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Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Richard Bachman Makes 41 Saves as Comets Fall 3-2 in Shootout Loss to Providence

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #24

Utica Comets at Providence Bruins

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

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Scratched Today For Utica

  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. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Tanner Sorenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  6. Zack MacEwen: RW – Healthy scratch, (in transit). NHL deal.
  7. Nikolay Goldobin: LW/RW – Healthy scratch, (in transit). NHL 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

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21 Jonah Gadjovich – 9 Lukas Jasek – 27 Francis Perron

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

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

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 25 Brogan Rafferty

48 Olli Juolevi – 6 Ashton Sautner (A)

4 Josh Teves – 3 Stefan Eliot

32 Richard Bachman

31 Zane McIntyre (backing up)

First Period

Richard Bachman was making his first start of the season today and with 16 saves in the opening frame, he was takin’ care of… nah, I can’t do it.

Bachman had to be sharp early on with a pair of saves on Urho Vaakanainen and Peter Cehlarik before coming up with another save on a shot from the right side.

At the other end of the ice, Josh Teves was also back in and he was looking to make an impression on the offensive side when he let fly with a shot that was redirected by Vincent Arseneau. Dan Vladar was there with the save.

After some back and forth we saw the Carter Camper line come with some good pressure in the offensive zone.

You don’t see him do it often, but Dyson Stevenson was feeling his oats when he whipped out the how’s she goin’ to get around his man but the Shaunovan Slugger couldn’t get his shot through.

Alex Petrovic could get his shot through, however, but Richard Bachman was there with the save. Jeremy Lauzon followed up with a shot from a faceoff win through traffic and Bachman came up with another save.

At the other end of the ice, Sven Baertschi got a backhander away that was turned aside by Vladar before Bachman shut down Jack Studnicka in the Comets end.

Jonah Gadjovich took a hard ride into the boards on a rush play and skated slowly to the bench. He would stay in the game.

The Comets were looking for some offence and Josh Teves was looking to provide it with a floater that was stopped before a brief scrum ensued.

The Bruins were plugging up the neutral zone and the Comets were having a difficult time breaking out of their end. Bachman had to come up with a stick save that saw the puck bounce off the top of the net and out of harm’s way.

Bacher came up with another pair of saves as a point shot from each side got through and he stopped them both.

The Jasek line took over and looked dangerous in the offensive zone but they were unable to make anything happen. The Bruins went the other way and Jakub Lauko had his chance denied by a quick leg from Bachman before the Comets netminder denied Josiah Didier as well.

That was when the game was delayed for a bit as Lauko apparently tried to hit Justin Bailey at the benches but crumpled to the ice and had to be carried off on a stretcher. I didn’t see the play where the injury occurred.

Once play got back underway, Cooper Zech had a chance gobbled up by Bachman. That was when we had a couple of big hits as BigVinny blew up Jakub Zobril at the Comets blueline before Trent Frederic crushed Vinny at the other end. Vinny’s hit was of the open-ice variety, while Frederic was sent off for boarding.

Bailey, Baertschi, Boucher, Lind, and Raferty started things off but it was Bachman coming up with a shorthanded save on Joona Koppanen. The second unit took over and we saw a new look as Perron, Gadjovich, Camper, Juolevi, and Brisebois were the crew of choice.

Juolevi put a shot through traffic that was stopped with Gadjovich and Perron digging for loose change. Olli let fly with another shot through traffic and Perron’s rebound chance was turned aside by the wave of Vladar’s blocker.

Sven Baertschi took a rough spill into the boards but was able to get back up and stay in the play. The Bruins went the other way and Brendan Gaunce had his chance denied by Bachman. The period wound down and the buzzer sounded with the Bruins showing a 16-8 advantage on the shot clock.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

Richard Bachman did not look like a man who hasn’t played a game yet this year as he made an alert stop on a redirected shot early, but he wouldn’t stop all of them today.

Paul Carey beat him for his 12th goal of the year just 1:02 into the middle frame with a nifty chip and chase play. Robert Lantosi grabbed his ninth helper of the year on the play, while Urho Vaakanainen earned his seventh.

We had some back and forth before Stefan LeBlanc let fly with a wrister that Vladar gloved down for the whistle. Boucher followed up with a spin and fire play that was denied before Bachman made back-to-back stops on Paul Carey.

The Bruins kept it coming as Oskar Steen had a chance gobbled up by Bachman. Olli Juolevi was back for his second consecutive game after an eight-game injury absence and he did great work to take the puck from Frederic and send the Comets back the other way.

The Bruins kept pressing as Brendan Woods came back with another chance that Bachman turned aside. Jack Studnicka followed up by showing some speed on a zone entry but the Comets netminder was there with another save. Bachman was doing his part as he had to come up with another stop through traffic and smothered for the whistle as Josh Teves was tying up his man at the side of the net.

This period was all Providence.

Olli Juolevi was dinged for interference at the 8:59 mark and the Comets were off to the kill.

Jasek, Bancks, LeBlanc, and Sautner got things started before Bailey, Boucher, Brisebois and Teves took over. That’s right, Teves went from the press box to the penalty kill with Juolevi doing time.

Bailey came up with a good shot block before Bachman made a stick save through traffic. The Comets came up with a good kill.

The good times were short-lived as Teves was quickly fingered for a cross-check and it was right back to the kill for Utica. Bancks, Bailey, Juolevi, and Sautner started this one off and Sautner came up with a timely block before LeBlanc, Brisebois, Jasek, and Baertschi took over.

Bachman gloved down a redirected chance with an alert save and the Comets had another good kill in the books.

After some back and forth LeBlanc fired a shot on net on a Comets faceoff win but Vladar was there to swallow it up. Jasek followed up with a one-timer that was wide of the net.

Brogan Rafferty took a stick up high that went undetected, but Frankie Perron was tripped soon after and the Comets were off to the power play. It was Robert Lantosi who was to the box for the Bruins.

It took roughly eight seconds for Justin Bailey to put his eighth goal of the season behind Vladar and the game was tied at one. Reid Boucher played set-up man for his 10th helper of the year, while Olli Juolevi earned his seventh on the play.

Vaakanainen followed up the Bailey marker with a shot off the shoulder of Bachman before Bachman and Sautner took turns stopping the next two Providence chances. That was it for the middle frame as the Bruins held a staggering 19-5 advantage on the shot clock.

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

The third period started out with some early back and forth before the line of Malone, Baertschi, and Boucher hooked up for a chance that saw Vladar stop the Malone offering from in tight. The Comets looked a little more awake to start the third period.

It was also good to see Rafferty back out there to start the third after he took that stick up high late in the second.

Olli Juolevi was whistled for tripping at the 3:55 mark and the Comets were back to the kill.

Jasek, Bancks, Sautner, and LeBlanc climbed the boards first and went to work before being relieved by Brisebois, Teves, Boucher, and Baertschi.

Cameron Hughes used a sweet little toe drag to get past his man for a shot that was turned aside by Bachman and LeBlanc, Sautner, Bancks, and Jasek wrapped this one up for another good kill.

Kole Lind was a little quiet today, but he was still doing good work away from the puck as he forced a turnover in the neutral zone, but nothing came of the play.

Brendan Gaunce was the beneficiary of a picked off play on Baertschi and walked in to beat Bachman for his seventh goal of the season. You just had to know that a former Comet was scoring today. Robert Lantosi picked up his 10th helper of the year on the play, as did Paul Carey.

Kole Lind was looking to get that one back quickly with a shot from in tight that was stopped and held by Vladar. Sautner followed up with a knuckler that was fought off by the Bruins netminder.

At the other end of the ice, Bachman flashed the leather on another redirected chance from the Bruins to keep his team in the game. Bachman was the difference between getting a point today and going home empty-handed.

The Comets were putting a lot of passes into skates in this game as they looked a little tired in the third period. The Bruins continued to clog up the neutral zone and the Comets were having a heck of a time trying to break through.

Former Comet Brendan Woods let fly with a shot that Bachman gloved down and held for the whistle before Ashton Sautner’s one-timer was denied at the other end.

Trent Cull started to shorten the bench a little as Lukas Jasek took a spin in Malone’s spot between Baertschi and Boucher, but it was Peter Cehlarik getting the scoring chance at the other end, Bachman got a piece of his offering for another save.

The Comets went back looking for the even-up goal and they found it when Reid Boucher did what Reid Boucher does best and beat Vladar for his league-leading 17th goal of the season. Once again, it was Olli Juolevi grabbing the helper with his eighth of the year.

We had some back and forth after the goal before Lind had a chance swallowed up by Vladar. The Comets managed to keep the shot differential a little closer in the third period.

The Bruins were looking for the go-ahead goal when Oskar Steen made himself a little too familiar with Richard Bachman and he was sent off for interference.

Boucher, Bailey, Lind, Baertschi, and Rafferty started the power-play off, but it would be the two Brendans, Gaunce and Woods who would be getting the scoring chances as both got a crack at a shorty. Bachman was there to shut both men down before Justin Bailey was dinged for hooking at the 19:53 mark.

Utica held an 8-7 advantage on the shot clock for the third period, but the Bruins were up 42-21 in the game.

Your third-period shot map:

Overtime

We started things off at three aside for 55 seconds with Bailey and Steen in the box and the Comets used a pair of trios to shut down the Providence attack. Jasek, Perron, and Rafferty kicked things off before Sautner, Brisebois, and Bancks came out to kill off the Bailey minor.

Bachman came up with an early pad save on Studnicka before he stuffed the rookie’s net-side chance that followed. The Comets managed to kill off the Bailey minor.

The rest of the overtime period was played at four aside and we saw Rafferty get a shot away that was denied by Vladar.

The overtime frame ended with a whopping three shots registered and we were off to the shootout for the second consecutive game.

Your overtime shot map:

Shootout

  1. Robert Lantosi: Scores.
  2. Francis Perron: No goal.
  3. Paul Carey: No goal.
  4. Sven Baertschi: No goal.
  5. Brendan Gaunce: No goal.
  6. Reid Boucher: No goal.

That was it for this one as Robert Lantosi won it in the shootout.

Official Boxscore

Comets Goals:

  1. Justin Bailey (8) from Reid Boucher (10) and Olli Juolevi (7). PP goal.
  2. Reid Boucher (17) from Olli Juolevi (8).

Special Teams:

Power Play: 1/3

Penalty Kill: 4/0

PP1: Baertschi, Bailey, Boucher, Lind, Rafferty

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

Penalty Killers: Bancks, Jasek, Bailey, Boucher, Baertschi, Brisebois, Sautner, LeBlanc, Juolevi, Teves.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Paul Carey. One goal, one assist.

2nd Star: Olli Juolevi. Two assists.

1st Star: Robert Lantosi. Two assists.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Reid Boucher. He “only” picked up one point today, but once again it was an important one that helped the Comets make it to the extra frame for the point. Boucher “only’ had three shots on goal today, but again, he scored an important goal and now has 17 on the season to lead the AHL in that category. Reid also earned an assist and now has 10 to go with his 17 goals to give him 27 points in 19 games this year.

2nd Star: Olli Juolevi. Olli was all over the score sheet today. He was blocking shots, taking penalties and added two more helpers to bring his season totals to eight assists in 16 games. He has no goals as of yet but led the Comets with four shots on goal today. The team looked to be managing his minutes a little by leaving Rafferty on the first power-play unit, but that might have been a bit of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it as well. We will need to continue to be patient with Olli as his season goes forward. He is picking up points and doing some nice things in other areas of his game, but he will continue to be a work in progress before he is ready for regular minutes with the big club.

1st Star: Richard Bachman. I mean, come on! The man was making his first regular-season start since December 21st of last year and all he did was make 41 saves to help his team earn a point. That is a long time to be out and have to face 35 shots over your first two periods of play but the Comets grizzled vet held the fort. It can’t be easy to sit around and wait your turn when you are coming off of a brutal injury and watching your two teammates going out and running the table in October. Bacher put in the work, waited his turn and proceeded to stand on his head for much of his season debut. That had to feel good for him.

Next Game

Game #25

Utica Comets at Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Monday, December 9th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific