Photo Credit: cory hergott

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Post-Game: Jake Kielly Picks Up His First Win In His First AHL Start In Comets 3-2 OT Win Over Charlotte

Utica Comets Post-Game Report

Game #60

Utica Comets at Charlotte Checkers

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

6:00 pm Eastern/3:00 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. David Pope: LW/RW – Upper-body injury, (concussion symptoms) week-to-week. NHL deal.
  3. Carter Bancks: W/C – Various ailments, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  4. Dylan Blujus: RD – Lower-body injury, day-to-day. AHL deal.
  5. Olli Juolevi: LD – Lower-body injury, (hip soreness) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  6. Jonah Gadjovich: LW/RW – Illness, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  7. Nikolay Goldobin: LW/RW – Veteran scratch. NHL deal.
  8. Seamus Malone: W/C – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  9. Guillaume Brisebois: LD – Healthy scratch, (in transit). NHL deal.

Comets Starting Lines

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

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

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

3 Stefan LeBlanc – 16 John Stevens – 27 Francis Perron

9 Lukas Jasek

– 44 Tyler Graovac – 26 Dyson Stevenson

6 Ashton Sautner (A) – 25 Brogan Rafferty

22 Matt Petgrave – 5 Jalen Chatfield

4 Josh Teves – 52 Mitch Eliot

29 Jake Kielly

64 Mikey DiPietro (backing up)

First Period

Jake Kielly was making his first AHL start and he had a busy opening frame of action that saw him make a couple of show-stopping saves.

Kole Lind got things started today with an early shot off the blocker of Keith Kinkaid, but it took a bit for this game to get going due to a flurry of early whistles.

Lukas Jasek was back in the lineup today and he came out for his first shift like he was shot out of a cannon. He came up with a takeaway, fired a shot wide, collected the puck again and put another shot on net that Kinkaid swallowed up for a whistle.

Brogan Rafferty isn’t one to run around looking for hits, but we have seen him take the opportunity to run a guy through the boards when the opportunity arises. That opportunity arose when Alex D’Aoust was in Brogan’s sites and the rookie defender dished out a board rattling hit.

The Checkers started to press and Kielly had to come up with a trio of saves in close as the battle in his crease continued.

The Comets got a bit of life out of a shift from the Camper line when Camper hit Boucher at speed with a nice feed and Reid got behind the Charlotte defence before letting fly with a shot that Kinkaid swallowed up for a whistle.

Justin Bailey did an ungentlemanlike thing when he buried Joey Keane into the boards and he was sent off for boarding. Alex D’Aoust ripped a shot off the side of the net and Kielly came up with a big save on a Stelio Mattheos one-timer and the Comets came up with a good kill.

Kielly would come up with another pair of saves after a cross-crease pass went off a defender and he whipped out a quick leg before robbing D’Aoust on his rebound chance. Kielly was showing well in his first start.

Ryan Bourque kept the shots coming when he unloaded from the right side off the rush, but Kielly was there with another save. Mattheos tried his luck with another shot and Kielly steered it out of play.

As we have seen so many times this year, Justin Bailey can wheel. He beat a Checker to the puck in the offensive zone and got it to Lind in front for a stuff play, but Kinkaid was equal to the task.

At the other end, Kielly denied a Jake Bean offering that was redirected on its way to him. The action went the other way where Sven Baertschi tried a spin and fire play but Kinkaid was there with another stop.

Lukas Jasek was dinged for a high-stick at the 14:12 mark and the Checkers were back to the power play.

David Gust had a shot that was denied by Kielly, and the Comets goaltender shut down another chance from Mattheos as well, but he wouldn’t be able to stop the Joey Keane shot that Bourque redirected on its way to him and the Checkers were up 1-0. The goal was Bourque’s fifth of the season, while Keane grabbed his 26th helper of the year on the play and Gustav Forsling earned his 18th.

The Checkers kept it coming as Oliwer Kaski let fly with a shot that Kielly quickly ate up for a whistle.

The Comets went the other way with speed and we saw Bailey put a pass just out of Lind’s reach and Kole went into the net along with Kinkaid. The puck… it did not join them.

Bourque was sent off for a high-stick at the 18:19 mark and the Comets would finish the period with a power play. Bailey had a shot swallowed up and Rafferty had a shot through traffic denied before the period came to a close. Charlotte held a 13-8 advantage on the shot clock for the opening frame.

Second Period

The Comets had a brief power play to start the second period but they were unable to alter the score.

They did have a few good shifts to start the middle frame, however, as the Stevens line had a strong shift in the offensive zone with the help of defenders Josh Teves and Mitch Eliot. Eliot came back into his own end and dished out another stiff hit to end his shift.

Derek Sheppard had a chance from the side of the net that Kielly was alert to deny before the Camper line applied some pressure of their own. The Hamilton line followed up with another good shift before the Checkers went the other way and found themselves up 2-0.

This was a tough one for Kielly as I’m not sure that he could have done much with Cooper rushing his crease as a puck was put on the net. Mark Cooper was the scorer with his second of the season, while Clark Bishop grabbed is 13th helper of the year and Jacob Pritchard picked up his fifth.

The Comets were looking to get that one right back when Jasek dished to Graovac in tight for a chance that Kinkaid was ready for. The Checkers went the other way and Bishop beat Kielly, but not the iron.

Mitch Eliot kept the good times going when he filled in Steven Lorentz at the Comets’ blueline with another solid hit. Soon after, Max McCormick was sent off for slashing and the Comets had another chance on the power play. Carter Camper was in Sven Baertschi’s spot on the first unit, and we would find out why after the power play ended.

Justin Bailey was stymied by a sprawling Kinkaid before Reid Boucher launched a bomb of a one-timer past Kinkaid for his 33rd goal of the season. Rafferty grabbed his 36th helper of the year on the play, while Carter Camper earned his 31st.

This was when we heard Joe Roberts tell us that Sven Baertschi was headed down the tunnel. I didn’t see what happened to him, so we might have to wait to find out what his situation is.

Kielly came up with a big save on McKeown as the Checkers picked up the pace and pressed the Graovac line. Jake Bean let fly with a backhander that was steered aside by Kielly and the Comets went the other way. Lind came off the boards and found Hamilton in the slot for a one-timer that was turned aside by Kinkaid.

The period finished with a big save by Kielly on Lorentz after a Rafferty giveaway. The Comets finished the second period up 9-5 on the shot clock.

Third Period

The Comets came into the final frame down a goal, but if you read the lede for this piece, you already know what happened.

Sven Baertschi was not on the ice or the bench to start the third period, so the Comets had to mount their comeback while down a body.

Brogan Rafferty has done some really nice things in the offensive end of the ice, and trust me, we will get to that in due time, but his play in his own end is still a work in progress and can at times be adventurous. He had a few of those adventurous moments today that nearly cost his team goals against, but rookie stopper Jake Kielly was barring the door for him.

Rafferty coughed up the puck early in the third and Boston Leier found himself with a freebie that was shut down by Kielly before Dyson Stevenson was sent off for tripping. Kaski let fly with a one-timer that Kielly turned aside with the wave of his blocker before he turned aside a Bishop shot from the right side and the Comets had a good kill.

At the other end, Carter Camper was playing the part of set-up man, as is his way, and he sent a feed to Jasek for a one-timer from the slot that Kinkaid made a big save on.

The Comets kept pressing and Eliot launched a bomb that Kinkaid got a piece of with his glove. Stefan LeBlanc came back in with a nice move but Kinkaid was there with another save,

We had a stretch of whistles that slowed the pace for a couple of shifts before Rafferty coughed up another puck and Kielly was there with another save. Something tells me that Brogan will be buying Jake a nice meal after this game.

Kole Lind took a stick up high that went undetected, but Lorentz was soon sent off for a slash anyway and the Comets were headed back to the power play.

It took Reid Boucher all of eight seconds to hammer another power-play goal past Kinkaid to tie the game at two… and to tie Alex Grenier for the Comets all-time scoring lead with his 175th career point in a Comets jersey. This time it was Tyler Graovac with the primary assist for his first helper of the season, while Carter Camper grabbed the other for his second of the game and 32nd of the season.

The Comets kept their foot on the go pedal and we saw Lind try to hit Camper with a pass but they couldn’t connect on the play. At the other end, Jacob Pritchard showed a quick release with a shot that Kielly was sharp to stop.

The Comets applied some pressure and Teves sent a shot through traffic that Kinkaid stopped and held for the whistle. Regulation ended with Kielly shutting down a McKeown offering at one end, while Kinkaid turned aside a shot from Lind after a nice bit of passing from Camper and Boucher. This game would need an extra period.


We only saw one shot from each side in overtime and Kielly was ready for the Pritchard shot that he faced… Kinkaid, on the other hand, was not ready for what he was about to see from Brogan Rafferty as the rookie defender made up for his handful of turnovers in one fell swoop when he whipped out the moves before setting Kole Lind up for a tap in to win the game.

Rafferty grabbed his 37th assist of the season on the play, while Kole earned his 14th goal of the year. Kole and Brogan are both up to 44 points on the season for their efforts.

That was it for this one as Jake Kielly stopped 25 of 27 for his first AHL win in his first AHL start and he did it in overtime… not bad, kid… not bad. Charlotte outshot the Comets by a 27-26 margin today.

Today’s Official Boxscore

Comets Goals

Reid Boucher (33) from Brogan Rafferty (36) and Carter Camper (31). PP goal.

Reid Boucher (34) from Tyler Graovac (1) and Carter Camper (32). PP goal.

Kole Lind (14) from Brogan Rafferty (37). Overtime winner.

Jake Kielly: 25 saves for the win.

Special Teams

Power Play: 2/3.

Penalty Kill: 2/3.

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

PP2: Camper, Lind, Perron, Jasek, Petgrave.

PP3: Boucher, Bailey, Graovac, Camper, Rafferty.

Penalty Killers: Hamilton, Stevens, Boucher, Baertschi, Bailey, LeBlanc, Chatfield, Rafferty, Sautner.

The Three Stars in the building today were:

3rd Star: Carter Camper. Two assists.

2nd Star: Reid Boucher. Two goals.

1st Star: Brogan Rafferty. Two assists.

CanucksArmy’s Three Stars:

3rd Star: Carter Camper. Camper keeps picking up points and helping his team win games. He has developed some nice chemistry with most of the wingers on the roster as he has been moved all over the lineup this season. That could bode well if the team makes the playoffs and the coaching staff finds themselves looking to shake things up at any given time. Camper now has nine goals and 32 assists this season, giving him 41 points in 47 games… seems good.

2nd Star: Reid Boucher. There he goes again, tieing another club record that he will soon take sole possession of. Two goals today bring Reid to 34 goals and 33 assists to give him 67 points in 52 games this year. He has 175 points in 153 games in a Comets jersey… seems good.

1st Star: Jake Kielly. I know, you thought I was going to follow suit and give that first star to Brogan based on that nasty play on the overtime winner, but I feel like we wouldn’t even have made it to overtime if Kielly hadn’t been able to save Rafferty’s bacon after a game full of turnovers. So this one goes to Jake for his 25-save effort to win his first AHL start and to do it in a pressure-packed come from behind overtime win. Nice work, Jake.

Next Game

Game #61

Syracuse Crunch at Utica Comets

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific