The Utica Comets are proud to announce that the club will celebrate this year’s Clinton Comets Appreciation Night on Friday, Dec. 13 prior to the Comets game against the Syracuse Crunch.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for a special pregame celebration that will begin at 6:45 p.m. Former Comets players Bill Bannerman, Howie Dietrich and Pat Kelly will be honored during the ceremony. All three players will have their jersey numbers displayed at The AUD alongside the eight players that were honored last season.
The player that were honored last year were: Dave Armstrong, Archie Burton, Tim Hook, Jack Kane, Tom Mitchell, Borden Smith, Pete Prevost, and the late Ian Anderson.
Kelly was player, head coach and general manager of the Clinton Comets during his tenure with the club. An Eastern Hockey League all-star nine times as a defenseman and three times as head coach, Kelly led the Comets to three straight Walker Cups (EHL championships). He went on to coach in the AHL, WHA and NHL as well as serving as the first commissioner of the ECHL.
Bannerman played his entire professional career with the Comets, starting in 1965. He was the right wing on the most prolific scoring line in EHL history with center Kane and left wing Smith. He ranks second all-time in assists (395), third in goals (279) and points (674). He was an EHL Northern Division All-Star in 1968-69 and 1969-70.
Dietrich joined the Comets in 1962 and is one of only four Comets players to reach the 60-goal plateau as part of his 118-point season in 1967-68. He spent six seasons with the Comets and was part of two Walker Cup championship teams.
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