Utica Comets Post-Game Report
At Rochester Americans
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) March 13, 2019
Scratched Today For Utica
- Richard Bachman: G. Out for the season, Achilles’ injury.
- Olli Juolevi: LD. Out for the season, knee surgery.
- Evan McEneny: LD. Out for the season, lower-body injury.
- Reid Boucher: W. Week-to-week, upper-body injury.
- Wacey Hamilton: F. Week-to-week, upper-body injury.
- Tom Pyatt: W. Week-to-week, concussion.
- Dylan Blujus: RD. Week-to-week, hand injury.
- Colton Saucerman: RD. Healthy scratch.
Comets Starting Lines
(in no particular order)
16 Brendan Gaunce – 21 Brendan Woods – 13 Kole Lind
34 Carter Bancks (C) – 11 Cam Darcy – 28 Kyle Thomas
9 Lukas Jasek – 10 Tanner Kero (A) – 15 Zack MacEwen
22 Jonah Gadjovich – 14 Reid Gardiner – 18 Vincent Arseneau
38 Matt Petgrave – 5 Jalen Chatfield
7 Brandon Anselmini – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)
3 Stefan LeBlanc – 64 Jesse Graham
33 Marek Mazanec
49 Michael Leighton (backing up)
The opening frame went by pretty quickly in this one, but neither team would manage to score a goal.
Marek Mazanec has yet to win a game for the Comets since coming aboard. In fairness to him, he has only played twice for the team this season. He did, however, manage to come up with a big save early, even if he wasn’t sure if he made it at first.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) March 13, 2019
The Comets went the other way and we saw Amerks netminder Scott Wedgewood shut down a Zack MacEwen offering before gloving down the next chance from Brandon Anselmini. Kyle Thomas followed up with a shot of his own that was kicked aside by the Rochester goaltender.
We saw some back and forth before Matt Tennyson snuck a point shot through traffic that Mazanec was wise to before the Comets netminder gobbled up the followup chance as well.
The Reid Gardiner line had a good shift in the offensive zone that saw Jonah Gadjovich get a shot away from the left side that was stopped by Wedgewood.
Lukas Jasek and Zach Redmond collided and Redmond looked to get the worst of it as he spent the remainder of his shift slumped over and moving slowly, but he would stay in the game.
Brendan Woods came up with a heavy hit in the offensive zone and promptly took an undetected stick in the mumbles for his efforts.
In the defensive zone, Jaime Sifers showed great body and stick placement to push Taylor Leier off the puck and took away his scoring chance. Mazanec followed up by gloving down a floater and he held for the whistle.
Reid Gardiner would send the Comets to the penalty kill at the 12:03 mark when he was dinged for hooking.
We saw PK units of Woods with Bancks, Sifers, and LeBlanc followed up by Cam Darcy with Brendan Gaunce up front. Jalen Chatfield and Jesse Graham finished out the kill on the backend. Mazanec had to steer aside a shot from Danny O’Regan and the Comets had a good kill.
Lukas Jasek showed great work along the boards in the offensive zone…stop me if you’ve heard that before. The rookie winger forced a turnover to regain possession for his team, but the Comets were unable to take advantage.
In the Comets end of the ice, a brief melee broke out after Jonah Gadjovich took a hit to the numbers from Eric Cornel. Jaime Sifers decided that he wasn’t a fan of the hit and let Cornel know. After the smoke had cleared, Gadjovich was off to the room, Cornel was given five and a game for his actions, and Jaime Sifers sat for two minutes for roughing. Thankfully, Gadjovich would return.
Brendan Gaunce had a chance from in close during the four aside play that followed but was denied by Wedgewood. While on the power play, Brendan Woods had a chance from the left circle denied before Gardiner and MacEwen were both shut down as well.
Kole Lind showed a slippery side when he danced past an Amerks defender to get in the offensive zone but was unable to make anything happen.
That was it for the first period. The Amerks showed a 9-7 advantage on the shot clock.
The middle frame ended with the same score as the first, and the shots on goal were not all that far off either.
The Comets had the briefest of power plays to work with to kick off the period and they came up empty with the extra man.
We saw an early collision between Zack MacEwen and Dalton Smith as the physicality picked up in this one. Kole Lind did some great work to muscle the puck to the net in the offensive zone, but the rookie winger was unable to come up with a goal for his efforts.
Jalen Chatfield got a nice shot away from the right point that Wedgewood was ready for and we had some back and forth between the two clubs. Reid Gardiner teed up a one-timer for Jonah Gadjovich, but Wedgewood was ready for that one as well.
At the other end of the ice, Mazanec kicked aside a point shot from Zach Redmond before Vincent Arseneau bowled over his man in the offensive zone. That manoeuvre led to Matt Petgrave setting up a Reid Gardiner chance, but once again, Wedgewood was equal to the task.
MacEwen followed up with a shot from the left circle, but Wedgewood said, no.
Brendan Gaunce was dinged for interference at the 6:47 mark and the Comets had their first of three penalties to kill off in the period. Kill it they did as Rochester was unable to muster a shot on net.
Chatfield came up with a solid hit to separate Kyle Criscuolo from the puck in the defensive zone before the Comets went the other way. Lind tried to feed Gaunce through a maze of feet, but the pass didn’t go. Jesse Graham, however, did get a shot away but was denied by the Amerks netminder.
At the other end, Lawrence Pilut let fly with a shot off the left side that Mazanec steered aside for another save. The Comets netminder followed up with another save on a Zach Redmond point shot and the game remained knotted at zero.
Cam Darcy took the next penalty, this time for slashing, and the Comets PK went back to work. Once again, the Comets did great work on the kill and came away unscathed. It was at this point that it was noticed that Jonah Gadjovich hadn’t been seen for a bit and we had some line juggling by the Comets. Gadjovich’s game was over and the Comets lost yet another player to injury. Let’s hope Jonah won’t be out for too long.
Jaime Sifers ripped a point shot through traffic, but Wedgewood was ready with yet another save. The Amerks decided to put on some pressure in the late going and it led to a Lukas Jasek holding penalty to close out the period.
The Amerks would ding one off the post and the Comets came up with their third-straight kill.
That was it for the middle frame. The Comets showed a 10-7 advantage on the shot clock for the second period.
The final frame could have gone better for the Comets. The team ran into some penalty problems and could not do much to muster any offence.
The team lost the game, but they did have some decent moments.
Zack MacEwen came up with an early shot block that led to him breaking in and getting a backhander away while wearing Lawrence Pilut like a cape. Wedgewood, however, played the part of superhero when he came up with the save.
Jesse Graham followed up with a shot of his own that was kicked out by the Rochester netminder before Jalen Chatfield did great work at the other end to break up a scoring chance.
Matt Tennyson was dinged for a high-stick at the 4:51 mark and the Comets had a chance to get their power play back on track. MacEwen unloaded with a one-timer that he sent wide of the net and Lind set up Jasek for a chance that was denied before Brandon Anselmini let fly with a shot that was gobbled up.
The Comets came up empty.
Kyle Thomas was back in the lineup today and he got a wrister away that was denied by Wedgewood and we settled into some back and forth for a few shifts.
CJ Smith took advantage of a delayed penalty to the Comets and beat Mazanec for his 22nd goal of the season to put his team up 1-0. Victor Olofsson earned his 29th assist of the season on the play, while Rasmus Asplund picked up his 24th. Those pesky penalties were biting the Comets once more.
Brendan Gaunce followed up the Smith goal with a shot that was denied by Wedgewood before Zach Redmond was sent off for holding.
Redmond was in the box for just over a minute when Matt Petgrave decided that he wanted to take a seat as well after he was dinged for tripping. We saw Mazanec glove down a Remi Elie shot during the four aside play before the Amerks power play kicked in.
The Comets did more good work on the kill and came away unscathed.
Kole Lind continued to show some playmaker’s mitts when he dished a nifty feed from behind the Amerks net to a waiting Brendan Gaunce. Unfortunately, Wedgewood was also waiting and made the save in close.
Taylor Leier took advantage of a turnover and had a clean breakaway to beat Mazanec for his 19th of the season. Andrew Oglevie picked up his fifth assist of the season on the play and the Comets were down 2-0 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.
Matt Petgrave must have told Jaime Sifers that he left a plate of chicken riggies in the penalty box for him because the veteran defender headed off for tripping just 18 seconds after the Leier goal. Cam Darcy fired a puck into the glove of Wedgewood, getting an offensive zone faceoff on the kill before Taylor Leier was dinged for roughing and we had some four aside play.
Darcy came back in with another shot from an odd angle and the save was made. A brief scrum ensued but cooler heads would prevail before any penalties were assessed.
Olofsson took the puck to the Comets net and Mazanec came up with another save before Jesse Graham was dinged for holding. Enough with the penalties already, fellas.
The resulting action saw some back and forth as Mazanec had to shut down an Olofsson offering at one end before Gaunce had a shorthanded chance denied at the other.
Zach Redmond came back the other way and had his chance off the rush denied. Tennyson followed up with a wrister that was denied by the blocker of Mazanec for another save.
Sifers exited the box and Tennyson was denied on his next shot as well. Mazanec came up with another save in tight on Andrew Oglevie before Stefan LeBlanc was sent off for slashing at the 17:21 mark. It took until just the 17:29 mark until the Amerks were up 3-0.
This time it was Olofsson doing the damage with his 24th goal of the season. CJ Smith picked up his 28th helper of the year on the play, while Wayne Simpson grabbed his 18th. Another power play goal scored against the Comets.
Zack MacEwen tried to get that one right back with a shot off the right side, but Wedgewood flashed the leather for another save.
Rasmus Asplund was whistled for slashing at the 19:18 mark and the Comets would finish the game up a man. They also summoned Mazanec to the bench for the extra attacker.
I think Lukas Jasek had a late chance, but it is kind of hard to say because rather than showing us the actual play happening on the ice to finish the game, AHLTV was showing us some fancy graphics to announce the Olofsson goal instead.
That was it for this one as the Comets playoff hopes took another kick in the…face.
Rochester showed a 13-11 advantage on the third period shot clock, while the Comets led the game by a count of 30 shots to 27.
The Three Stars in the building today were:
3rd Star: Victor Olofsson. One goal, one assist.
2nd Star: CJ Smith. One goal, one assist.
1st Star: Scott Wedgewood. 30-save shutout.
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:
3rd Star: Nope
2nd Star: Nope
1st Star: Nope
Kole Lind. No player really had a star worthy game today for the Comets in my opinion. That said, I did see some nice things from Kole Lind at times again. Lind dished a couple of nice passes today and showed some confidence with a little how’s she goin’ to dance past a defender in the offensive zone.
Jalen Chatfield. Jalen has had some tough luck since breaking his foot earlier in the season. He’s had some bad bounces where pucks have gone in off of him, he’s turned over the puck a few more times than I’m sure he’d like to admit, and he’s had a revolving door all season on his left side since Olli Juolevi went down with his season-ending knee injury. Chatfield had a good game today. He was not on the ice for any even strength goals and he did some very nice work in his own end. With Ashton Sautner playing his 10th game for the Canucks tonight, he will not be able to return to Utica this season without having to clear waivers first. I can’t see the Canucks risking that at this point, so players like Chatfield will need to step up in his absence.
vs Springfield Thunderbirds
Friday, March 15th, 2019
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific