Utica Comets Post-Game
At Providence Bruins
Sunday, April 7th, 2019
3:05 pm Eastern/12:05 pm Pacific
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) April 7, 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.
- Jalen Chatfield: RD. Week-to-week, upper-body injury.
- Kole Lind: RW. Week-to-week, lower-body injury.
- Tanner Kero: C. Week-to-week, concussion protocol.
- Michael Leighton: G. Day-to-day, lower-body injury.
- Colton Saucerman: RD. Healthy scratch.
- Mitch Eliot: RD. Healthy scratch.
- Brandon Anselmini: LD. Healthy scratch.
- Dyson Stevenson: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
- Kyle Thomas: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
- Mitchell Vanderlaan: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
Today’s Starting Lines
20 Tom Pyatt – 11 Cam Darcy – 24 Reid Boucher
34 Carter Bancks (C) – 21 Brendan Woods – 15 Zack MacEwen
9 Lukas Jasek – 16 Brendan Gaunce – 22 Jonah Gadjovich
18 Vincent Arseneau – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 14 Reid Gardiner
3 Stefan LeBlanc – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)
40 Aaron Thow – 8 Dylan Blujus
38 Matt Petgrave – 64 Jesse Graham
31 Ivan Kulbakov
33 Marek Mazanec (backing up)
The Comets were looking to pick up where they left off yesterday and come up with another win and they did well to get this game off to a good start.
Dylan Blujus got things going with a shot through traffic that was denied by goaltender Zane McIntyre before Zack MacEwen’s follow-up chance was turned aside as well.
Lukas Jasek managed to draw a tripping penalty on Stuart Percy at the 1:33 mark and the Comets had an early power play to work with.
We saw units consisting of Tom Pyatt, Reid Boucher, Zack MacEwen, Cam Darcy, and Aaron Thow, followed up by Brendan Gaunce, Jesse Graham, Matt Petgrave, Lukas Jasek, and Jonah Gadjovich.
The first unit saw Pyatt break down the left side with speed before putting the puck towards the net where Darcy took a stab at it, but McIntyre was ready with another save. The Comets power play came up dry.
No matter, however, as soon after, Wacey Hamilton fed Vincent Arseneau for a one-timer that quickly found its way behind McIntyre for his eighth goal of the season. That is some solid production from BigVinny. Hamilton picked up his eighth helper of the year on the play, while Stefan LeBlanc grabbed his 12th.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) April 7, 2019
Arseneau followed up his goal with a heavy hit in the neutral zone as he was looking to set the tone for this game all on his own. We were nearly seven minutes in and the Bruins had yet to put a shot anywhere close to the Comets goal.
That first shot would eventually come off of the stick of Gemel Smith as he let fly with a hot one off the right side that Kulbakov fought off for a save. Gadjovich went the other way and unloaded with a shot of his own from the left side that was gloved down by McIntyre for a whistle.
Trent Frederic nearly knotted the game at one when he rang the iron behind Kulbakov as the Bruins started to put on a little bit of pressure.
Zack MacEwen was dinged for tripping at the 13:17 mark and the Comets penalty killers went to work. Specifically, it was Hamilton, Gaunce, Sifers, and LeBlanc who got after it as that foursome played the entire kill and gave up nothing. Sifers came up with a couple of big shot blocks before Kulbakov got a glove on a Stuart Percy offering to come up with a good kill.
Once the power play was over, Kulbakov kept the saves coming as he shut down a point shot through traffic before Matt Petgrave had a point shot of his own swallowed up at the other end.
Jesse Graham was whistled for a cross-check at the 17:22 mark and it was back to the kill for Utica. That same foursome came out to start this kill, but this time they managed to get a line change after Gaunce blocked a shot and cleared the puck down the ice.
The period wound down with a Mark McNeill shot from in close that Kulbakov turned aside. The Comets were up 10-8 on the shot clock and up 1-0 on the scoreboard.
There was not a ton of flow to the middle frame and by the time it was over, the Bruins had the game knotted at one.
Jordan Szwarz had an early shot through traffic from the point gobbled up by Kulbakov before MacEwen went the other way and whipped out the moves to beat the Providence defender for a zone entry, but the play died when his pass to Carter Bancks was muddled up by a Bruins defender.
We had some back and forth before Kulbakov had to glove down a Jeremy Lauzon shot off the right side and held for the whistle. The Comets fourth line of Hamilton, Arseneau, and Gardiner followed up with a physical shift in the offensive zone.
Back in the Comets end, Sifers came up with a big shot block, as he has been known to do, before MacEwen was denied from in tight in the Bruins zone. The Comets kept it coming as Jonah Gadjovich had back-to-back chances turned aside before Dylan Blujus had his one-timer kicked out by McIntyre as well.
The Gaunce line brought some pressure of their own as Gadjovich tipped a Gaunce offering wide of the net. Wacey Hamilton’s line followed up with more pressure before the Bruins finally went the other way for a chance by Peter Cehlarik that was swallowed up by Kulbakov for another whistle.
The Comets netminder kept the saves coming when he shut down back-to-back chances from Frederic and Percy to keep his team up by a goal.
Kulbakov came up with another save on a long shot through traffic before Brendan Gaunce was sent off for a high-stick that drew blood. You know what that means…a double minor for the Comets to kill off.
Kulbakov came up with a massive save, firing out a quick leg to shut down a scoring chance from the right side before Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson beat him for his sixth goal of the season. Cooper Zech earned his fourth helper of the year on the play, while Peter Cehlarik grabbed his 24th.
We had a tie game and thanks to that double minor, the Bruins still had time remaining with the extra man.
The Comets had a shorthanded chance foiled as LeBlanc fed Bancks for a shot that was deemed offside and drew the ire of the Bruins netminder. Matt Petgrave followed up with a stiff hit to knock his man off the puck in the defensive zone to kill more time off the penalty.
Kulbakov would have to activate those quick legs once more when he denied Lee Stempniak of the go-ahead goal as the penalty expired. The Comets had another good kill in the books.
Gemel Smith would wrap up the period with a chance that was swallowed up by Kulbakov and the buzzer sounded. Providence showed an 11-9 advantage on the second period shot clock.
The Bruins came out looking like a different team in the final frame as they were putting on some pressure early. Kulbakov had to come up with a huge save early on an Anton Blidh one-timer as the Bruins came out swinging.
Zack MacEwen showed some wheels to beat out an icing call, however, the officials must have been looking in the wrong direction as they blew the play down and pointed towards the Comets end of the ice.
I mean, Zack is only six-foot-four and roughly 215 pounds and has a dark mop of hair waving behind his helmet when he is in full flight. I can see how you would miss his large frame flying down the ice and past the defender…
Reid Boucher was dinged for an early tripping penalty and the Comets were off to the kill. The Bruins were getting some chances on this power play but were putting most of their shots wide of the net. MacEwen came up with a good shot block and this kill was wrapped up and in the books.
Reid Boucher turned on the jets as he exited the penalty box and beat out another icing call, only this time the officials were in agreement.
Ivan Kulbakov was playing a pretty sound game today. He wasn’t flailing his body around as he was doing in his earlier appearances with the Comets, which was nice to see. The thing is, when Kulbakov was around earlier in the season, he seemed to get beaten by an odd goal in nearly every game that he played. This one would be no different as Paul Carey put the Bruins up 2-1 with a floater through traffic that Kulbakov never appeared to see.
The goal was Carey’s 26th of the season, while Stuart Percy and Jordan Szwarz each earned their 21st assist of the season on the play.
With 10:42 showing on the clock, we had only seen three shots on net between both teams and they all belonged to Providence.
Peter Cehlarik was sent off for a high-stick at the 9:33 mark and the Comets would have a power play to work with. This power play was a little bit on the sloppy side, but we saw Boucher set up Cam Darcy for a one-timer that was denied by McIntyre with a flash of the leather. The Comets came up empty.
Carter Bancks was looking to get his team back into this one with a heavy shot with a through traffic but McIntyre was ready with another save.
We had a bit of back and forth as the physicality started to pick up a little. Cam Darcy tried his luck with a shot that was swallowed up for a whistle before Lee Stempniak went the other way with speed, but Kulbakov was equal to the task and stymied the veteran forward.
At the other end, TheBigFella had another chance denied before Trent Cull summoned Kulbakov to the bench with 2:17 remaining. Boucher had a one-timer from the right point kicked out by McIntyre before Blidh salted this one away with an empty net goal from distance. It was his ninth tally of the season, while Paul Carey picked up his 33rd assist of the year on the play and Jeremy Lauzon grabbed his seventh.
That was it for this one as the Comets fell 3-1. Both teams were credited with eight shot over the final frame and 25 apiece for the game.
Arseneau (8) from Hamilton (8) and LeBlanc (12).
The Three Stars in the building today were:
3rd Star: Zane McIntyre. 24 saves.
2nd Star: Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. One goal.
1st Star: Paul Carey. One goal, one assist.
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:
3rd Star: Zack MacEwen. MacEwen didn’t factor into the lone goal by the Comets today, but he was showing some good hustle in this one. TheBigFella was credited with four shots on goal to tie Dylan Blujus for the lead amongst Comets players. Zack came up with a couple of blocked shots while killing penalties today and those types of plays will only help him in his pursuit of full-time NHL work next season. MacEwen has made huge strides in his game since signing with the Canucks and can be looked upon as a great example of what a young player needs to do in order to have success as a pro.
2nd Star: Vincent Arseneau. Arseneau’s job on this team is not to provide offence, but that hasn’t stopped the big winger from potting a career-high eight goals so far this season. BigVinny isn’t a guy who plays up the lineup. His role is that of a fourth line energy guy who can crash and bang and wear the other team down with a heavy, physical game and he does that job very well. The man stands six-foot-two and tips the scales at roughly 230 pounds, (according to Elite Prospects). With that type of frame and the style that he plays, Arseneau often resembles a bowling ball crashing around the ice and making life miserable for opposing players.
1st Star: Ivan Kulbakov. Sure, Kulbakov was beaten by a soft goal from way out today, but he also made a couple of very big saves to give his team a chance to win. I was quite impressed by how much the young netminder has been able to quiet down his game since he was last with the team. He still has a way to go, but it was nice to see that he has been able to adapt his game and settle down a little. That said, I also enjoyed watching him throw his body around to make those athletic looking saves, but that has more to do with how exciting it looks than with how effective that style is.
Vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Friday, April 12th, 2019
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific