lind take a Jaime Sifers shot up high that felled him before the rookie popped back up, got on his horse and came back with a great backcheck on the play. Lind is coming along, folks.

Ivan Kulbakov came up with another save before Trevor Moore beat him for his 18th goal of the season. Mason Marchment grabbed this 11th helper of the year on the play, while Sam Jardine picked up his fourth. The Comets were down 4-1.

Lukas Jasek was dinged for hooking at the 10:00-minute mark and the Comets had a penalty to kill. The Marlies had some nice puck movement, but the Comets did a great job to keep them to the outside and would come up with a good kill.

The Marlies kept the pressure on before newcomer Craig Wyszomirski sent a point shot on net that was tipped. Kaskisuo came up with the save. Mason Marchment came back the other way with a shot off the left side that was steered over the boards by Kulbakov. Jooris came back with another shot off the left side that Kulbakov got a stick on.

Tanner Kero grabbed his second goal of the game and fifth in his last two after Jesse Graham put a puck on net that got a piece of him and went in. It was the 15th goal of the season for Kero, while Graham picked up his ninth assist of the season on the play and Lukas Jasek earned his 11th. Jasek had a pair of helpers on the game.

Jonah Gadjovich had a late chance denied and the Comets would head into the third period down a pair of goals. Utica held an 11-10 advantage on the shot clock in the second period.

Third Period

This third period was not what you would call action-packed, especially as far as the Comets were concerned.

The Comets did have a promising start, however as they managed to pull to within a goal just 1:40 into the final frame. Brendan Gaunce got a piece of a Jaime Sifers point shot and had his 11th goal of the season and 21st point in his 24th game. Sifers picked up his seventh helper of the year on the play.

At the other end of the ice, Kulbakov had to make a sprawling save before Jaime Sifers stood up a Marlies forward at the Comets blueline and took the puck from him. Kulbakov shut down a Carl Grundstrom chance as well before gloving down a Jordan Subban offering and holding for the whistle. The Marlies were applying the pressure.

Grundstrom redirected a shot that Kulbakov was ready for before Calle Rosen beat him for his fourth of the season. Jeremy Bracco grabbed his 29th helper of the year for a multi-point game. Chris Mueller earned the other assist for his 20th assist of the season.

Kole Lind tried his luck with a backhander off the left side that was denied by Kaskisuo while his line with Darcy and Gadjovich came with the forecheck. Guillaume Brisebois came up with a nice takeaway in the offensive zone and got a shot off that was blockered out of play by the Marlies netminder.

There was some back and forth without a whole lot happening before we saw something that we have seen so many times in Utica. Michael Carcone flew down the right side and whipped out his patented spinning backhander at speed, but was denied by Kulbakov. The Comets miss that speed that Carcone brought to the team and I don’t mind admitting that I miss seeing that move of his as well.

Kulbakov kicked out a Pierre Engvall offering before being summoned to the bench for the extra attacker with 4:11 remaining on the clock. At 15:51 Grundstrom made it a 6-3 game and this one was out of reach. The goal was the 10th of the season for Grundstrom, while LoVerde picked up his sixth.

Josh Jooris was sent off for goaltender interference at the 16:19 mark and the Comets had a power play. They kept Kulbakov on the bench for six attackers but would come up empty.

As we have seen throughout the season, Trent Cull was giving opportunities to young players to show what they can do late in a game as both of Kole Lind and Jonah Gadjovich were seen getting late minutes in this one.

The Comets would not be able to make the comeback and dropped a 6-3 decision.

The Marlies showed a 10-5 advantage on the shot clock for the third period and a 29-19 advantage for the game.

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goals

Kero (14) from Boucher (17) and Jasek (10).

Kero (15) from Graham (9) and Jasek (11).

Gaunce (11) from Sifers (7).

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Tanner Kero. Two goals.

2nd Star: Vincent LoVerde. Three assists.

1st Star: Calle Rosen. Two goals.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Kole Lind. Kole was once again playing an engaged game today. He didn’t have Vincent Arseneau on his off flank this time, instead, seeing fellow second-round-rookie, Jonah Gadjovich on the left side. Lind was active, saw time on the power play and came up with some nice plays in all three zones for the Comets today. The young forward looks to be turning a corner.

2nd Star: Lukas Jasek: Jasek is now up to 18 points in 32 games for the Comets. It was nice to see Jasek rewarded with some points today after going pointless in his last six outings. Jasek has shown the ability to play up and down the lineup and shows well when playing with top-line players. His two helpers today bring him to a 0.56 points/game pace on the season.

First Star: Tanner Kero. Kero was coming off of a hat-trick in his last game and grabbed another pair of goals today while seeing duty on both special teams. He has been the Comets top pivot all season and continues to work away on a career-year pace. He has yet to miss a game this season and is currently on pace for 63 points for the year. The Comets will need Kero to continue his play with the hopes of helping the younger players develop and give them the opportunity to grab some points while playing on his line.

Next Game

Game #41

Vs Bridgeport SoundTigers

Friday, January 11th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Nice to see Kole’s progression. Was Jasek being healthy scratched recently, which would seem odd considering he was play well before. Would be nice to see more consistency from Dahlen.

    • Jasek was actually held pointless in his previous six games prior to his recent healthy scratches. He was playing well but also playing up the lineup with Kero and Boucher for the most part. I agree, Dahlen has struggled with a consistent effort since the start of the season. That appears to be part of his growing pains while making the adjustment to the AHL.

    • I have both player’s injury situation covered in the pre-game section that is linked in the above article. Juolevi is listed as out for the regular season. Bachman is listed as done for the year. Hard to say if Juolevi will be ready for the playoffs or not, but I would not expect Bachman to be back for them. I have concerns about whether or not Bachman will be ready for the start of next season. I have no medical background, but I would imagine that an Achilles’ injury would be a tough one for a goaltender to bounce back from.

  • I know Tanner Kero is a 26 year old and thus shouldn’t really be classified as a “prospect”, but we see older players in this age range make the journey from Europe (SHL, KHL) fairly regularly. Do the Canucks have something here or is this justa career AHLer having a good year. What say you Cory?

    • I’m not sure how Kero fits in as an NHL player. He does have experience with Chicago, having played 72 games for them split between three seasons and putting up 22 points. That translates to a full season total of 25-ish points. That would have put him right between Sutter’s 26 points and Eriksson’s 23 last year. Neither of Sutter or Eriksson played a full season, so this isn’t a comparison between the three, just a gauge for reference. At the AHL level, he looks to have nice wheels, he’s responsible defensively, and can put up points. As we’ve seen with other players in the past, that doesn’t always translate to the NHL level.