Utica COMETS are in Serious Practice Sessions


The Utica Comets are very serious.

Thanks to a friend for the picture (I’m 6 time zones away, so the Comets are a GLOBAL thing).

Darren Archibald finds himself in Utica, working on his National Hockey League dream as a member of the new Utica Comets. A 6-foot-3, 212-pound left wing from Newmarket, Ontario, he spent most of last season with the Chicago Wolves. If he is disappointed in being sent down to the American Hockey League again by the Vancouver Canucks, he isn’t moping about it.

Archibald and more than two dozen other players were at the Aud as head coach Travis Green led the Comets through their first practice on their home ice. Green, who scored 193 goals in a 16-year NHL career and won a Western Hockey League championship with the Portland Winterhawks in his first season as a head coach last winter, expects a few more players to be added to the roster shortly. The squad will be whittled down to 22 to 24 by the time the Comets open the regular season Oct. 11 at Rochester. It wasn’t the first time Green has been in the Aud. He was with the Capital District Islanders for three seasons when Utica’s previous AHL team, the Devils, were in the league.

What it will look like is what Green and assistant coaches Paul Jerrard and Nolan Baumgartner, both former pro defensemen, will be working on.

“I’m pleased with the effort,” Green said after the first of two split squad practices Wednesday. “Some spots are taken on the team. That’s just the way it is. Some are open. But the best players will play.”

The Comets play at the Hershey Bears on Friday, and will play the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday at Kennedy Arena in Rome.

The training camp roster for the Utica Comets is set. Camp begins this week, and the team’s first official practice was Wednesday afternoon at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The Comets will be in Pennsylvania for a preseason game Friday at Hershey. They will host the Adirondack Phantoms in a preseason game Sunday at Rome’s Kennedy Arena, and their final preseason tune-up will be Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Hamilton Bulldogs.The Comets open the season on the road Oct. 11 at Rochester, and they open their home schedule Oct. 23 against the Albany Devils.

Training Camp Roster
: Joe Cannata, Mathieu Corbeil, Joacim Eriksson.

Defenseman: Peter Andersson, Jeremie Blain, Alex Biega, Sacha Guimond, Patrick Mullen, John Negrin, Adam Polasek, Yann Sauve, Henrik Tommernes, Brad Walch, Louis Liotti.

Forwards: Steven Anthony, John Armstrong, Darren Archibald, Ludwig Blomstrand, Kurtis Bartliff, Brandon DeFazio, Alex Friesen, Alexandre Grenier, Yanni Gourde, Daultan Leveille, Kellan Lain, Wesley Myron, Pascal Pelletier, David Pacan, Colin Stuart, Kellan Tochkin, Alexandre Mallet, Mitch Elliot, Jesse Mychan, Benn Ferriero.

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