Calder Cup Finals Notebook

by Mark Caswell, Jr.

Jun 11, 2015

Stay tuned here for updates from the Comets third round series against the Manchester Monarchs. Follow @UticaComets on Twitter and Instagram for photo updates.

Round 1’s Notebook can be found here.
Round 2's Notebook can be found here.
Round 3's Notebook can be found here.

FRIDAY, 6/12 - GAMEDAY - Puck drop 7pm

4:46pm: Jeff Lerg, who was signed to a PTO by the Monarchs, just left the arena. He told the arena staff that he had asked for, and been granted, his release. On his way out he said "I have no affiliation to these guys, so....Go Comets!". Drew quite a bit of laughter from those around.

12:39pm: Markstrom is the man in net for the Comets. It is unclear who will be manning the pipes for the Monarchs. Berube did not take morning skate. Neither did MVP Brian O'Neill.

12:03pm: Ask any coach and the most important game is the next game. It is no different tonight. Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals is tonight at The AUD.It's a crucial game for the Comets who can even the series at two games apiece with a win. Preview.

THURSDAY, 6/11 - Off-day

12:17pm: The crowd was at it's best yesterday. We had some NHL-level visitors along with the an opponent that visited for The AUD for the first time. Here is what they had to say about their first taste of Comets fans. Tweets:

12:02pm: Some great coverage coming from Vancouver and Los Angeles that you do not want to miss. Vancouver Canucks perspective | LA Kings perspective

Another great article in the Vancouver Sun talks with Travis Green about his decision to stay in Utica this season - Vancouver Sun - Travis Green

11:49am: Good news out of Comets practice this morning. Darren Archibald skated for the first time since he suffered a lower body injury.

WEDNESDAY, 6/10 - GAMEDAY - Puck drop 7pm

11:43pm: The entire post-game press conference can be viewed below, the spark notes version are below. Post-Game Press Conference

- "The fans gave us a boost right from the start. We've been used to it all year but tonight was definitely the loudest it's been."-O'Reilly

-"Huge win but now we're focused on the next game and tying this series up." -O'Reilly

-"The first period was the best period we've played all year." -O'Reilly

-"You never want to see an injury. You never want to see a guy get hurt on our team or their team." -Markstrom

-"Huge game for us. New day tomorrow." -Markstrom

-"Playing at home, in front of the best fans in the league makes a difference, really easy to get up for these games." -Jensen

-"It's a great place to play. The crowd is the best in the league and they give our guys a big energy boost." -Green

-"Tonight was obviously the best game of the series and we'll need an even better game Friday." -Green

-"Our crowd and our players knew how important this game was." -Green

11:15pm: Interesting night all around here. Let's get to it.

-Injuries to the Monarchs:
-No update from Coach Stothers on Berube or MVP Brian O'Neill.

Don't take our word for it, you're going to want to watch this.

-Injuries on the Comets: -No word on Brandon DeFazio, who left in the waning minutes of the game. He was seen in full gear watching the final seconds which bodes well.

In front of the wildest and loudest Comets crowd yet, the Comets win Game 3 by the score of 3-2. Series now sits at 2-1 in Manchester's favor.

6:54pm: Jake Virtanen, after missing practice due to an illness on Tuesday is out of the line-up. Wacey Hamilton is back in.

12:21pm: Morning skate is complete for both teams, Markstrom vs Berube tonight. Neither Jensen nor Wacey Hamilton took extra skate so it'll be interesting to see who is out tonight.

TUESDAY, 6/9 - Practice Day
10:22am: Just like yesterday, the Calder Cup is in Utica and making stops. It is not scheduled to have any public appearances today, however, it will be going around the tailgate tomorrow during the 4-5pm hour. So keep an eye out for it. You can catch the Cup on the news twice today.
12noon - WKTV
6pm- WUTR

MONDAY, 6/8 - Off-day

1:11pm: The Monarchs added Jeff Lerg to their roster. He is a goaltender from the ECHL.
10:12am: Game photos and highlights are now posted. 

SUNDAY, 6/7 - GAMEDAY - Puck drop 5pm ET

9:39pm: Post-game reactions:

-"We have to stay in the moment and execute one shift at a time." -Huskins

-"They are a well-coached, well-organized team. They won a lot of games for a reason. Speed has served them well." -Huskins

-"It's always tough to lose in overtime. Feel it for a little bit. Can't sulk this time of the year. Have to move on and fix it." -Huskins

-Jensen played well tonight. As a coach you're happy when a guy comes in and scores." -Green

-"I thought it was just time for Jensen to get in the line-up." -Green

-"This time of year, especially in OT, a bounce here or bounce there decides it and they got the bounce tonight." -Green

For the first time all playoffs the Comets dropped back-to-back games after losing 2-1 in overtime.

4:54pm: In a surprise, Nicklas Jensen is in the line-up in place of Wacey Hamilton. Sven Baertschi is good to go.

2:54pm: As expected, no update from Head Coach on Sven Baertschi. We'll keep an eye out to see if he takes pre-game warm-ups.


10:43pm: Post-game reactions:

-"They played a good game. They are a great team." -Green

-"We missed the net six or seven times in the second. We tried to cut our shots too fine." -Green

-"They established a better forecheck tonight. We'll watch the tape and make adjustments for tomorrow." -Green

-"We didn't play our best tonight. Manchester probably deserved to win tonight. We'll come back stronger tomorrow." -Green

-"We almost stole one from them. We have to play a lot better if we're going to take this series." -Conacher

-"They are faster than any other team we've played this year. We need to a little bit more physical." -Conacher

-"If we can pepper more shots on net and create more traffic in front of the goalie we can score." -Conacher

-"They are a good team.We didn't have our best tonight which put us behind the 8-ball. Marky played a great game and kept us in it."-O'Reilly

-"It's great having all those Utica fans here tonight." - O'Reilly

The Comets dropped Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals in overtime by the score of 3-2.

11:52pm: Some odds and ends stats.

-295 miles separates Utica and Manchester. It is the closest Calder Cup Finals match-up since Adirondack vs New Haven in 1989 (200 miles).

-Three times the host of the AHL's All-Star Classic has played in the Calder Cup Finals. 2000 (Rochester), 2014 (St. John's), now Utica. Those teams are 0-2 in the Finals.

-The AHL MVP has played in the Calder Cup Finals in each of the past eight years. The MVP's team is 6-1 in those series.

-Averaging a height of 6'2", the Monarchs will be the biggest defensive corp the Comets have faced since they played Chicago (6'3").

10:46am: Morning skate has concluded, those seeing extra ice time, meaning they won't be in action tonight, were Travis Ehrhardt, Nicklas Jensen, Andrey Pedan, John Negrin, and Joseph LaBate.

9:54am: On paper the Manchester Monarchs appear to have an edge in almost every way except in net. While there is no substitute for combatants squaring off themselves in the ring, this series preview attempts to breakdown what you'll see, and forecasts just what the Comets need to do to win the coveted Calder Cup.

8:15am: Wrapping up the craziness that was the past 48 hours. The Mayors of Manchester and Utica made a bet: The Mayor's Bet Tickets to Games 3, 4, and 5 of the Calder Cup Finals sold out in just over two hours: Two Hours and Four Minutes for Three SelloutsA guest wrote about what this special season means to Utica: Guest Column

FRIDAY, 6/5 - Off-day

9:49pm: Take a moment and watch the newest ##BuiltForThisMoment video from Game 6. Warning, if you're in bed don't watch. You'll have a hard time falling asleep.   6:23pm: The team traveled by bus to Manchester, NH Thursday afternoon, and arrived around 6pm. Around 1pm they took their first Calder Cup Finals practice with everyone looking good to go. The only players that did not make the trip were Darren Archibald and Carter Bancks. Both are still tending to lower body injuries.

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