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Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Reid Boucher Sets New Comets Record En Route to Comets 7-3 Beat Down of the Marlies

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #56

Toronto Marlies at Utica Comets

Friday, February 28th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

Pre-Game

Pre-Game Predictions From Twitter

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Chris Faber’s Botchford Project Piece

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My CanucksArmy co-worker and good friend Chris Faber, (@ChrisFaber39) wrote his piece for The Botchford Project and it came out today. I am extremely proud of Chris and what he has been able to accomplish in such a short time, and this piece is one of his best. If you know who Jason Botchford was, you should definitely read this… if you don’t know who Jason was, that gives you even more reason to give it a read. Botch was a huge part of the massive influx of young/new bloggers and podcasters on the Canucks’ scene, including myself, and Chris does a fantastic job of capturing what Jason meant to him, and to so many others as well.

Post-Game

Scratched Today For Utica

  1. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip surgery) out for the season. AHL deal.
  2. David Pope: LW/RW – Upper-body injury, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  3. Tyler Graovac: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  4. Lukas Jasek: W/C – Undisclosed injury. NHL deal.
  5. Matt Petgrave: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Carter Bancks: W/C – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.
  7. Stefan LeBlanc: LD/W – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

Comets Starting Lines

95 Justin Bailey – 36 Wacey Hamilton (A) – 13 Kole Lind

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

77 Nikolay Goldobin – 16 John Stevens – 27 Francis Perron

21 Jonah Gadjovich – 17 Seamus Malone – 26 Dyson Stevenson

8 Dylan Blujus – 5 Jalen Chatfield

55 Guillaume Brisebois – 6 Ashton Sautner (A)

48 Olli Juolevi – 25 Brogan Rafferty

64 Mikey DiPietro

29 Jake Kielly (backing up)

First Period

The opening frame was a good one for the Comets as they outshot the Marlies handily and finished the period with a 2-0 lead.

The line of Justin Bailey, Wacey Hamilton, and Kole Lind came out flying and they would have the Marlies on their heels on most of their shifts. Lind got things started with an early chance that was denied by goaltender Joseph Woll before the Marlies netminder shut down the Bailey chance that followed.

Jalen Chatfield had a point shot turned aside before Egor Korshkov clanged one off the iron at the other end.

John Stevens was in between Nikolay Goldobin and Frankie Perron today and that trio was making some noise as well. Stevens set Goldy up for a shot from the high slot that Woll gobbled up for a whistle before he denied a Jonah Gadjovich chance from in close.

The Comets were looking hungry for the opening goal and they got it off of the stick of a returning Wacey Hamilton. Kole Lind got this play going with a nifty takeaway in the neutral zone before feeding a perfect pass to Wacey for a nice goal, his fourth of the season. Kole grabbed his 29th helper of the year on the play.

In the Comets’ end, Olli Juolevi came up with a great stick to break up a Marlies play and send Gadjovich the other way. The Hamilton line took over and Woll had to come up with saves on a pair of one-timers from Justin Bailey.

Tyler Gaudet let fly with a shot through traffic from the left side that DiPietro gloved down.

Reid Boucher made it a 2-0 game after taking a great pass from Carter Camper and ripping it past Woll for his 29th goal of the year. Camper grabbed his 26th assist of the season on the play, while Ashton Sautner earned his 10th.

That seems like a good way to start a game… the Comets should make a habit of doing this more often.

The Comets kept it coming as Woll had to turn aside a Goldobin backhander before kicking out a Rafferty offering as well. Kole Lind has looked like a confident player this year and he whipped out his moves to find a shooting lane and wired a shot that was swallowed up by Woll for another whistle.

The Comets were playing an aggressive period and it looked good on them. When the Marlies did get a chance, DiPietro was there to crush their dreams, as he did with a flash of the leather on Tyler Gaudet’s shot.

At the other end, Stevens and Goldy worked a nice passing play before Goldy dished to Perron but Frankie couldn’t get his shot away. That line kept their foot on the go pedal and Perron dealt to Goldobin but Goldy whiffed on his shot.

The Hamilton line took over and Bailey saw Woll turn his shot aside. Back in the Comets’ end, Michael Kapla let fly with a shot that DiPietro redirected out of play. We had some back and forth as Blujus fed Camper for a chance that was denied and it kind of looked as though Camper might have tweaked something on the play, but he stayed in the game.

John Stevens was dinged for a trip at the 18:23 mark and the Comets would finish the period down a man. Dylan Blujus and Jalen Chatfield each came up with a well-timed shot block before Mikey D robbed Keny Agostino at the buzzer.

The Comets held a 13-6 advantage on the shot clock for the opening frame.

Second Period

The Marlies still had a smidgen of time left on their man-advantage and DiPietro had to come up with a stop and covered for the whistle and the Comets came up with a good kill.

Jalen Chatfield had a chance denied early before Goldy did… well, he did this…

Somebody was having some fun…

The Comets fourth line followed up with a good shift and a scoring chance in tight that was turned aside by Woll. The Comets were playing at a good pace today, which would be nice to see carry forward the rest of the way.

Teemu Kivihalme ripped a shot off the side of the net before Goldobin and Perron took turns setting each other up only to watch the other unable to finish the play. Brogan Rafferty had a chance turned aside as the Comets were pressing.

At the other end, Kristians Rubins was denied from in close by Mikey D.

The Comets fourth line was looking to make their mark on the game as Seamus Malone fed Gadjovich with a nifty pass from behind the net but Woll was there with another save.

We had more back and forth as DiPietro shut down a chance from Max Veronneau and swallowed it for a whistle. We hadn’t seen many shots in the middle frame to this point as we were nearly halfway through with only six shots between the two clubs.

John Stevens was trying to help his team change that low shot total when he came up with a nice takeaway to feed Goldy for a chance that Woll turned aside. No matter, as Reid Boucher would put a muffin behind Woll for his 30th goal of the season. Camper grabbed his 27th assist of the year on the play, while Sven Baertschi earned his 30th.

Michael Kapla didn’t do his team any favours when he was dinged for tripping just 19 seconds after the Boucher tally. The Comets couldn’t get any traction from their first unit and soon after their second unit took over, Brisebois was sent off for interference on a bit of a ticky-tack call.

We had some four aside play for 20 seconds before the Marlies power play kicked in and we saw Woll deny a shorthanded chance from Hamilton before Joseph Duszak beat DiPietro with a one-timer for his third goal of the season. Matt Read grabbed his 11th helper of the year on the play, while Kenny Agostino earned his 14th.

The Comets were looking to get that one right back when Juolevi let fly with a shot that Woll got a piece of and Frankie Perron couldn’t bury the rebound. Bailey teed a shot up for Chatfield and Woll kicked it out before Dylan Blujus picked up his fourth goal of the season after his point shot went high in the air and dropped in behind Woll for a goal. Reid Boucher set the goal up with a sweet feed from behind the net for his 31st assist of the season. Reid would need just one more point to tie the Comets single-season high for points… again… and he did just that less than a minute later.

This time, Boosh was the playmaker for Sven Baertschi’s 12th goal of the season, earning him his 32nd assist and 62nd point of the season. Olli Juolevi grabbed the secondary helper for his 23rd.

The Marlies started to apply some pressure after the Baertschi goal and DiPietro had to come up with a pair of saves before shutting down a Matt Read offering as well.

Carter Camper was dinged for a hook at the 19:39 mark and the Comets would finish the period down a man… again. Utica held a 14-9 advantage on the second period shot clock.

Third Period

The Marlies managed to score a couple of goals to give themselves a bit of hope, but it would be too little, too late as the Comets would not be deterred today.

With Camper still in the penalty box, the Comets had some time to kill. DiPietro came up with a pair of saves to keep his club up 5-1 and the Comets had another good kill in the books. Unfortunately, Camper had barely left the box before Juolevi was whistled for a slash and the Comets were right back to the kill.

Once again, DiPietro came up with saves on Agostino and Verroneau and the Comets came away unscathed.

Utica applied the pressure after their back-to-back kills as their fourth line went to work. Seamus Malone did nice work to force an offensive-zone turnover and cut to the net but Woll was there with the save.

Soon after, a brief melee ensued in front of the Comets’ bench that started with Sautner and Michael Kapla, but by the time the smoke had cleared, Justin Bailey, and Garrett Wilson were sent off for roughing, while Jonah Gadjovich had taken a goaltender interference penalty leading up to the play, so the Comets were right back to the kill.

Mikey D came up with a sprawling save and Baertschi cleared the puck out of the zone as the Marlies anemic power play fell flat once more. DiPietro was busier in the final frame as he had to kick out an Egor Korshkov offering before denying Miikka Salomaki on his chance that followed.

TheGentelman made it a 6-1 Comets’ lead when he buried a Kole Lind feed for his 27th goal of the season. Lind grabbed his 30th helper of the year on the play, while Hamilton earned his sixth. What a goal! The goal was also Bailey’s 100th as a pro. Congrats, Justin!

Salomaki caught Sautner up high with an elbow and another melee ensued as Dyson Stevenson stepped in for his teammate. Salomaki was dinged for an elbow, while Stevenson was given two for roughing. Sautner, meanwhile, headed down the tunnel, but he would return.

With the teams at four aside, Kenny Agostino put a Mac Hollowell feed behind DiPietro for his 24th goal of the season. Hollowell earned his eighth assist of the season on the play.

Hollowell was sent off for cross-checking 11 seconds later and the Comets had a four-on-three power play to work with. Boucher had a one-timer blocked and the Comets came up empty.

Soon after the penalty ended, Korshkov whipped out all of the moves to get behind the Comets defence and beat DiPietro for his 15th goal of the season. Agostino grabbed his 20th helper of the year on the play.

Woll was summoned to the bench for the extra attacker with 4:13 left in the period, but he would soon be back between the pipes after his team iced the puck. He headed back to the bench with 3:30 left and the Marlies went to work. Hollowell let fly from the left point and Mikey D whipped out the blocker for another save.

Reid Boucher put this one away with his third goal of the game and 31st of the season with an empty-net goal. Sven Baertschi played set-up man for his 31st helper of the year.

Sautner was back out to finish the period, which is a good sign, considering that the team will be hosting Laval tomorrow.

As time was coming off the clock, Brisebois had a shot soaked up by Woll before Matt Lorito tried to remove Frankie Perron’s head with an elbow. Fortunately, he only removed Perron’s helmet and he was sent off for elbowing. Perron is just returning from a concussion, so this was the last thing that he needed.

With Lorito doing time in the box for being an idiot, Trent Cull sent his fourth line over the boards, along with Dylan Blujus and Guillaume Brisebois. That was it for this one as the Comets dominated the Marlies and sent them crying back to Toronto with their collective tail tucked between their legs.

The Marlies held a 14-7 edge on the third-period shot clock, but Utica held a 34-29 advantage for the game.

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goals

Hamilton (4) from Lind (29).

Boucher (29) from Camper (26) and Sautner (10).

Boucher (30) from Camper (27) and Baertschi (30).

Blujus (4) from Boucher (31) and Bailey (18).

Baertschi (12) from Boucher (32) and Juolevi (23).

Bailey (27) from Lind (30) and Hamilton (6).

Boucher (31) from Baertschi (31). Empty-net goal.

Special Teams

Power Play: 0/3

Penalty Kill: 4/5

PP1: Baertschi, Goldobin, Bailey, Boucher, Rafferty.

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

PP3: Baertschi, Lind, Boucher, Rafferty (four-on-three)

PP4: Bailey, Camper, Goldobin, Juolevi (four-on-three)

PP5: Stevenson, Malone, Gadjovich, Blujus, Brisebois

Penalty Killers: Hamilton, Stevens, Boucher, Baertschi, Bailey, Brisebois, Sautner, Juolevi, Chatfield, Blujus.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Wacey Hamilton. One goal, one assist.

2nd Star: Sven Baertschi. One goal, two assists.

1st Star: Reid Boucher. Three goals, two assists.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Reid Boucher

2nd Star: Reid Boucher

1st Star: Reid Boucher

Yes, other players played well and are certainly deserving of a three-star selection, however, when Reid Boucher hangs five points on the Marlies en route to setting a new single-season record for points by a Comet, he deserves all three to shine the spotlight on him just a little more. Reid is now up to 31 goals and 32 assists on the season. That has him sitting with 63 points in just 49 games played. His 32nd assist today was a new career-high, while his 31 goals match his career-high, set last season. He has piled up 201 shots on goal this season as well. With 20 games remaining, Boucher has plenty of time to add to his totals as well… it will be interesting to see how many he has at season’s end.

Next Game

Game #57

Laval Rocket at Utica Comets

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific