Upcoming 3-Game Weekend Critical for Utica Comets


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It’s another full weekend for the Utica Comets, this time with three games in a space of 44 hours.

And there is much hanging in the balance.

The Comets are still trying to somehow scratch and claw their way into the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs. They 30-29-4-4 for 68 points and are seven points out of the eighth and final berth in the Western Conference with nine games to play.

They seem eager to get after it.

The Comets play the Toronto Marlies tonight ( 7 p.m. FRIDAY) at the Utica Memorial Auditorium , head up the road to play the Syracuse Crunch at 7 p.m. Saturday, then head immediately to Toronto to play the Marlies again at 3 p.m. Sunday.

It’s obviously a grind, but it’s why you play the game,” said forward Brandon DeFazio, the only Comet to play all 66 games this season. “It’s an opportunity to play three big games in a weekend. … It’s exciting. It really is.”

Read more about this exciting weekend

Brandon DeFazio has been named the Utica Comets’ IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year Award winner.

DeFazio is being honored for his contributions to the Utica community during the 2013-14 American Hockey League season. It is the third consecutive time he has been named his team’s Man of the Year, after previous honors with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2011-12 and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2012-13.

DeFazio has been involved in a number of activities, including Utica’s Quality of Life Sweep with several teammates and preparing and serving meals at the Rescue Mission of Utica. The team later raised $32,000 for the Rescue Mission at its March 7 game. He also has volunteered at local schools, libraries and hospitals and has assisted at practices of the Utica Jr. Comets.

More on Brandon DeFazio

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