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Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Comets Drop 5-4 Shootout Decision in See-Saw Battle with Bridgeport

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #23

Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Utica Comets

Friday, December 6th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

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Post-Game

Scratched Today For Utica

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  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Upper-body injury, week-to-week. AHL deal.
  2. Dylan Blujus: RD – Lower-body injury, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  3. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Nikolay Goldobin: LW/RW – Healthy scratch, in transit. NHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  6. Tanner Sorenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal

Comets Starting Lines

(First line/defence pair listed started the game. The remainder are in no particular order)

95 Justin Bailey – 19 Carter Camper – 13 Kole Lind

47 Sven Baertschi – 17 Seamus Malone – 24 Reid Boucher (A)

21 Jonah Gadjovich – 9 Lukas Jasek – 27 Francis Perron

18 Vincent Arseneau – 34 Carter Bancks (C) – 26 Dyson Stevenson

48 Olli Juolevi – 6 Ashton Sautner (A)

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 25 Brogan Rafferty

3 Stefan LeBlanc – 52 Mitch Eliot

31 Zane McIntyre

32 Richard Bachman (backing up)

First Period

The opening frame saw some back and forth action as both teams had some quality chances and both came away with a goal for their efforts.

Zane McIntyre was back in action today and he stopped a bouncer from the point early and held for the whistle. The Comets went back the other way and Brogan Rafferty let fly with a long shot that was kicked aside by netminder Jared Coreau.

Parker Wotherspoon was dinged for holding at the 1:17 mark and Utica had an early power play to work with.

Justin Bailey, Sven Baertschi, Reid Boucher, Kole Lind, and Brogan Rafferty kicked things off and we saw a Boucher offering swallowed up by Coreau before the second unit of Carter Camper, Francis Perron, Jonah Gadjovich, Mitch Eliot, and Olli Juolevi took over.

The second unit had a tough time getting set up and gave up a shorthanded chance to Jeff Kubiak that was denied by McIntyre. The Comets came up empty.

The Wotherspoon penalty had barely wrapped up when Carter Bancks was sent off for hooking and the Comets had a penalty to kill. Nick Schilkey had an early chance turned aside, as did Sebastian Aho as the foursome of Bailey, Baertschi, Juolevi, and Sautner were working the kill. Juolevi came up with a shot block and Sven came up with the clear. The Comets had a good kill in the books.

We had some back and forth before McIntyre smothered a chance from Kubiak at the side of the net. Soon after, Justin Bailey was fingered for tripping and it was back to the kill for the Comets.

Jasek, Bancks, Juolevi, and Sautner started things off and we saw Jasek poke the puck past his man and break in for a shorthanded backhander that was turned aside by Coreau. Brisebois, Baertschi, Boucher, and LeBlanc took over before the first group came back out to steer this one home.

Andrew Ladd, yes he of the Loui Eriksson-esque salary, was sent off for elbowing at the 10:16 mark and it was back to the power play for the Comets. Power play one started things off and had some nice puck movement, but couldn’t make anything happen. The second unit took over and they came up empty as well

The Sound Tigers pressed, Brisebois coughed up the puck and McIntyre had to come up with a save on Tom Kuhnackl with some help from Ashton Sautner.

Vinny Arseneau was sent off for a cross-check at the 13:09 mark and the Comets had another penalty to kill. I know that Bridgeport has a dog of a power play, but there’s no point giving them a chance to get it going with all of these penalties.

Bailey, Jasek, Juolevi, and Sautner starting things off and allowed Schilkey a chance through traffic that was handled by McIntyre before Boucher and Bancks jumped over the boards. Boucher turned on the jets for a shorthanded chance but Coreau was equal to the task. The Comets came up with another good kill.

Lukas Jasek set up Jonah Gadjovich for a chance that was denied before Coreau shut down Jonah’s next chance as well.

On the ensuing faceoff, Carter Camper won the draw to Guillaume Brisebois who let fly with a Breeze-Bomb that he put through Coreau for his second goal of the season. Camper grabbed his 11th helper of the year on the play.

The Comets kept it coming as Seamus Malone fired a shot off the shoulder of Coreau before Bode Wilde went the other way with a shot from the point that was swallowed up by McIntyre for the whistle.

Matt Lorito was the beneficiary of a board battle between Sautner and Colin McDonald when it resulted in a loose puck squirting to him. He grabbed the biscuit, danced in and walked Olli Juolevi, as the rookie defender zigged when he should have zagged, and beat McIntyre for his seventh goal of the season with just under a minute and a half left in the period. McDonald picked up his sixth assist of the season on the play.

This time it was Bridgeport who kept the pressure on as Rafferty lost the puck to Oliver Wahlstrom and McIntyre had to come up with a late save.

Sven Baertschi was dinged for roughing at the 19:08 mark and the Comets would finish the opening period down a man.

Bridgeport showed an 11-8 advantage on the shot clock for the opening frame.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

The middle frame saw more of that back and forth action, but the Comets looked flat and sloppy at times. Baertschi was still in the box to start the second period and we saw Jasek and Bancks start the kill off up front with Juolevi and Saunter there to help out.

Bailey, Boucher, Brisebois, and LeBlanc took over and McIntyre had to come up with a save before the Comets came up with a good kill.

Bailey and Boucher followed up the kill with a two-on-one that saw Coreau deny the Bailey chance before the Sound Tigers took the lead on a Nick Schilkey marker. The goal was the fourth of the season for Schilkey, while Mason Jobst picked up his third helper of the year on the play. This time, it was rookie defender Mitch Eliot who was taken advantage of on the Sound Tigers tally.

 

A little over a minute later, Kyle Burroughs was sent off for interference and the Comets had a chance to even things up with the extra man.

Baertschi had an early opportunity denied before Jobst went in shorthanded with Tom Kuhnackl but McIntyre was ready with the save. The first unit couldn’t make anything happen, but the second unit wasted no time.

Jonah Gadjovich absolutely hammered one top cheese past Coreau for his fifth of the season after Olli Juolevi set him up. The assist was the sixth of the season for Olli, while Sven Baertschi earned his 11th.

The secondary assist was credited as Frankie Perron’s 12th helper of the season at the time of this writing, but as he wasn’t on the ice when the goal was scored, and you can very clearly see Sven make the pass to Juolevi, I’m gonna go with my gut on this one and say it is Sven’s 11th.

Sven got the assist on the play, but two minutes later, he was sitting in the penalty box after being whistled for a ticky-tack tripping call.

Carter Camper and Reid Boucher started the kill off with Juolevi and Sautner before Jasek, Bancks, Brisebois, and LeBlanc took over.

Lukas Jasek has been doing great work on the Comets PK this year and that didn’t change on this kill as he forced a turnover and went the other way for a shorthanded chance that didn’t go.

Oliver Wahlstrom went back the other way with a shot off the shoulder of McIntyre as the Comets wrapped up the kill with Camper, Boucher, Juolevi, and Sautner. The Comets had another good kill in the books.

Bridgeport kept it coming as McIntyre had to steer aside a shot through traffic before kicking aside the one-timer that followed. The Sound Tigers were pressing and had the Boucher, Baertschi, Malone line hemmed in their own end for what seemed like a week before Grant Hutton danced in and beat McIntyre for his second of the year to put the Tigers up 3-2.

The goal was Hutton’s second of the season, while Mason Jobst picked up his fourth helper of the year on the play and Sebastian Aho earned his 11th.

Bridgeport didn’t let up as Kieffer Bellows used a burst of speed to get a good shot away, but McIntyre’s leg was quicker and he made the save.

This game was being closely watched by the officials as evidenced by the 10 penalties called, but the stripes somehow missed Frankie Perron taking a stick in the mumbles. No matter as Frankie wouldn’t miss a shift.

Guillaume Brisebois had a pretty sweet goal to open the scoring in this game and that was in big part to him getting his shot away quickly. He tried that tact again with a quick shot from the point, but Coreau was there with the blocker save.

We saw some sloppy back and forth from both clubs before Gadjovich came up with a nice takeaway at the offensive blueline and hit Perron with a pass. Perron sent a nifty feed to Rafferty, who had his offering swallowed up by Coreau for the whistle.

It looked at this point like Trent Cull was happy to use Mitch Eliot as a power-play option, but the defensive end of the bench looked like it was being shortened a bit as Eliot was parked and LeBlanc was seeing his time split between Rafferty and Brisebois. Some of this may have been due to the special teams work as well.

Olli Juolevi was playing his first game after missing the previous eight with a hip ailment, but he didn’t miss a beat when it comes to those sweet, sweet stretch passes that we saw him dishing at the start of the season. He used one to spring Boucher, but the Comets sniper ripped his shot off the arm of Coreau.

At the other end, Jobst tried his luck with a shot from the right side that was denied by McIntyre.

It looked like the Sound Tigers would be taking a 3-2 lead into the third period until Justin The Jet Bailey used his wheels to get in behind the Bridgeport defence and beat Coreau for his seventh goal of the season. Carter Camper grabbed his 12th helper of the year on the play, while Kole Lind picked up his 13th. Bailey has four points in his last three games, while Camper, for his part, has put up 10 points in his last seven.

Bailey looked like he might just bury another before the period ended, but Coreau was there with the save at the buzzer. Bridgeport showed an 11-9 advantage on the shot clock for the middle frame.

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

The third period would see each team grab a goal… which, if you’re even remotely decent at math will tell you that this one was going to need at least the extra frame to solve. If you read the lede, you will know that we saw this one go to the shootout.

Zane McIntyre was the busier of the two netminders today as he posted 36 saves in a losing effort. One of those saves came early on a Tyler Wotherspoon chance that was gloved down by the Comets netminder.

After a little bit of back and forth, Olli Juolevi ripped a shot off the iron.

Bode Wilde must not like iron, because he was soon sent off for holding and the Comets had another power play to work with. Seamus Malone was dinged up during the delayed penalty call and he headed down the tunnel with what looked like a right leg injury. Seamus would miss some shifts but he eventually returned to finish the game.

Side-bar… Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the Comets need to brew up a buddy-cop movie starring Seamus Malone and Brogan Rafferty? Two 1970’s era hard-nosed cops trying to crack the big case. I think there’s something there to work with.

Getting back to the game…

With the Comets on the power play, Kole Lind let fly with a shot that Bailey got a piece of before Coreau gloved it down. Juolevi kept it coming with a shot from the high slot that Gadjovich redirected. There was a scramble in the Bridgeport crease but the puck stayed out.

Olli followed up with a one-timer feed to Eliot for a bomb of a shot that Coreau turned aside as well. The Comets power play couldn’t break through.

The fourth line was looking to build some momentum with some pressure in the Bridgeport zone before the Sound Tigers went the other way and McIntyre had to come up with a scrambling save. One of Rafferty or LeBlanc followed up by pulling the puck off the goal line to keep the game knotted at three.

That wouldn’t be the only time a Comets skater would bail McIntyre out in that fashion today.

It wasn’t long after when Bellows walked out of the corner, outhustled Jasek and beat McIntyre for his fourth of the season. Matt Lorito picked up his seventh assist of the year on the play, while Aho grabbed his 12th.

It took Ridiculous Reid Boucher less than a minute to get that one back and knot the game at four when Sven Baertschi stole the puck and set him up for his 16th goal of the season. Sven earned his 12th helper of the year on the play.

Seamus Malone was back out and ready to play after the Boucher marker and we saw McIntyre come up with a save at the side of his net before Brogan Rafferty came up with a nice takeaway and cleared the puck out of the zone.

Ashton Sautner has been somewhat less physical over his most recent handful of games, but he blew up Andrew Ladd with a board shaker in the defensive zone. It wasn’t long after this play when Carter Camper bailed out McIntyre by pulling the puck off the line after the Comets netminder was beaten and the puck danced on the line.

Wotherspoon let fly with a point shot that McIntyre waved aside with his blocker before Juolevi came up with a block on a Bellows play. Travis St. Denis followed up with a shot from the right circle that was kicked aside by McIntyre before the Comets netminder made a sprawling save on Bellows.

Bridgeport kept their foot on the throttle as McIntyre had to come up with another big save before LeBlanc was dinged for hooking at the 14:47 mark.

Nick Schilkey let fly with a one-timer that was denied and Carter Bancks made a nice play to clear the zone for the Comets.

Jasek and Boucher looked like they might have a late chance at a shorthanded marker when Jasek sent Boucher in but his shot was denied by Coreau. The Comets would come up with a good kill.

Utica applied some late pressure as Malone sent Boucher in for a shot off the left side that Coreau was ready for and we would need the extra frame… and then some, to decide this game.

Bridgeport showed a 15-9 advantage on the shot clock for the third period and a 37-26 advantage to this point in the game.

Your third-period shot map:

Overtime

The extra frame had some pretty decent action as we saw eight shots on net between the two clubs.

The Comets started things off with the trio of Camper, Bailey, and Sautner and we saw Bailey get in for a chance in tight before his stick was lifted at the last second.

Boucher, Baertschi, and Rafferty followed up and McIntyre was forced into a save before Boucher let fly with a shot of his own at the other end with Baertschi shovelling away for a garbage goal. Coreau said no.

Juolevi, Lind, and Jasek were up next and Olli teed up a one-timer for Lind but Coreau flashed the leather. Matt Lorito went the other way with speed and McIntyre had to come up with a stick save.

Juolevi followed up with some great work to keep Bellows to the outside as he was trying to drive to the net to make a play.

Perron, Brisebois, and Bailey climbed the boards and Brisebois used a nifty feed from Perron to make a drive to the net that was shut down by Coreau with another save. Brisebois looked confident in his offensive game today.

Baerstchi and Perron swapped out and we saw Sven set Bailey up for a chance that went off the glove of Coreau before Sautner and Boucher joined Sven.

Oliver Wahlstrom had a shot turned aside from the left side before Malone, Lind, and Rafferty took over. That trio couldn’t get things done and we saw Bailey get a backhander away that was denied and the overtime frame came to a close.

Utica outshot the Sound Tigers 5-3 in overtime.

Your overtime shot map:

Shootout

  1. Matt Lorito – no goal
  2. Sven Baertschi – no goal
  3. Oliver Wahlstrom – Game-winning goal.
  4. Kole Lind – No goal
  5. Andrew Ladd – No goal
  6. Reid Boucher – No goal

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goals:

  1. Guillaume Brisebois (2) from Carter Camper (11)
  2. Jonah Gadjovich (5) from Olli Juolevi (6) and Francis Perron (12). PP goal. *secondary assist will be changed to Sven Baertschi (11) eventually*
  3. Justin Bailey (7) from Carter Camper (12) and Kole Lind (13)
  4. Reid Boucher (16) from Sven Baertschi (12)

Special Teams:

Power Play: 1/4

Penalty Kill: 6/6

PP1: Baerstchi, Bailey, Boucher, Lind, Rafferty.

PP2: Camper, Gadjovich, Perron, Eliot, Juolevi.

Penalty Killers: Bancks, Jasek, Bailey, Boucher, Camper, Baerstchi, Juolevi, Sautner, Brisebois, LeBlanc.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Matt Lorito. One goal, one assist.

2nd Star: Carter Camper. Two assists.

1st Star: Oliver Wahlstrom. Shootout winner.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:¬†

3rd Star: Guillaume Brisebois/Brogan Rafferty.¬†This pairing is sharing the third star. Brisebois looked as confident as I’ve seen him on the offensive side of things today. His goal was the result of him getting his shot away quickly and being in the right lane to do so. He was credited with three shots on goal as well. For his part, Rafferty played another solid game and was credited with four shots on goal of his own. Both defenders coughed up the puck today, but both did far more on the positive side to help their club earn a point today.

2nd Star: Zane McIntyre. It’s hard to imagine giving a star to the man who allowed five goals today, and to be honest, when the game went to the shootout, I had more confidence in Coreau than McIntyre, but Zane made several big saves today and finished with 36 to help his team earn a point.

1st Star: Carter Camper. The small, skilled pivot grabbed another pair of helpers today and is now up to two goals and 12 assists to give himself 14 points in 15 games with the Comets this season. Camper has been a mainstay on the second power-play unit and has recently started to see time on the penalty kill in Utica as well. The veteran center has done solid work for the Comets this season and gives the team a capable playmaker who can help young players like Kole Lind make their way in the league this season.

Next Game

Game #24

Utica Comets at Providence Bruins

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific