Utica Comets 3, Flames 2 at Glens Falls

As sure as the sun rising in the east, or death and taxes, the Utica Comets defeated the Adirondack Flames yet again, this time a 3-2 victory on Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The win gives the Comets a 9-0-0-0 record against Adirondack this season, with all nine victories coming in regulation.

Mike Zalewski’s (2-0-2), (pictured above)

Carter Bancks
Carter Bancks

and Carter Bancks (1-0-1) found the back of the net for the Comets.

Jacob Markstrom
Jacob Markstrom

Jacob Markstrom secured his 14th win of the season and his seventh overall against the Flames after stopping 37 of the 39 shots he faced from the Flames offensive efforts.

Just as the puck was dropped at the start of the first period, Comets fans could be heard throughout the Glens Falls Civic Center as they belted the ever so popular, “Let’s Go Comets,” chant. Apparently that was enough to give the Comets the surge of energy they needed because the boys in blue found their first goal within two minutes of the puck being dropped.

The Comets ended up beginning the period shorthanded following a cross checking call on Alex Biega. Fortunately, that didn’t stop Will Acton from setting up Carter Bancks in the slot who ended up burying the puck past a sprawling Joni Ortio for the early 1-0 lead and Bancks’ first shorthanded goal of the season. Kent Huskins was also credited with an assist for his third of the season.

The Flames finally answered back at 13:12 into the second period after a stretch pass to Turner Elson from Mark Cundari. The pass made it all the way to the blue line, which put Elson in good position to beat the defensemen and lay it on Markstrom’s blocker side for the 1-1 equalizer. Tyler Wotherspoon also tallied an assist on the Flames first goal.

Both teams came out fast at the start of the third stanza, and as a result both teams scored within the first two minutes. Emile Poirer snuck past the Comets defensemen at 1:28 to beat Markstrom on the blocker side for the second time in the game and at 1:50 Mike Zalewski beat the Flames defensemen on the other end of the ice to eventually sneak it through Ortio’s pads. Zalewski’s first goal of the game evened the score at 2-2.

As the third period was winding down, it seemed as if the game was headed into extra time. However Zalewski put it to bed with just over two minutes left as he snapped one past Ortio’s leg pad on the far side for his third goal of the season which ended up making the final score 3-2.

The Comets have added another two points to their overall standing (60) which has opened up an eight-point gap between them and their North Division rivals (Adirondack Flames).

Even though the Comets have finished their business in Glens Falls, they get right back at it tomorrow afternoon at The Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Comets will be facing the Binghamton Sentators for the fourth time this season at 3 p.m.

Pedan, Comets Ready For Big Weekend

Andrey Pedan was excited.

“I hadn’t scored in a long time,” said the big Russian defenseman.

And this goal one was especially meaningful, coming three minutes and five seconds into overtime, giving the Utica Comets a 3-2 victory over the Marlies last Saturday in Toronto.

“It was good to get it in a big game at the right time,” said Pedan, who jumped into the attack with Alex Friesen and Hunter Shinkaruk and beat Antoine Bibeau on the short side from the left wing.

“Four on four (as the teams start out in overtime) you get more room to skate,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to get some offense.”

The win snapped a five-game winless streak for the Comets, who still lead the American Hockey League’s North Division at 25-12-5-1 with 56 points while embroiled in what promises to be a cavalry charge to the finish for the Western Conference’s eight playoff spots.

The battle continues this weekend, with two back to back showdowns with the division rival Adirondack Flames in Glens Falls, and then a home game against the Binghamton Senators Sunday afternoon.

– See more at: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20150205/SPORTS/150209686/10889/SPORTS#sthash.NJdCG5Fb.dpuf

Commuter train slams into SUV on tracks, killing 6 people

A crowded commuter train slammed into a sport utility vehicle on the tracks at a suburban New York crossing and burst into flames, killing seven people,

A crowded commuter train slammed into a sport utility vehicle on the tracks at a suburban New York crossing and burst into flames, killing six people, seriously injuring more than a dozen others and sending hundreds of passengers scrambling for safety, authorities said. The collision involved a Metro-North Railroad train and a Jeep Cherokee on Tuesday evening in Valhalla, about 20 miles north of New York City. Authorities said the impact was so forceful the electrified third rail came up and pierced the train.

Killed were the SUV’s driver and five people aboard the train, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. He said the number train passengers killed in the accident dropped from six to five during an appearance Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.” He did not give a reason for the change in the number of passengers killed.

Cuomo also says that 15 people were injured, seven of them seriously.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said the front part of the train was “completely charred and burned.”

“I am amazed anyone got off that train alive. … It must have been pure panic, with the flames, the third rail and the smoke,” he said.

Authorities said the SUV’s driver had gotten out of her vehicle momentarily after the crossing’s safety gates came down around her. She then got back in and was trying to drive forward when she was hit, they said.

The northbound Metro-North Railroad train left Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan around 5:45 p.m. and struck the SUV about 45 minutes later.

It was unclear how fast the train was going, but the maximum would be 60 mph, a railroad official said.

The train shoved the SUV about 10 train car lengths. Smoke poured out of the scorched front rail car, its windows blackened.

“This is a truly ugly and brutal site,” said Cuomo, who called the crash the railroad’s most deadly.

Witnesses said they saw the flames shooting from where the crash occurred, in a wooded area near a cemetery.

Ryan Cottrell, assistant director at a nearby rock climbing gym, said he had been looking out a window because of an earlier, unrelated car accident and saw the train hit the car, pushing it along.

“The flames erupted pretty quickly,” he said.

Passengers described a bump and said they smelled gasoline from the vehicle.

Around 650 passengers likely were aboard the train, including Justin Kaback, commuting home to Danbury, Connecticut.

“I was trapped. You know there was people in front of me and behind me, and I was trapped in the middle of a car and it was getting very hot,” he told ABC News. “All the air was turned off so there was no circulation so it was definitely scary especially when people are walking by on the outside and they said, ‘The train’s on fire. There’s a fire.'”

– See more at: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20150204/NEWS/150209802#sthash.gARiXkz3.dpuf

Passenger Stacey Eisner, who was at the rear of the train, told NBC News that she felt the train “jerk” and then a conductor walked through the train explaining what had happened. She said her train car was evacuated about 10 minutes later using ladders to get people out.

The other rail passengers were moved to the rear of the train so they could get off. Buses picked them up and took them to other stations.

All railroad grade crossings have gate arms that are designed to lift automatically if they strike something like a car on the way down, railroad safety consultant Grady Cothen said. The arms are made of wood and are designed to be easily broken if a car trapped between them moves forward or backward, he said.

Officials didn’t comment on whether the gates were working properly.

Rick Hope said he was stopped directly behind the SUV and said he started to back up to give her room, but instead she pulled forward.

Hope told WNYW-TV the crossing signals were working properly, and the gate was down and bells were ringing. He said the gate lowered and struck the SUV, and the woman got out looking a bit confused.

He said the woman “kind of” wiggled the gate. He said the SUV was at the track line when she pulled forward.

The National Transportation Safety Board said a team was being sent to investigate.

Metro-North is the nation’s second-busiest commuter railroad, after the Long Island Rail Road. It was formed in 1983 and serves about 280,000 riders a day in New York and Connecticut. Service on its Harlem Line was suspended between Pleasantville and North White Plains after the crash.

Metro-North has been criticized severely for accidents over the last couple of years. Late last year, the NTSB issued rulings on five accidents that occurred in New York and Connecticut in 2013 and 2014, repeatedly finding fault with the railroad while also noting that conditions have improved.

Among the accidents was a Dec. 1, 2013, derailment that killed four people, the railroad’s first passenger fatalities, in the Bronx. The NTSB said the engineer had fallen asleep at the controls because he had a severe, undiagnosed case of sleep apnea.

Last March, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a stinging report on Metro-North, saying it let safety concerns slip while pushing to keep trains on time. Railroad executives pledged to make safety their top priority.

– See more at: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20150204/NEWS/150209802/?Start=2#sthash.gARiXkz3.dpuf

Survey: What Causes EDI Document Failures

We need your opinion please. The survey below includes 5 questions and should take you about 3 minutes to complete. We are interested in understanding the most frequent causes of failure for EDI documents.


Your answers are annonomous.


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Please follow the link below to complete the survey.

Google Earth Pro Is Now Free

We have been working with Google Earth and Google Golf a long time. This will get us more interested in starting some new projects.

Google Earth Pro, the premium version of Google’s popular Google Earth service, is now free. Google sliced the price from $US400 a year, so this is a pretty solid deal. If you like to make 3D measurements or create HD videos of virtual trips around the world, I’d jump on this. You can download the software key directly from Google and start an online global journey.

If you spent the past ten years paying $US400 for the service, this news is probably annoying. Unlike standard Google Earth, Google Earth Pro comes with a suite of professional-grade features, like a map-making tool. It’s not clear why Google decided on this freebie.



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You Too Can Be An EDI Service Provider

There’s been a lot of action in the EDI VAN industry in recent years. If you know what I am talking about, you are concerned. If you don’t know, consider yourself lucky. My client is in the former group and posed an interesting question to me.


He is privately-held (and my non-disclosure agreement says I will be shot if I talk about him too much). He has a food buying group that is heavily dependent on EDI, plus a bunch of other things like community newspapers that he wants to be more heavily involved with EDI. He already owns a couple of computer-related companies, so his question “should we start our own VAN?” was not off the wall.

Valley Railroad (Essex) Snow Plow Extra

After a blizzard which dumped 2 feet of snow on southeastern Connecticut, the Valley Railroad operated a plow extra on Thursday morning, January 29, 2015.
A 100 year old plow and a 75 year old locomotive
Find out more about the Valley Railroad in Essex

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Utica Comets @ Toronto Marlies in OT

The Utica Comets snapped their five-game losing streak after defeating the Toronto Marlies 3-2 in overtime Saturday afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Joacim Eriksson earned first star of the game honors after saving 35 shots on the 37 he faced and tallied an assist on the Comets second goal of the game. Eriksson’s assist was the first point to be recorded by a Comets goaltender in franchise history. Dustin Jeffrey (1-0-1), Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) and Andrey Pedan (1-0-1) helped push the Comets towards their overdue victory.

Even though the Comets dominated the beginning half of the first period, the Marlies started to find their feet at 12:39 when Troy Brodie received the puck in the center slot from Connor Brown. Brodie released the puck and popped it past Eriksson for the first goal of the game and the 1-0 lead.

The Marlies didn’t let the Comets penalty kill statistic (90.8 percent on the road) get into their heads because the Toronto based club found their second of the game just four seconds after a holding penalty was called on the Comets rookie forward, Hunter Shinkaruk. Brendan Mikkelson received the puck directly off the face-off from William Nylander and blasted the one-timer in to the mesh for the power-play goal and the 2-0 lead.

Jeffrey and the Comets wasted no time getting on the board once the second period began. Barley two minutes in to the period, Jeffrey rushed into the right of the slot and fed one to the front of the net but Antoine Bibeau failed to cover the puck. The re-bound was left for the taking and once Jeffrey retrieved the puck he was left alone in front and sniped it over Bibeau’s right shoulder to get the Comets within one.

It wasn’t until the end of the second, but the Comets finally found the equalizer at 16:50. Grenier found his ninth of the season after releasing the puck directly from the left dot which ended up blazing through Bibeau’s short side to make it 2-2. Kent Huskins was credited with the secondary assist for his first of the season.

The two teams couldn’t come agree on a score after three periods, so an overtime period was necessary to determine the winner.

Fortunately for the Comets, just before play was pushed to 3-on-3 play in the overtime period, they found themselves in a 3-on-1 situation in the attacking zone and after a quick feed from Alex Friesen, Pedan knocked in his first of the season for the game-winning goal to make it a 3-2 final decision.

After Saturday night’s win, the Comets will head to Glens Falls next Friday for back-to-back games against the Adirondack Flames. The Comets are undefeated through seven games this season against the Flames.

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