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.
Outskated much of the night and outshot by a wide margin, the Comets got a huge game from goalie Joacim Eriksson and another great effort on the penalty kill to score a 5-2 American Hockey League victory over the San Antonio Rampage Friday before a sold-out crowd at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
“Good teams find a way to win,” said forward Brandon DeFazio, who wasn’t sure stolen was the right word. “It’s not the effort we wanted, but it’s a good sign to win that kind of game that we might not have won last year.”
Eriksson, part of the Comets’ Swedish Connection with Jacob Markstrom that has allowed just seven goals in six games to help the Comets jump out to a 4-1-1-0 start and into first place in the North Division, made 39 stops to frustrate the Rampage.
“It’s a game that easily could have gone the other way,” said Comets coach Travis Green. “I thought we were a little soft on the puck … I thought our goalie kept us in it at times.”
The second season of Comets hockey will begin with a weekend series in Toronto when they face the Marlies on Saturday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 12..
Opening weekend in Utica will begin with a contest on Wednesday, Oct. 22 against the Adirondack Flames at 7:35 p.m. It will continue with a Friday night affair against the San Antonio Rampage on Oct. 24 and a finish off on Saturday, Oct. 25 with the Toronto Marlies in town.
Utica will once again have a fan-friendly schedule with 24 of their 38 home games occurring on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Comets fans will have an opportunity to see 16 different AHL teams play against the Comets this season, including 13 of the other 14 teams in the Western Conference.
The Utica Comets announced that the team will host the Adirondack Flames in a preseason game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at Kennedy Arena.
Tickets are $5, and will go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the arena’s box office. There will be 700 tickets available. All proceeds will go to Kennedy Arena.
This is the second straight year that the Comets have hosted Adirondack in a preseason game. Last year, Adirondack was the AHL franchise for the Philadelphia Flyers. That team moved to Allentown in the offseason. This season, Adirondack is affiliated with the Calgary Flames.
“Last year’s preseason game was such a tremendous success, and we received such strong support from the Rome community all season long,” Comets President Rob Esche said in a news release. “Being able to host a preseason game in Rome, give back to the community and showcase our players in their beautiful facility is the perfect fit for our organization. “
The teams will play again the next night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Utica Comets have just re-signed defenseman Kent Huskins to an American Hockey League contract for the 2014-15 season.
The 35-year-old Huskins joined the Comets in November 2013 on a professional tryout contract and spent the remainder of the season in Utica.
Huskins appeared in 65 Comets games and recorded three goals and seven assists with 31 penalty minutes. He’s played in 475 AHL games in a 13-year career and recorded 134 points on 33 goals, 101 assists with 295 penalty minutes.
Huskins, who played collegiate hockey at Clarkson, was drafted in the sixth round of the 1998 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
He was a member of the 2006-7 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and he’s also played in the NHL with San Jose, St. Louis, Detroit and Philadelphia. Huskins has 66 points on 13 goals and 55 assists in 315 NHL games.
WOW, What a great career! Comets will benefit from all that experience.
Pascal Pelletier scored the game-winning goal with 34 seconds left, and the Utica Comets killed off eight of nine Toronto Marlies penalties to earn a hard-fought 2-1 win in an American Hockey League game Sunday in Toronto.
Benn Ferriero and Frankie Corrado had been on the ice for a long while.
Both gave a thought to getting off.
Luckily for the Utica Comets, they didn’t.
Instead, Ferriero, with an eye to the bench, slid the puck ahead to Corrado at the blue line, and the young defenseman skated up through the right circle and fired a shot past Jake Allen with 5:46 to play, giving the Comets the deciding goal in a 2-1 American Hockey League victory over the Chicago Wolves Friday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
“I was just looking to go deep with it and I saw Frankie had some legs,” Ferriero said. “He made a good shot.”
Corrado said he was ready to go to the bench, too, but saw an opening and took a chance. But he wasn’t exactly thinking goal.
“I was more looking for a rebound,” he said.
But the puck went over Allen’s blocker and inside the far post, and a few nail-biting minutes later the Comets had their second consecutive victory and a good sendoff for their out-and-back trip to British Columbia to play the Abbotsford Heat Friday and Saturday.
The Comets reached the halfway point of the season at 13-20-2-3, for the moment no longer dead last in the last – 31 points to 29 for Hartford – and 13-12-1-2 since starting the season in an 0-8-1-1 hole.
Nicklas Jensen scored the other Comet goal, with Ferriero and Cal O’Reilly – back after being out for three games – assisting. Joacim Eriksson, just returned from Vancouver, made 22 saves – some fine ones, including a dead-on stop of Alexandre Bolduc with three seconds left – in a great duel with Allen, an AHL all-star who was sensational most of the night.
Benn Ferriero scored twice, the second an empty-net goal in the final minute, and the Utica Comets snapped an 0-4-1-1 winless streak with a 3-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs Saturday.
Ferriero and Alexandre Grenier scored in the first period, Ferriero canned the empty-netter with 35 seconds left, and Joe Cannata made 32 saves as the Comets bounced back from an 8-3 beating at the hands of the Albany Devils Friday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Ferriero and Grenier now share the team lead in goals with 13 apiece.
Pascal Pelletier scored with assists from Colin Stuart and Yann Sauve 2:07 into overtime to give the Utica Comets a 4-3 American Hockey League victory over the Abbotsford Heat Saturday.
It was the Comets’ second one-goal win in as many nights over the Heat, who started the weekend with the AHL’s best record.
Kellan Lain scored his first two goals of the season to help build a 2-1 lead after two periods, and Stuart scored in the third to make it 3-2, but the Heat came back to tie it on Ben Street’s power play goal midway through the period.
That set up the game-winner the veteran Pelletier, the team’s top scorer with 19 points.
Joe Cannata, playing goal for the second straight night after going a couple of weeks without any work, made 33 saves to earn the victory after stopping 35 in Friday’s 3-2 win.
The Comets (6-11-1-1) play at Rochester Wednesday and return home Friday to play Bridgeport at The Aud.
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