Comets Overpowered by Marlies
by Mark Caswell, Jr.Jan 24, 2016
The Utica Comets had no answers for the Toronto Marlies offense in a 7-1 loss at the Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. The loss caps off the Comets 0-for-2 weekend north of the border.
Carter Bancks provided the goal-scoring for the Comets (1-0-1), while Richard Bachman suffered the loss by allowing four goals in just 12:11 of action.
The Marlies jumped out to an early lead just 3:44 into the game. Brett Findlay’s pass to Connor Brown appeared to be intercepted by LaBate in the slot. However, the mishandled puck found its way onto the stick of Brown who quickly flicked it past Bachman’s glove.
For the second game in a row the Marlies captured a 2-0 lead, this time courtesy of a David Kolomatis wrist shot into the top shelf.
In a span of exactly two minutes, Connor Brown scored his second goal of the game and T.J. Brennan added his 16th goal of the season to extend the home team’s lead to 4-0.
The second period had more of the same as a three-on-two rush just four-and-a-half minutes into the period ended with the Marlies fifth goal. T.J. Brennan dinged a shot off the crossbar-and-in for his second goal of the game.
With the Comets on their first power-play of the evening, the Marlies found a way to strike again. A pass from Rinat Valiev sprung Brendan Leipsic on a breakaway that he would not miss on.
The Comets finally got on the board late in the second period when Carter Bancks slipped the puck through the legs of Antoine Bibeau. Jordan Subban connected on a defense-breaking long pass from the Comets zone to set-up the breakaway. Jon Landry picked up the secondary assist.
The Marlies lead was extended to 7-1 when Mark Arcobello wristed a shot past Cannata after he skated through a pair of Comets defenders just under three minutes into the third period.
With the loss the Comets record drops to 18-17-3-3.
The Comets three-game road trip concludes next week at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. The Comets and Albany Devils are scheduled for a 7p.m. puck drop.
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets take on the American Hockey League’s best, and highest scoring, team this afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum in downtown Toronto. The Comets, currently in fourth place in the North Division, have played the Marlies to a 1-2-0-2 record this season.
Last Game: Special teams ruled the Ricoh Coliseum Saturday afternoon as both the Utica Comets and Toronto Marlies recorded multiple power-play goals in the Marlies 4-2 win. The Comets snapped an 0-for-10 skid on the power play and converted on their last two power plays of the evening. Hunter Shinkaruk (1-0-1), and Jordan Subban (1-0-1) handled the scoring for the Comets, while Joe Cannata recorded the loss. Chris Higgins, in his first game as a Comet, recorded an assist on Subban’s third period goal.
Scouting the Marlies: The Comets face a huge test today against the AHL’s best team. The Marlies lead the league in wins (33), points (86), and goals for (167). Oh, and they have three of the league’s top scorers this season in T.J. Brennan (15-25-40), William Nylander (14-20-34), and Mark Arcobello (15-20-35). In net the Marlies have had six different men play between the pipes with Antoine Bibeau seeing the most action with 19 games under his belt. The goaltender owns a 14-4-0-0 record, a 3.08 goals against average, and a .896 save percentage.
Lucky Number 3: The Comets 100th win last week was one of a kind so far this season. It was the first time the team has won a game when they have scored less than three goals this season. When the Comets fail to reach the three-goal mark in a game, the team is 1-13-3-2 this season. When they successfully strike three times, the team is 17-3-0-1.
Hey Now, You’re an All-Star: The American Hockey League announced last Thursday that Hunter Shinkaruk has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Classic Roster. Shinkaruk, 21, in just his second season as a professional, leads the Utica Comets in goals (16), assists (15), power-play goals (9), and points (31) in 34 games played. The 24th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Level Draft made his National Hockey League debut for the Canucks against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 16. In 2014-15, his first professional season, Shinkaruk recorded 31 points (16-15-31) and 28 penalty minutes over 74 games played. The Calgary, Alberta native also scored six points (4-2-6) in 23 postseason games with Utica through the 2015 Calder Cup Finals. The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic, will take place January 31 and February 1 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Next Game: The Comets head to Albany on Friday for a 7pm puck drop at the Times Union Center. The Comets next home game is the following night against the Rochester Amerks.