Utica Comets Post-Game
At Hershey Bears
Saturday, April 13th, 2019
7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) April 13, 2019
Scratched Today For Utica
- Richard Bachman: G. Out for the season, Achilles’ injury.
- Michael Leighton: G. Out for the season, lower-body injury.
- Olli Juolevi: LD. Out for the season, knee surgery.
- Evan McEneny: LD. Out for the season, lower-body injury.
- Jalen Chatfield: RD. Day-to-day, upper-body injury.
- Mitch Eliot: RD. Healthy scratch.
- Connor Doherty: LD. Healthy scratch.
- Derek Pratt: LD. Healthy scratch
- Dyson Stevenson: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
- Mitchell Vanderlaan: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
- Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW. Healthy scratch.
Comets Starting Lines
(The first forward line/defensive pair listed started the game. Remaining lines listed in no particular order)
34 Carter Bancks (C) – 21 Brendan Woods – 15 Zack MacEwen
20 Tom Pyatt – 10 Tanner Kero – 24 Reid Boucher
16 Brendan Gaunce – 11 Cam Darcy – 13 Kole Lind
22 Jonah Gadjovich – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 9 Lukas Jasek
3 Stefan LeBlanc – 26 Jaime Sifers (A)
40 Aaron Thow – 8 Dylan Blujus
7 Brandon Anselmini – 64 Jesse Graham
35 Ty Reichenbach
33 Marek Mazanec (backing up)
The opening frame was a pretty decent one today as the teams got this one off to a solid start. The Bears have some wheels and it made for a fairly quick first period.
We had some early back and forth before newcomer Ty Reichenbach came up with an early stop on Tyler Lewington before Cam Darcy had his shot kicked out by Vitek Vanecek at the other end.
Vanecek was whistled for delay of game at the 2:43 mark when he put the puck out of play and it was off to the man advantage for Utica.
We saw the first unit of Zack MacEwen, Reid Boucher, Tom Pyatt, Tanner Kero, and Aaron Thow before the second unit of Brendan Gaunce, Lukas Jasek, Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich, and Jesse Graham tried their luck. Gaunce had a one-timer turned aside by the blocker of Vanacek for the Comets best chance. Neither group would get any traction and the Comets power play came up empty.
Devante Smith-Pelly had a glorious opportunity in the Comets end and Reichenbach came up with a dandy of a save to keep this one scoreless.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) April 13, 2019
Former Canucks/Comets forward Jayson Megna followed up with a chance of his own from the right circle that was swallowed up by Reichenbach for a whistle. The Bears were pressing and Brandon Anselmini showed some good hustle on a defensive play to break up a Hershey chance and was then blown up along the boards for his efforts.
The Comets netminder kept the saves coming with another stop on Shane Gersich before the Comets went the other way. Tom Pyatt and Reid Boucher were looking for the go-ahead goal, but Pyatt put his offering from the left circle right into the breadbasket of Vanecek. Boucher followed up with a shot through traffic that was denied and the game remained knotted at zero.
Anselmini came right back with a point shot that was turned aside and Vanecek followed up with another save and held for the whistle.
Kole Lind was dinged for interference at the 10:53 mark and the Comets had a penalty to kill. We saw two forward units take to the ice and just three defenders as Jaime Sifers likes to kill entire penalties on the regular. Wacey Hamilton and Carter Bancks were first up before Brendan Woods and Zack MacEwen took over.
LeBlanc was felled by a shot block before changing up with Dylan Blujus. Mike Sgarbossa had a shot from the left side denied before the Comets had a good kill in the books.
Boucher followed up the kill by ripping a shot off the blocker of Vanecek before Nathan Walker went the other way and beat Reichenbach from an odd angle for his 17th goal of the season. Lucas Johansen earned his 11th helper of the year on the play, while Smith-Pelly grabbed his sixth.
Lukas Jasek was looking to get that one right back but Vanecek got a blocker on his shot for another save. LeBlanc followed up with a point shot through traffic that Vanecek had trouble with, but the save was made. Tom Pyatt was denied from in close as well, as time was winding down.
Reichenbach wrapped up the opening frame by shutting down a Jusso Ikonen chance from in close and the horn sounded soon after.
The Bears showed a 10-8 advantage on the shot clock for the first period.
The middle frame was a physical one last night for the Comets and Zack MacEwen was looking to start today’s middle frame in a similar fashion when he planted Smith-Pelly with an early hit.
Vanecek followed up that hit with a solid save on Tom Pyatt and we saw some back and forth between the two clubs.
Brandon Anselmini had a chance denied from the right side before Reichenbach came up with a save on a point shot through traffic and covered up with a pile of Bears lurking for a rebound.
Bobby Nardella was sent off for a high-stick on Stefan LeBlanc and the Comets were off to the power play. Vanecek made a save early before MacEwen hit Boucher with a cross-ice feed off the rush that the Comets sniper put off the side of the net before grabbing the puck for another chance that was swallowed up by Vanecek.
Lukas Jasek let fly with a shot that Vanecek had trouble with but the save was made and the power play came to a fruitless end.
Ryan Sproul was looking to put his team up 2-0 with a hot-shot that Reichenbach was ready for and the game remained a 1-0 contest. There was more back and forth before Gadjovich had a big shot that was denied by Vanecek for another save. Gaunce followed up with a shot off the left side that was turned aside before Kole Lind knotted the game at one.
Lind walked out from behind the net, found his scoring lane and ripped his shot home for his fifth goal of the season and second in as many days. Cam Darcy picked up his 13th helper of the year on the play.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) April 14, 2019
Jayson Megna and Smith-Pelly were looking to get that one right back when they broke into the Comets end but both put their offerings off the target and the game remained tied.
Tom Pyatt was dinged for slashing at the 7:24 mark and the Comets were back to the kill. Mike Sgarbossa put a shot off the side of the net before Jayson Megna put his team up 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season. Sgarbossa grabbed his 25th assist of the year on the play, while Aaron Ness earned his 49th…49 assists!
MacEwen kept the physical play coming with another heavy hit in the Bears end before Lind set Gaunce up for a one-timer with a sweet feed, unfortunately, Vanecek was equal to the task.
Ryan Sproul was sent off for tripping at the 9:57 mark and the Comets were back to the power play. The first unit looked like they were going to tie this one up when Boucher, Kero, and Pyatt all had chances turned aside by Vanecek and the Comets came up empty again.
Brendan Woods had a chance to even things at two with a long wraparound chance that was denied as the Comets were putting on some pressure.
The Bears went the other way for a chance as Megna and Smith-Pelly were at it again. This time Megna whipped out a spinning drop pass to Smith Pelly but the winger fired his shot wide of the net.
We had some back and forth before Beck Malenstyn unloaded with a shot that was swallowed up by Reichenbach for a whistle. Can we just take a second to give Malenstyn’s folks a nod for naming their son Beck?
Tyler Lewington followed up with a wrister through traffic that was gloved down by Reichenbach for another save. The netminder was showing well in his AHL debut. The Bears kept it coming when Mike Sgarbossa broke in for a two-on-one and called his own number for the shot because Jesse Graham did great work to take the pass away. Reichenbach was ready with the save and gobbled it up for a whistle.
Johansen was dinged for a high-stick on Cam Darcy that caused the Comets forward to spring a leak…yet Johansen was given just two minutes instead of four. The power play didn’t start well when Gaunce tried his luck with a pass that was picked off and the Bears had a shorthanded chance. Reichenbach bailed out his forward but the Comets came up empty and the period came to a close with Utica down 2-1.
The Comets showed a lead of 16-9 on the second period shot clock.
When the second period was winding down, Reid Boucher took a whack to the arm and he was not on the bench to start the final frame.
So, Boucher took a whack from Walker near boards with under a minute to play in second period.
He was in obvious pain right away. Appeared to be his hand.
Recently missed time with hand injury
— O-D Comets (@OD_Comets) April 14, 2019
Without Boucher available to the coaching staff, they elected to slide Lukas Jasek up to play with Kero and Pyatt as the third got underway.
Zack MacEwen had a long shot kicked out before Aaron Thow let fly with a shot that was gloved down by Vanacek for a whistle. Kero tried his luck with a spin and fire play to follow up but was denied as well. Vanecek was having a solid game today.
I’ve been a bit tough on Jesse Graham for his defensive game at times this season but he was doing some great work on the defensive side today, showing a good stick to break up a Bears scoring chance before skating the other way with the puck. Jaime Sifers followed up with a thunderous hit that blew up the Hershey forechecker. The Comets will miss Sifers and his physical play next season.
The Sifers hit was followed up by the Bears rolling one too many men over the boards and they were penalized for the infraction. It was back to the power play for Utica.
MacEwen set up Tanner Kero with a nifty feed from the net side for a chance but Kero had his stick tied up by a defender before he could get his shot away. This was a new look power play with Boucher unavailable, so we saw Kole Lind slide into his spot. Neither unit would be able to make anything happen and the Comets power play came up empty once again.
There was more back and forth and Chris McCarthy made his way into the Comets end on a partial break but was shut down by Reichenbach before Kero went the other way with a chance that was denied. Kero, meanwhile, was dumped to the ice with no call. The Bears went back the other way and were quickly up 3-1.
It was Shane Gersich doing the damage with his eighth goal of the season. Ness earned his 50th assist of the year on the play while McCarthy grabbed his first.
Reichenbach had to come up with a save on Nardella soon after to keep his team within a pair before Gaunce set up Woods for a great chance in tight that was denied by Vanecek. That play led to a brief fight between Woods and Connor Hobbs that resulted in both men sitting for five.
With the pugilists in the box, Malenstyn was stymied by Reichenbach on a quick play in tight and the netminder followed up with another stop to keep his club in the game. It was at this time when another skirmish broke out that resulted in Jonah Gadjovich and Mike Sgarbossa each being dinged two minutes for roughing, while Cam Darcy and Tyler Lewington were each given four minutes for roughing.
The Comets brought some pressure that resulted in a Wacey Hamilton chance that was fired wide of the net before Nardella went the other way and clanged the iron with a shot of his own.
Trent Cull summoned Reichenbach to the bench for the extra attacker with roughly 1:35 remaining in the game.
Kole Lind was seeing time late as the Comets were looking to make something happen. There was a scramble play in front of the Bears net but the Comets were unable to capitalize before Lucas Johansen made it a 4-1 game with an unassisted, empty net goal.
That was it for this one as the Comets were unable to bounce back. Utica showed an advantaged of 8-7 on the third-period shot clock and a 32-26 edge for the game.
Lind (5) from Darcy (13).
The Three Stars in the building today were:
3rd Star: Jayson Megna. One goal.
2nd Star: Aaron Ness. Two assists.
1st Star: Vitek Vanecek. 31 saves.
CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:
3rd Star: Brendan Gaunce. Gaunce didn’t pick up any points today but he did manage to be the only Comets player to end up on the positive side of the plus/minus stat for the Comets. He also put five shots on goal today and played a sound game outside of his giveaway that nearly led to a shorthanded goal for Hershey.
2nd Star: Kole Lind. Lind picked up his second goal in as many games and he did it while playing on a line with Brendan Gaunce and Cam Darcy. Lind has had his share of injury issues that have stymied his chance to put up more points, but his game has come leaps and bounds from the beginning of the season when he looked out of place at times on the ice. I have no doubt that after another offseason of work that Lind will come back and be better prepared for the AHL and know what he has to do in order to have success in this league.
1st Star: Ty Reichenbach. Reichenbach put up 22 saves on 25 shots in his first taste of AHL action. It was a solid debut for the netminder even if he didn’t come away with the win for his efforts. Reichenbach made a handful of great saves and showed well for the Comets.
Vs Syracuse Crunch
Sunday, April 14th, 2019
5:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Pacific