Utica Comets 1 vs. Manchester Monarchs 2 (Series: 4-1 MCH)

t wasn’t the ending the loyal hockey fans of the Mohawk Valley wanted, but the Utica Comets were celebrated and bid a due by the loudest fans in the American Hockey League after ending just their second season in the Calder Cup Finals on Saturday night at The Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The series ended in five games as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the Comets 2-1 in Game 5 and claimed their right to hoist the most prized possession in the AHL, the Calder Cup.

Captain Cal O’Reilly (1-0-1) scored the Comets lone goal of the night in the remaining seconds of the third period and finished the postseason for a team high of 19 points. Monarchs’ goaltender Patrik Bartosak gave the Monarchs some breathing room as he stopped 30 of 31 shots en route to the team’s championship win.

The Comets gave up an early goal in the first period when rookie Adrian Kempe found his fourth goal in just three games after a sneaky drop pass from Nic Dowd left the puck right underneath Markstrom’s nose outside of the blue paint. Without hesitation, Kempe spiked the puck in on the short side to make it a 1-0 game at 10:02,

A hooking penalty called on Will Acton left the Comets vulnerable a little over three minutes later as the Monarchs took fully advantage of the situation and scored their fifth power-play goal of the series for the two goal lead. Vincent LoVerde was credited with the goal for his second of the postseason.

It was just a little too late as Bobby Sanguinetti dished one up to O’Reilly with just 15 seconds left in the third period. O’Reilly’s shot from the left circle launched past Bartosak’s right side to set the score at 2-1. Cory Conacher received his third and final assist postseason on the play.

After going 47-20-7-2 during their 76 game 2014-2015 regular season, and making it to the Calder Cup Finals with a final record of 12-11 in the postseason, the Utica Comets humbly ended their season in front of the most supportive fans in the AHL.

Amtrak could have had a working safety system

I have been patiently observing Amtrak cry poor mouth about putting a speed control system on its trains going through Philadelphia and elsewhere. Though many of its trains are electric, I believe Amtrak is blowing a lot of smoke.

I worked as a signal maintainer 45 or so years ago for Philadelphia Transportation Co. and South East Pennsylvania Transit Authority. As a signal maintainer, I specialized in train signals and track-train controls. Both subway and local commuter trains operated on a block signal system. Basically, this block section signal system would automatically stop trains if a train lay on the track ahead, a track switch was set to a conflicting position, if the train were speeding — particularly if the train approached a curve going too fast — and many other safety features.

These safety devices would stop any endangered train even if the motorman was dead on the floor.

Even then, there was talk of upgrading the electromechanical system to a pure electronic system. There was no need for a computer to be involved, even if there had been computers.

It is apparent that Amtrak could have had a working safety system in place for very little cost. Of course, like any other system, one has to hire people to maintain that system. It is about time that these companies are held accountable for their gross neglect of safety measures.

Train safety should be at least as important as the quantity of air in a football.

Peter P. Sirois