Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Comets Stick With It And Battle Back For 5-4 Shootout Win Over Syracuse

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #50

Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific


Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

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Scratched Today For Utica

  1. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip surgery) out for the season. AHL deal.
  2. Wacey Hamilton: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) week-to-week. AHL deal.
  3. Richard Bachman: G – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.
  4. Tanner Sorenson: – W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  5. David Pope: LW/RW – Healthy scratch. NHL deal.

Comets Starting Lines

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(1st forward line/defensive pair listed started the game. The remainder are in no particular order)

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 16 John Stevens – 13 Kole Lind

 47 Sven Baertschi – 19 Carter Camper – 24 Reid Boucher (A)

 21 Jonah Gadjovich – 9 Lukas Jasek – 27 Francis Perron

 3 Stefan LeBlanc – 34 Carter Bancks (C) – 26 Dyson Stevenson

48 Olli Juolevi – 5 Jalen Chatfield

6 Ashton Sautner (A) – 25 Brogan Rafferty

4 Josh Teves – 8 Dylan Blujus

64 Mikey DiPietro

 31 Zane McIntyre  (backing up)

First Period

The opening frame was a bit of a back and forth affair and wrapped up with the Crunch holding a 3-2 lead.

Nikolay Goldobin wasn’t expected to play in this game due to the flu but the skilled winger battled through and set up an early chance for John Stevens that he wasn’t able to make go.

At the other end, Mikey DiPietro stopped and held an early shot from Alex Bare-Boulet before Taylor Raddysh beat him for his 14th goal of the season with a shot from the left circle that went high on the glove side. Daniel Walcott picked up his eighth assist of the year on the play, while Boris Katchouk grabbed his 14th. Dylan Blujus could have done a better job on this play.

The Crunch kept it coming as DiPietro had to gobble up a Cal Foote offering soon after. The Comets went back the other way where Sven Baertschi put a shot off of a stick and into Scott Wedgewood for the Comets first shot on goal.

That shot opened things up for the Comets as Jalen Chatfield followed up with a point shot with a crowd in front and we saw Frankie Perron digging for loose change but Wedgewood barred the door.

He wasn’t able to stop them all though as Carter Camper finished off a sweet bit of passing to knot the game at one. The goal was Camper’s seventh of the season, while Boucher picked up his 27th helper of the year and Baertschi grabbed his 26th after doing a fantastic job of picking off a Syracuse play.

Mikey D came up with a sprawling stop after a wraparound turned into a pass and Otto Somppi was denied.

A pair of defenders hooked up on the next Comets chance, although one of them has been deployed as a winger for nearly as many games as he has been as a defenceman. Josh Teves let fly with a shot that Stefan LeBlanc redirected in close but Wedgewood was there with another save.

Unfortunately, the next play that Teves made ended up costing his team a goal against when he was pressured in his own end and coughed the puck up for a Mathieu Joseph tally. The goal was Joseph’s fifth of the season, while Ross Colton earned his 22nd assist on the play as well.

The Crunch kept the pressure on as Danick Martel came down the right side with a shot that was swallowed up by DiPietro. Ashton Sautner followed up with a heavy hit on Alex Volkov behind the Comets net before Joseph came looking for another goal but DiPietro gobbled up his shot from the high slot.

The Comets were having a tough time getting any sustained zone time before Brogan Rafferty put the puck to the front of the net and Dyson Stevenson broke out his shovel to no avail. The Comets’ fourth line applied some decent pressure.

Dominik Masin had a chance denied by DiPietro before Taylor Raddysh was dinged for hooking.

We saw a power-play unit consisting of Baertschi, Camper, Lind, Boucher, and Rafferty climb over the boards and Kole Lind was robbed at the net-side where he was slashed by his former Kelowna teammate Cal Foote and the Comets would have 38 seconds of five-on-three time to work with.

Trent Cull called his timeout and came back with a power-play unit of Goldobin, Lind, Baertschi, Boucher, and Rafferty.

Goldobin did Goldobin things and tried a risky pass that was picked off for an odd-man rush that the Crunch couldn’t take advantage of before Rafferty teed up a shot for him that Wedgewood made a huge save on.

Raddysh came out of the box and Cull went to a new unit of Juolevi, Sautner, Camper, Gadjovich, and Jasek and it was soon a 2-2 game. Gadjovich did what he does best and created havoc in front of the net and banged in a Juolevi rebound for his 11th goal of the season. Olli grabbed his 22nd helper of the year on the play while the secondary helper was originally credited as Ashton Sautner’s 10th, but should end up going to Carter Camper for his 23rd.

Syracuse didn’t shrink after the goal and the applied the pressure again right away and DiPietro had to come up with another stop on Ben Thomas.

Ashton Sautner was dinged for hooking at the 14:04 mark and the Comets were off to the kill.

Alex Volkov had a one-timer turned aside and the Comets had a good kill in the books. Syracuse kept the pressure on and Josh Teves showed a good stick to break up a Syracuse rush before DiPietro whipped out a nifty poke-check on Boris Katchouk.

Katchouk tried his luck with another play, only to be foiled by the Chatfield/Juolevi duo. The Crunch kept the pressure on and DiPietro coughed up a juicy rebound to former Canucks development camp invitee Peter Abbandonato and it was a 3-2 game. The goal was Abbandonato’s fourth of the season, while Alex Volkov picked up his 18th helper of the year on the play.

DiPietro had to come up with another stop on Ross Colton and the period came to a close with Syracuse showing an advantage of 13-12 on the shot clock.

Second Period

The middle frame only saw one goal scored and it was of the shorthanded variety… I know what you’re thinking, but this time it was the Comets doing the damage while a man down. But we will get to that in due time.

DiPietro fought off an early shot from Volkov and the Comets went the other way where Stevens and Goldobin hooked up for a chance that Wedgewood was able to turn aside. This time it was the Crunch going back the other way and DiPietro denied a shot from Barre-Boulet to keep his team in the game.

The Crunch had spent a good deal of time in the Comets end but when the home team made it back into enemy territory, Jonah Gadjovich started handing out hits like Oprah hands out her sponsors’ products on her big giveaway show. Jonah had a solid game today on the physical side of the puck.

The Comets were sticking with their game and we saw Chatfield launch a shot on net that was gloved down. Sven Baertschi followed up by skating though pretty much everyone on the ice before dishing to Camper for a shot that was turned aside.

Olli Juolevi was dinged for holding at the 2:39 mark and the Comets were off to the kill. That was when Stefan LeBlanc sprung Lukas Jasek for a shorthanded breakaway and the winger-turned-pivot went in with a shot that was stopped, but Jasek kept his eye on the loose puck and made no mistake on the rebound for his 14th goal of the season. LeBlanc, for his part, earned his third helper of the year to match the number on his back.

The Comets still had time to kill off of the Juolevi minor and kill it they did. Unfortunately, Stevens was dinged for tripping soon after and it was back to the kill for Utica. The Comets did great work to keep the Crunch to the outside and came away unscathed.

Brogan Rafferty is sitting right on the edge of tying a Comets single-season record for points by a defender and he let fly with a long shot through traffic that Wedgewood got a shoulder on and Brogan would have to wait for that point a little longer.

Mathieu Joseph was whistled for kneeing at the 9:55 mark and the Comets had another chance with the man advantage.

Ben Thomas managed to get a shorthanded chance that DiPietro shut down before Jasek put the puck off the shoulder of Wedgewood for the Comets’ best chance. They came up empty once again. Rafferty did do a nice job of getting pucks through to dangerous places for his teammates though, as he continues to fine-tune his play on the man-up.

The Comets had some good pressure on that power play, even though the only personnel that they were able to change up over the two minutes was a swap of Camper for Jasek.

We had some back and forth that saw Dyson Stevenson and Lukas Jasek work a nice give-and-go play that saw Stevenson denied by Wedgewood with another stop before the Syracuse netminder got a glove on a Carter Bancks offering. The fourth line kept the pressure on and they had Josh Teves, in part, to thank for that as he made a smart pinch to keep the puck in the offensive zone for them.

Alex Barre-Boulet is pretty, pretty, pretty good. He let fly with a lightning-quick release on a one-timer that DiPietro stymied with an alert save. The Camper line followed up with a great shift in the offensive zone that was full of nifty plays but they were unable to capitalize.

That Josh Teves fellow was having an up and down game today, as can be expected after barely playing over the team’s first 50 games of the season, but he came up with another good stick to force a defensive zone turnover in the Comets favour. DiPietro would still have to come up with a huge save soon after as Taylor Raddysh broke in only to have Mikey D crush his dreams.

The Comets fourth line finished up the middle frame with a physical shift. Utica held an advantage of 11-7 on the shot clock for the second period.

Third Period

Both teams would score a goal in the third period, extending this game to the extra frame and then to the shootout in what was an interesting period of action.

In a bizarre sequence of events, the period began with a Comets chance that saw Goldobin do some nice work behind the opposition net before finding Stevens in front for a shot that trickled through Wedgewood and danced along the goal line where Denis Yan swept it out of harm’s way. The Crunch went the other way and Joseph let fly with a shot that beat DiPietro and clanged off both posts and out.

We have seen Brogan Rafferty make a mockery of opposing teams as he’s danced through entire lineups on the way to the offensive zone and he did more of that today but wasn’t able to set up a play once he got there.

There was more good back and forth before Rafferty had a shot tipped wide by Bancks. At the other end, Ashton Sautner filled Gemel Smith in with a rough ride behind the Comets net.

The Crunch continued to press and DiPietro had to come up with a pair of saves. Unfortunately, he gave up another sizeable rebound and Taylor Raddysh buried it behind him for his second goal of the game and 15th of the season. Danik Martel picked up his 13th assist of the year on the play, while Boris Katchouk earned his 15th.

The Comets weren’t taking that one lying down as we saw Lind and Stevens go to work. Lind was taken down on the play and Logan Roe was headed off to the box to feel shame for a hooking call.

Once again, the Comets had some great puck movement, this time from what would be their second unit. Gadjovich sent a really nice feed to Juolevi for a shot that was denied, as was the Goldobin chance that followed and the Comets power play couldn’t alter the score. The Comets didn’t get any changes in on that power play either as that group spent the full two minutes on the ice.

That wouldn’t matter, as it turned out because soon after, Reid Boucher was celebrating his 26th goal of the season. John Stevens played set-up man on this play with a fantastic feed to earn his fifth assist of the season and fifth point in his last six games.

Barre-Boulet is good… have I mentioned that yet? DiPietro was forced into another save as the Crunch sniper tried to answer back in quick fashion.

The flow of play was hampered for a few shifts as the zebras were whistling down icings and offsides like they had a quota to fill. The Crunch started to put some pressure on as the Stevens line was hemmed in for a shift.

The Camper line took over and we saw Baertschi whip out a bevy of moves to beat his man in the offensive zone but he was unable to get the puck across to a salivating Boucher who was ready to unload. Goldobin managed to get a shot away soon after and Wedgewood had another save in the books. The period was winding down and the teams went back and forth as time ticked off the clock.

Jalen Chatfield let fly with a rising shot through traffic that Wedgewood was ready for and just when Boris Katchouk thought he was going to give his team the go-ahead goal at the other end, Olli Juolevi foiled his attempt with a simple, calm play to take the puck away.

Chatfield came up with a well-timed shot block on a Joseph offering before DiPietro denied a backhander from Martel. That was followed by Goldobin showing off some puck wizardry in the offensive zone before getting the puck to Lind but Kole couldn’t get a shot away. We were off to the extra frame. Syracuse held a 7-4 edge on the shot clock for the third period and a 27-26 advantage for the game.


Trent Cull started out with the trio of Baertschi, Jasek, and Sautner before Goldy, Lind, and Rafferty took over. DiPietro got his right pinky toe on a chance by Joseph to keep his team in the game.

Stevens, Boucher, and Chatfield took over and DiPietro had to get a glove on a Roe offering before Martel wheeled in alone and was denied as well. Mikey D wasn’t done there as he also shut down Katchouk again.

At the other end, Baertschi had a backhander denied before Ben Thomas collided with Lind and was sent off for interference. Lind has a knack for drawing penalties and I believe that a lot of those penalties stem from the style of game that he plays. He is an agitating type of player who tends to get under the skin of his opponents, wearing on their nerves throughout the game until they can’t take it anymore and take a penalty.

Lind nearly had the last laugh as he had a quality chance on the ensuing power play but Wedgewood robbed him from in close. That was it for overtime as the Crunch showed a 4-3 edge in shots. We were off to the shootout.


  1. Mathieu Joseph – Denied.
  2. Carter Camper – No goal.
  3. Taylor Raddysh – Denied.
  4. Francis Perron – Filthy goal.
  5. Alex Barre-Boulet – Goal, (he’s good).
  6. Reid Boucher – Game Winning goal.

Peep that goal from FilthyFrank

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goals:

  1. Carter Camper (7) from Reid Boucher (27) and Sven Baertschi (26).
  2. Jonah Gadjovich (11) from Olli Juolevi (22) and Ashton Sautner (10), (should be Carter Camper’s 23rd). Power play goal.
  3. Lukas Jasek (14) from Stefan LeBlanc (3). Shorthanded goal.
  4. Reid Boucher (26) from John Stevens (5).

Mikey DiPietro: 27 saves for the win. 

Special Teams:

Power Play: 1/5.

Penalty Kill: 3/3. One shorthanded goal for.

PP1: Baertschi, Lind, Boucher, Camper, Rafferty.

PP2: Baertschi, Lind, Boucher, Goldobin, Rafferty.

PP3: Gadjovich, Jasek, Camper, Juolevi, Sautner.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: John Stevens. One assist.

2nd Star: Taylor Raddysh. Two goals.

1st Star: Reid Boucher. One goal, one assist, shootout winner.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Jonah Gadjovich/Lukas Jasek/Kole Lind. Jonah and Lukas each picked up a point today, and even though Kole didn’t, he will share today’s third star with them. Gadjovich proved once again that he knows what to do in the net-front position with his 11th goal of the year and he also brought a physical game to the table. Jasek grabbed a sweet shorthanded goal that was the result of his strong second-effort and he did nice work in all three zones today. Lind, for his part, did what we have come to expect from TheShaunavonShiftDisturber. He was a thorn in the side of the Crunch all game long and showed those silky mitts with a couple of very nice passes.

2nd Star: Mikey DiPietro/John Stevens. Mikey D picked up his 15th win in his 26th start and now sports a record of 15-7-2-1 on the season. He now has a 2.84 GAA and a save percentage of 0.904%. The Comets have 27 wins on the season and 15 of them belong to DiPietro. Seems good for his rookie campaign. As for Stevens, well, he just keeps doing his thing for the Comets. Since his acquisition from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, he has steadily looked more comfortable as he learns the team’s systems. He is proving to be a valuable penalty killer and has added the extra benefit of providing some secondary offence recently.

1st Star: Reid Boucher. Another goal… another assist, and the shootout winner. Just another day at the office for Boosh. The Comets’ sniper is now up to 26 goals and 27 assists, giving him 53 points in 43 games this season. He is now nine points back of the Comets single-season record for points by a skater… he tied that record last season. In 144 games with the Utica Comets, Boucher has piled up 82 goals and 79 assists, giving him 161 points. Seems good, no?

Next Game

Game #51

Laval Rocket at Utica Comets

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific