Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Comets Rally Twice But Fall Short in 6-5 Overtime Loss to Hershey

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #32

Hershey Bears at Utica Comets

Friday, December 27th, 2019

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7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific


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Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

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Scratched Today For Utica

  1. Wacey Hamilton: C/W – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.
  2. Dyson Stevenson: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  3. Mitch Eliot: RD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Josh Teves: LD – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  5. Stefan LeBlanc: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

Comets Starting Lines

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

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

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 19 Carter Camper – 27 Francis Perron

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95 Justin Bailey – 9 Lukas Jasek – 13 Kole Lind

21 Jonah Gadjovich – 34 Carter Bancks (C) – 18 Vincent Arseneau

48 Olli Juolevi – 6 Ashton Sautner (A)

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 25 Brogan Rafferty

8 Dylan Blujus – 5 Jalen Chatfield

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64 Mikey DiPietro

31 Zane McIntyre (backing up)

First Period

Mikey DiPietro was back for his first start since his recall to the big club, but the rookie netminder didn’t make it out of the opening frame as he was yanked after allowing three goals in the first 7:45 of action.

The period had some decent back and forth, although the Bears had the run of the play, for the most part.

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Sven Baertschi has been having a fantastic season in Utica, and it looked like the Bears were zoning in on him early as he was obliterated by an early hit just inside the offensive zone. No worries for Sven though as he bounced right back up and stayed in the play.

Francis Perron has been having an up and down start to his season as the streaky winger has been hot and cold. He used a nice feed to hit Dylan Blujus on the rush but the defender had his shot blocked on the way to the net.

There was some back and forth as Carter Camper let fly with a shot from a tough angle that was denied by Vitek Vanecek before Matt Moulson went the other way with a shot through traffic that Mikey DiPietro turned aside.

At the other end, Guillaume Brisebois did great work to hold the line before Justin Bailey got the puck back to him for a one-timer that clanged off the iron. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby tried his luck in the Comets end but DiPietro was there with the save. The Comets netminder followed up with another stop on Martin Fehervary for good measure.

DiPietro soaked up a point shot from Bobby Nardella before the wheels fell off the wagon.

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Garrett Pilon scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season just 11 seconds apart to give the Bears a very quick two-goal lead. Mike Sgarbossa picked up the loan helper on both goals for his 17th and 18th assists of the year.

The Comets were hemmed in after the two-goal outburst before Jasek found Perron for a chance that was redirected wide of the net. Jalen Chatfield followed up with a shot that he ripped off the iron and the Bears went back the other way and Kody Clark put them up 3-0 with his first of the season.

The Clark goal came just 1:30 after the Pilon markers and DiPietro’s night was done. Jonsson-Fjallby picked up his fourth helper of the year on the play, while Brian Pinho earned his ninth.

The officials took a look at the Chatfield shot that went off the iron but concluded that there was no goal on the play.

The Comets had some life from the Bancks line as Gadjovich got a piece of the captain’s offering but Vanecek was ready with the save. The Bears’ netminder would not be able to shut down Vinny Arseneau’s next shot as the big man hammered one home from the right side to pull his team to within a pair.

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The goal was Vinny’s seventh of the season, while Gadjovich grabbed his second helper of the year and Bancks picked up his fifth.

The Comets kept it coming as Goldy had a chance turned aside, as did Bailey on his spin and fire play before Joe Snively ripped one from the right circle to beat McIntyre for his eighth of the year and restore the three-goal lead. Sgarbossa picked up his 19th assist of the season and third of the game on the play, while Tyler Lewington earned is third.

Jalen Chatfield wasn’t looking afraid to jump up into the play today and he did just that to get a backhander away that Vanecek was ready for.

This game had a steady physical edge to it and Vinny Arseneau was one of the leaders on that side of things. He annihilated Tyler Lewington behind the Bears’ net as the Comets’ fourth line was out for a twirl.

Trent Cull shuffled up his defence pairs for a couple of shifts as Juolevi was with Rafferty, Brisebois was with Chatfield, and Sautner was paired with Blujus before things went back to the way they started a few shifts later.

Reid Boucher was looking for his 21st goal of the season but his shot found the knob on the end of Vanecek’s stick instead.

We saw some back and forth, but Hershey was still in control as they pressed and McIntyre had to kick out a leg for another save.

Lukas Jasek and his linemates had seen enough and they went to work with a solid effort in the offensive zone that saw Kole Lind draw a tripping call on Lewington and the Comets had a power play to work with.

The Comets had some nice puck movement, but couldn’t make anything happen before Brett Leason went the other way with a shorthanded chance that was shut down by McIntyre.

The period finished with the Bears showing a 13-6 edge on the shot clock.

Your first-period shot map:

Second Period

The middle frame saw the Comets starting with roughly a minute of power-play time and Rafferty fired an early shot off the side of the net and the home team came up empty.

Ashton Sautner has never been one to shy away from the rough stuff and he used a stiff hit to take Snively off the puck just inside the Comets blue line. Goldy went the other way and wired a shot off the shoulder of Vanecek.

Hershey was dinged for having too-many-men on the ice at the 3:31 mark and the Comets were back to the power play.

The second unit started things off and we saw Camper let fly with a shot that was redirected out of play. Olli Juolevi followed up with a shot through traffic that was denied, as was the rebound chance from Camper that followed.

The first unit took over and Lind dropped a pass to Bailey when he might have wanted to shoot instead and the Comets power play came up empty once again.

Erik Burgdoerfer had a chance swallowed up by McIntyre at the other end before the Comets fourth line came back with another physical shift.

The Comets started to apply some pressure as Bailey had a backhander turned aside before Reid Boucher had the puck go in off his hand. The officials immediately waved off the goal and after a review, their decision stood. The Comets were still in a 4-1 hole.

McIntyre had to come up with a sprawling scrambling save in the Comets end right after the goal before the Comets went back the other way. Carter Camper set up Goldobin for a net-side chance but Goldy couldn’t get his shot away. The play continued and Goldy had another chance. This time Vanecek made the save.

Juolevi was getting some shots through today and he did just that with a quick one but Vanecek steered his offering aside. The Comets kept the pressure on as Bancks blew up Eddie Wittchow with a solid hit before Seamus Malone pulled his team to within a pair with his second of the season.

Vinny Arseneau did nice work to keep this play alive before Olli Juolevi took the shot and Malone got a piece of it. Juolevi grabbed his ninth helper of the season on the play, while BigVinny picked up his third.

A little over a minute later, Burgdoerfer was dinged for holding and the Comets had a power play to work with. Baertschi and Boucher hooked up for a chance that saw Vanecek juggle the puck and get a quick whistle before Boucher fed Lind for a one-timer that was kicked out.

The second unit took over and we saw Goldobin whip out ALL of the moves to split the defence before he pulled out the pitching wedge and his shot was out of play. The Comets power play fell flat once again.

The Bears started to apply some pressure before Ashton Sautner did Ashton Sautner things with a physical shift in the Comets end that saw him paired with Dylan Blujus for a shift. The physical play continued as Jalen Chatfield was crushed by Kody Clark, McIntyre made a save and a melee broke out. Chatfield was quick to grab Clark and haul him to the ice and both men were sent off for roughing, while Sven Baertschi was also dinged for an elbow.

This all came with just over a minute remaining in the period and time ran down with the Comets down 4-2 on the scoreboard, but they lead the period with 11-shots-to-six.

Your second-period shot map:

Third Period

The Bears still had time remaining on their power play to open the third period and we saw Carter Bancks come up with a blocked shot before limping off the ice. The captain would return, but the Comets would end up losing two other forwards to injuries in this period.

If you were paying attention to the scratches for today, you will see that this was the first game of the season where the team had no injured players sitting…

The Comets would manage to kill off the remainder of the Baertschi penalty for another good kill.

The Bears started to apply some pressure before the Comets came back the other way. Frankie Perron let fly with a shot off the left side that was turned aside by the stick of Vanecek before the Jasek line poured on the pressure. I’ve really liked the look of Bailey-Jasek-Lind together over their last handful of games.

Trent Cull changed things up a little in the third period as Malone was now between Gadjovich and Arseneau, while Bancks took his spot between Baertschi and Boucher. That move nearly paid off right away as a scramble broke out in the Hershey crease and Bancks had his chance stymied by a defender.

No matter, as the other Carter, of the Camper variety, pulled the Comets to within a goal with his fourth tally of the season. The goal came after Boucher set Camper up and the slick pivot used a great shot to beat Vanecek. Boucher earned his 18th assist of the season on the play, extending his points streak to 14 games, while Olli Juolevi grabbed his 10th helper of the year.

The Jasek line followed up the Camper goal with some great pressure before McIntyre had to swallow up a long shot and held for the whistle. The Jasek line regrouped and Lukas soon had his eighth goal of the season.

It was a bit of an ugly one by Vanecek, but I’m sure Lukas will take it. Justin Bailey kept his strong play going with his 10th helper of the year, while Kole Lind grabbed his 17th.

We had some back and forth as Vanecek gloved down a shot at one end and McIntyre gobbled up a Snively offering at the other. McIntyre kept the saves coming when he got a blocker on the Bobby Nardella chance that followed.

Vinny Arseneau continued to be a physical menace in the offensive zone as the fourth line was buzzing with Malone before McIntyre had to come up big to rob Sgarbossa from point-blank-range. Garrett Pilon followed up with a quick chance and McIntyre showed a quicker blocker for the save.

Guillaume Brisebois has been having a solid season and he did great work to steal the puck and get a shot off, but his offering was blocked by a defender. Bancks followed up with a shot off the side of the net before Liam O’Brien was whistled for a high-stick on the captain. As Joe Roberts said on the broadcast… “Bancks is doing his best to bleed for the extra two minutes” but the captain was unable to spring a leak.

The Comets first power-play unit climbed the boards and had some really nice puck movement before a Brogan Rafferty point shot caught Kole Lind on the chin and Brian Pinho was sprung for a shorthanded goal to pull his team back into the lead. The goal was Pinho’s fifth of the season, while Jonsson-Fjallby grabbed his fifth assist of the year on the shorthanded marker.

Lind meanwhile was done for the period. Ben Birnell, (@OD_Birnell) of the Utica Observer-Dispatch had an update on Lind after the game… and one on Perron as well, sort of. Why was there a need for an update on Perron, you ask? Well, because he took a stick in the yap moments later and also left the game with a towel held to his face.

The Comets power play was a fruitless endeavour that ended up costing them a goal against and two players to injuries. To make matters worse, O’Brien exited the penalty box and had a break on McIntyre.

The Comets netminder came up with a huge save and Justin Bailey wheeled the other way and set Lukas Jasek up for a tap-in goal for his second of the game and ninth of the season. Bailey, for his part, earned his second helper of the game and 11th of the season. We had a tie game with a little over five minutes remaining.

Look at the wheels on Bailey!

With the game even at five apiece, the physical play picked up again as Ashton Sautner used a solid hit to take O’Brien off the puck in the Comets end. Juolevi followed up with a big shot block before Sgarbossa ripped a shot off the post. The Comets were hemmed in.

McIntyre kicked aside a long shot and Boucher came up with a steal and a clear before Goldobin drew a tripping penalty on O’Brien. It was back to the power play for Utica.

We saw a new wrinkle with Kole Lind off getting repairs as Carter Bancks took his spot on the first unit. Boucher had a chance for a goal but fired his offering off of Bailey’s leg and the second unit took over. With Perron unavailable, Guillaume Brisebois was tapped for some extra-man minutes. The Comets power play fell flat once again and this game would need the extra frame. Hershey held an 8-6 advantage on the third-period shot clock and a 27-23 advantage through three periods.

Your third-period shot map:


Kole Lind was on the bench for the overtime period, so that was obviously a good sign.

Goldobin, Jasek, and Brisebois started the extra frame off before being replaced by Boucher, Baertschi, and Rafferty. Phillippe Maillet had a chance from the right circle but McIntyre was equal to the task and Camper, Bailey, and Sautner took over.

Jonsson-Fjallby had a chance denied by a combination of a McIntyre save and a Carter Camper slash and the Comets were off to the kill. Hershey called their timeout to do some planning and the Comets elected to go with a trio of Juolevi with Bancks and Chatfield to start.

Matt Moulson tried to stuff the puck in from the side of the net but McIntyre said no, however, Mike Sgarbossa soon put this one away with his 11th of the season. Nardella picked up his seventh assist on the play, while Pilon grabbed his 10th.

That was it for this one as Hershey outshot the Comets 3-0 in overtime and 30-23 for the game.

Your overtime shot map:

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goals:

  1. Vincent Arseneau (7) from Jonah Gadjovich (2) and Carter Bancks (5).
  2. Seamus Malone (2) from Olli Juolevi (9) and Vincent Arseneau (3).
  3. Carter Camper (4) from Reid Boucher (18) and Olli Juolevi (10).
  4. Lukas Jasek (8) from Justin Bailey (10) and Kole Lind (17).
  5. Lukas Jasek (9) from Justin Bailey (11).

Special Teams

Power Play: 0/5

Penalty Kill: 1/2

PP1: Boucher, Bailey, Baertschi Lind, Rafferty.

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

PP3: Boucher, Baertschi, Bailey, Bancks, Rafferty.

PP4: Goldobin, Gadjovich, Camper, Brisebois, Juolevi.

Penalty Killers: Jasek, Bancks, Boucher, Baertschi, Goldobin, Bailey, Brisebois, Sautner, Juolevi, Blujus, Chatfield.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Garrett Pilon. Two goals, one assist.

2nd Star: Lukas Jasek. Two goals.

1st Star: Mike Sgarbossa. One goal, three assists.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Vincent Arseneau/Carter Bancks/Jonah Gadjovich. The fourth line brought full value again today as Vinny led the trio with a goal and an assist, while Jonah and Carter each picked up a helper as well. Gadjovich and Arseneau brought a physical edge throughout the game, while Bancks did great work on the PK and moved up the lineup near the end of the game. It is always good to get contributions like that from your fourth line.

2nd Star: Justin Bailey. The speedy winger had another strong game and made up one-third of a pretty nice line with Lukas Jasek and Kole Lind. That trio is forming some chemistry and they’ve had a good little run of games together. Bailey grabbed another pair of points today and is now up to 10 goals and 11 helpers to give himself 21 points in 32 games this year. Bailey’s size and speed have helped him carve out a nice role on this team as a penalty killer who can provide some solid secondary offence.

1st Star: Lukas Jasek. Jazzy had another strong game today, picking up a pair of goals to bring him to nine goals and five assists, giving him 14 points in 31 games this year. Jasek’s nine goals tie his career-high, so any that he gets going forward will constitute a new high for him. He now has nine points in 11 December games. Jasek continues to round out a capable 200′ game in Utica.

Next Game

Game #33

Utica Comets at Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific