Tag Archives: Utica Comets

UTICA COMETS 2016-17 SCHEDULE

The Utica Comets and the American Hockey League have announced their 2016-17 regular season schedule. The fourth season of Comets hockey will begin with a Saturday-Sunday weekend series in Toronto when they face the Marlies on Oct. 15 at 1p.m., and Oct. 16 at 5p.m.

Printable Schedule| Online Schedule
Opening weekend in Utica will kick-off with a intradivision rivalry showdown when the Binghamton Senators visit The AUD on Wednesday, Oct. 26. It will continue with a Friday night contest against the Providence Bruins on Oct. 28.

The Comets 2016-17 season will see the team play two games in NHL arenas. On Saturday, Nov. 26, the Comets and Marlies will play at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:30p.m. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Amerks and the Comets will square off at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Puck drop at the home of the Buffalo Sabres is scheduled for 7:05p.m.

This season the Comets will once again host theme nights such as Pink the Rink, Military Night, and Clinton Comets Appreciation Night. Dates and details for these nights will be announced at a future date.

Utica will once again have a fan-friendly schedule with 26 of their 38 home games occurring on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This year’s schedule provides Comets fans with the opportunity to see the other 13 teams in the Eastern Conference play against the Comets this season including the AHL’s newest team, the Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida Panthers), who will make their first visit to The AUD on Friday, Nov. 18. A new rule for this season will provide Comets fans the opportunity to see all three of the Comets sweaters at The AUD. After the league-mandated Christmas break (Dec. 22-25), teams will don their dark sweaters in their home arenas. Prior to the break, teams will wear their traditional white jerseys at home.

The growing rivalry with the Syracuse Crunch will reach a new level this season with 12 meetings between the two clubs. The first game in the Galaxy Cup rivalry will take place in Syracuse on Oct. 22, at 7p.m. The Crunch are scheduled to make their first visit to Utica on Wednesday, Nov. 23. All-time the Comets possess an 11-6-2-1 record against their closest rival, and have captured The Galaxy Cup in all three years.

Tickets to all individual games will go on sale at a future date. For the latest Comets news visit http://www.uticacomets.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uticacomets), Twitter (@UticaComets) and Instagram (@UticaComets).

Advertisements

Comets Bow Out in First Round

The Utica Comets third season came to a halt with a 6-3 loss to the Albany Devils Thursday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Devils took the best-of-five series three games to one.

Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) had a multi-point night for Utica, while Alex Friesen (1-0-1) and T.J Hensick (1-0-1) had the other two Comet goals. Travis Ehrhardt (0-1-1), David Shields (0-1-1), Jordan Subban (0-1-1), and Jon Landry (0-1-1) each had an assist on the night.

Albany fed off of a Comets mistake to jump out to a 1-0 lead early in the first. A Utica pass was picked off in the Comets zone by Matt Lorito. He took the puck down the center of the ice and ripped a shot past Joe Cannata.

The Devils were able to strike again seconds later on a Joseph Blandisi goal. Blandisi brought the puck down the left side of the ice and in on net. He made a move to get Cannata off balance and backhanded a shot into the net to give Albany a 2-0 lead.

Mike Sislo extended the Albany lead just over halfway through the first period. The Devils got out on a two on one and Blandisi skated down the right side with the puck. He then zipped a pass to Sislo, who streaked down the middle for a one-timer, Which gave the Devils a 3-0 lead.

Reid Boucher added on to the Devils lead in the second, turning defense into offense. Boucher stole the puck in the Comets zone, had an open scoring chance and took advantage, as he sent a shot past Cannata to make it 4-0.

Utica showed some urgency towards the end of the second, as they connected for a goal to make it 4-1. Shields fired a shot on net that deflected off the net minder. Ehrhardt grabbed the rebound and rifled a pass across the slot to Grenier who one-timed it into the open net to give the Utica crowd some life.

Albany was able to strike shortly after with a short-handed goal. Pavel Zacha got the puck on the goal line and passed it out to Blake Pietila, who put a wrist shot to the right of Cannata for a 5-1 Devils lead.

The Comets didn’t go away easy, as they cut the lead to 5-2 early in the third. Subban set up Friesen, who stood above the right circle. Friesen ripped a shot that went through the legs of the goalkeeper and kept Utica in it.

Hensick and the Comets chipped away at the Albany lead again midway through the third. Albany goaltender Scott Wedgewood went behind the net to get the puck and Grenier snuck up on him and stole it. Grenier found Hensick in the crease for a one-timer, as Wedgewood was trying to scramble to get back. The Hensick goal cut the Devils lead to 5-3.

Richard Bachman was pulled from net with just over two minutes left in the game and Pietila put one in from mid ice to close out the scoring and give the Devils a 6-3 win.

Utica totaled 35 shots on the night, while Albany finished with 34 shots. Cannata (23 saves) and Richard Bachman (5 saves) combined for 28 saves in net for the Comets. Wedgewood made 32 saves in goal for the Devils.

Comets Ride Electric Crowd to OT Win

The Utica Comets rallied off of the electric Utica crowd to defeat the Albany Devils 2-1 in a tightly contested overtime battle to take Game 3 of the North Division Semifinals, Tuesday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Jordan Subban (1-0-1) and Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) had the Utica goals, while Jon Landry (0-1-1) and Mike Zalewski (0-1-1) tallied on assists. Joe Cannata made some crucial saves in net for the Comets and finished with 27 saves.

After some back-and-forth action for over twelve minutes to start the game, Subban’s fortunate bounce gave the Comets the early lead. Subban carried the puck down the right side of the Devils zone and sniped a wrist shot from the right slot. The shot clanked off the post, off of the back of the net and into the net for a 1-0 Comets lead.

The Devils struck back late in the first on a four-on-three power play. Severson received the puck at the point and quickly swung a pass to his left for a Sislo one timer to tie the game 1-1.

Things got chippy in the second period, as both teams exchanged hard hits. The physical play led to a lot of fights and penalties for both sides, but neither team could gain momentum as the score remained 1-1 going into the final period.

There was more of the same in the third period, as both teams had their chances, but neither could find the back of the net and the game went to overtime.

Utica dominated the overtime period out of the gates and outshot Albany seven to three in the period. The game winner came after Zalewski stole the puck from a Devils defensemen, and brought it in on net. He faked a shot and passed it to Grenier, who streaked down the slot and punched in a point blank shot to give the Comets the 2-1 win and extend the series.

Utica finished with 30 shots on goal, while the Devils totaled 28 shots. Scott Wedgewood saved 28 shots in net for Albany.

The Comets and Devils will be back at it on Thursday night for game four of the North Division Semifinals at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

To ensure local Comets fans can get first chance to purchase tickets to Game 4 on Thursday night, single game tickets will be available to the general public starting at 10a.m. tomorrow morning, exclusively at the Utica Memorial Auditorium box office. Tickets will only be sold at the Labatt Blue Box Office (facing Cornelia St.). Tickets will be sold online (www.EmpireStateTix.com) and over the phone (866-688-8750) through Empire State Tickets starting at 12 p.m. No tickets will be sold over the phone through the Comets office or The AUD’s Box Office.

Game 2: Comets Fall Into 0-2 Series Hole

The Utica Comets season has been pushed to its furthest possible point after a 5-1 loss to the Albany Devils on Saturday evening at the Times Union Center. The Devils four goal third period was sparked by a controversial short-handed goal that came after Comets goaltender Richard Bachman was knocked to the ice on what appeared to have been a goaltender’s interference.

Cole Cassels (1-0-1) and Michael Pereira (0-1-1) each picked up their first career Calder Cup Playoff points on the Comets lone goal of the game. The Comets have now lost back-to-back playoff games for the second time in franchise history, with the first time coming during Games 1 and 2 of the 2015 Calder Cup Finals.

Cassels got the Comets off to a roaring start when he found the back of the net halfway through the first period. After the line of Michael Pereira, Brandon Marino, and Cassels applied heavy offensive pressure, Cassels sniped a wrist shot over Wedgewood’s glove to give the Comets their first lead of the series.

The lead did not last long as the Devils scored their first of five unanswered goals seven minutes later when Ben Thomson banked a shot in off of Bachman’s leg pad.

The Devils kicked off their four goal second period with a power-play goal four minutes in.

Then the game spiraled out of control and away from the Comets.

While short-handed, the Devils hemmed the Comets into their own zone as they looked to set-up the breakout. Jim O’Brien kicked the skate out from under Bachman, and sent the goaltender sprawling out on his stomach. The puck squirted from behind the net and into the slot, where Reid Boucher jammed the puck in to the net before Bachman could recover his position in the crease. The referees conferenced for a short amount of time, and deemed the goal a good goal.

On the ensuing face-off, the Comets rushed Wedgewood and picked up the lone penalty after a scrum on the ice. With Ehrhardt in the box for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct minor, the Devils scored 40 seconds after their previous goal to extend their lead to 4-1.

An extra insurance goal in the second period’s waning minutes was the final insurance goal the Devils would get on their way to grabbing a 2-0 series lead.

The series now shifts to Utica for Game 3 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. It’s do or die for the Comets, as Albany just needs one more win the claim in the series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm, where Comets fans are being asked to wear white and WHITEout TheAUD.

Game 1: Comets Comeback Falls Short

The Utica Comets quest for the Calder Cup did not have the ideal start out of the gate as they lost 3-2 to the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center on Friday night. The Devils outshot the Comets 29-14, and scored a goal in each period en route to acquiring a 1-0 series lead in the North Division Semifinals.

Darren Archibald (1-0-1) and Jordan Subban (1-0-1) each potted a goal, and Ronalds Kenins (0-2-2) enjoyed a multi-point with two helpers. Richard Bachman made the start and made 26 saves in the loss.

Albany scored the first goal of the series off of the stick of Ben Thomson. Moments after the Devils power play expired, Thomson redirected Vojtech Mozik’s slap shot from the point over the shoulder of Bachman and gave the Devils a 1-0 lead.

The Devils extended their lead 4:27 into the second period on a power play. Pavel Zacha brought the puck around the back of the net and set up Reid Boucher for a one timer from the right slot. The puck slipped past Bachman and into the net to give Albany the 2-0 advantage.

The Devils commitment to defense was evident throughout the game, especially so during the second period. The dominant Devils defense held the Comets to no shots on goal through the entirety of the middle frame.

27 seconds into the third period, and on the team’s first shot since the first period, the Comets cut the Albany lead in half. Alex Friesen received a pass in the left slot from Ronalds Kenins, spun around, and sent a pass across the front of the net to Archibald who was planted in the crease. Archibald finished off the scoring play and jammed the puck into the wide open net to make it 2-1.

Joseph Blandisi reestablished the Devils two goal lead with nifty backhand goal on a breakaway.

Utica wouldn’t go away easy, and chipped away at the Albany lead once again late in the third. Kenins dumped off a pass to Subban just inside the blue line, and he fired a laser past the stick of the net minder to narrow the Devils lead to 3-2.

The score held, and the Utica comeback attempt fell just short.

The Comets and Albany Devils get right back at it Saturday night. Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals is slated to start at 5 p.m. at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany.

Comets to Battle with Albany in First Round of Calder Cup

The Utica Comets announced today the dates for their match-up with the Albany Devils in the North Division best-of-five Semifinals of the American Hockey League’s 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The North Division’s second seed, the Albany Devils, finished the season with 46-20-8-2 record and set franchise record for wins (46), points (102), goals against (167) and home wins (27). The series will begin Friday, Apr. 22 at Albany’s Times Union Center at 7p.m. Utica will host Albany for Game 3, and if necessary, Game 4. The first game of the series in Utica – Game 3 – will be played on Tuesday, Apr. 26. Game 4, if necessary, will be on Thursday, Apr. 28. All home playoff games will begin at 7pm at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. If needed, the series will shift back to Albany for Game 5 on Saturday, Apr. 30 at 5p.m.

All playoffs games can be heard live on 94.9 FM KROCK, the flagship radio station of the Utica Comets, and live video can be streamed through http://www.AHLLive.com.

The Comets collected six points in eight games with a record of 2-4-2-0 against the Devils this season. In the all-time series, the Comets own a 2-10-2-0 record.

Tickets to Game 3 will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 22 at 10a.m. at The AUD’s box office. Tickets will only be sold at the Labatt Blue Box Office (facing Cornelia St.). Tickets will be sold online (www.EmpireStateTix.com) and over the phone (866-688-8750) through Empire State Tickets starting at 12 p.m.

Season ticket holders have the opportunity to purchase their seats from the regular season from now until April 21.

2016 North Division Semifinals– Utica vs. Albany

Game 1 – Friday, April 22nd – 7p.m. @ Albany (Times Union Center)
Game 2 – Saturday, April 23th  – 5p.m. @ Albany (Times Union Center)
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 26th– 7p.m. vs. Albany (Utica Memorial Auditorium)
**Game 4 – Thursday, April 28th – 7p.m. vs. Albany (Utica Memorial Auditorium)
**Game 5 – Saturday, April 30th – 5p.m. @ Albany (Times Union Center)

** If necessary

The Division Semi-finals (first round) will be best-of-five series. The Division Finals, the Conference Finals and the Calder Cup Finals are a best-of-seven series.  Home-ice advantage in all series will be granted to the team with the higher regular-season points percentage.

Comets Drop Regular Season Finale

In the last regular season game of the season, the Utica Comets fell to the Binghamton Senators 4-2 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Sunday afternoon.

Brandon Marino (1-0-1) and Brendan Gaunce (1-0-1) scored the Utica goals and Ronalds Kenins (0-1-1) and Carter Bancks (0-1-1) each finished with an assist. Joe Cannata made 25 saves in the loss.

Utica dominated out of the gates and kept the puck in the Senators zone for most of the first period. The Comets finished with an 18-5 shot advantage.

Marino got the Comets on the board first after a perfect setup by Kenins. Bancks zipped a pass up ice to Kenins, and he carried the puck down the left side of the ice. Kenins sent a perfect pass across to Marino as he streaked down the right side of the ice and found the back of the net with a one timer.

Ryan Rupert got the Senators first goal of the game to tie it at one. Rupert received a pass from Buddy Robinson and was able to put a shot past Cannata, 4:53 into the second.

Gaunce got Utica back on top, as he turned defense into instant offense, 1:33 after the Binghamton goal. Gaunce stole the puck away from a Binghamton defender in the Senators zone and sent a shot on goal as he was falling to his knees. Gaunces 17th goal of the season snuck past the glove side of the netminder for a 2-1 Comets lead.

The Senators didn’t go away easy, though. Binghamton was able to tie the game again when Casey Bailey put a pass in front of the net and Matt Puempel picked it up and was able to squeeze it past Cannata.

Bailey gave the Senators their first lead of the game late in the third. Cannata knocked down a shot from Puempel, but Bailey was waiting for the rebound and put it in for a 3-2 Senators lead.

The Senators closed it out with an empty net goal off the stick of Max McCormick to give Binghamton a 4-2 win.

Utica was able to get 40 shots on goal, while Binghamton finished with 29 shots. Joe Cannata made 25 saves for the Comets and Chris Driedger made 38 saves in net for the Senators.

Utica falls to 38-26-8-4 on the year and Binghamton improves to 31-38-6-1.

The Comets will now head to the playoffs where they will look to make another run to the Calder Cup Finals.

Comets Claim Third Consecutive Galaxy Cup

The Utica Comets weathered losing three different leads through the course of the game, and needed just 33 seconds of extra time to take the coveted Galaxy Cup Trophy home with a 4-3 win over the Syracuse Crunch. With a series record of 6-4-0-0, the Comets claimed their third consecutive Galaxy Cup title with a 12-9 edge in points.

Michael Zalewski (2-1-3), and Brendan Gaunce (1-2-3) enjoyed three-point nights while Taylor Fedun (0-2-2) chipped in a multi-point game with two assists. Richard Bachman made 32 saves for his 101st career American Hockey League victory. Friesen’s short-handed marker in the second period was the Comets 17th short-handed goal of the season, the most scored by any team in the AHL.

The Comets wasted no time getting on the board, just 18 seconds in fact, courtesy of a perfectly placed wrist shot from Zalewski. The New Hartford, NY native received a pass from Brendan Gaunce and expertly ripped a wrist shot from a step above the hashmarks past Gudlevskis outstretched glove for his 15th goal of the season. Curtis Valk also assisted on the tally.

Less than five minutes later the Crunch tied it up when Ben Thomas’s shot from the point snaked its way through traffic and in to the net.

With 5:50 remaining in the second frame the Comets claimed their second lead of the night. While the Comets killed a Crunch two-man advantage, Alex Friesen intercepted Joel Vermin’s pass and was off to the races. The first Comets penalty expired shortly before Friesen’s wrister escaped Gudlevskis paddle for his 14th goal of the season.

However, the lead was short-lived as Matthew Peca stuffed home a rebound on his third whack just 3:02 into the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

The Comets answered right back when Taylor Fedun’s perfect breakout pass through two Crunch defenders sprung Zalewski on a partial breakaway. Zalewski’s wrist shot beat Gudlevskis on the shortside for his second goal of the night.

Just like most Comets-Crunch match-ups this game was rich with the dramatics. Peca scored his second of the night after his shot from the top of the slot snuck past a screen Richard Bachman to tie the game at 3-3 with 5:56 to play.

After Bachman turned aside a Crunch shot on goal, Fedun pounced on the loose puck and sprung Zalewski and Gaunce on a two-on-one fast break. Gaunce’s first slid the puck to Zalewski who saw his chance get turned aside before Brendan Gaunce cleaned up the rebound for his 16th goal of the season.

With the win the Comets record improves to 38-25-8-4.

The Comets wrap up the regular season schedule with a matinee tilt against the Binghamton Senators at The AUD Sunday afternoon. Fan Appreciation Weekend will conclude with a plethora of activity during the game. The Save of the Day Foundation will be selling 1,000 mystery boxes behind section 204 when doors open. Prior to puck drop, the Comets will announce their 2015-16 awards winners. Stick around after the game for the live auction of the Comets green alternate sweaters. Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm.

 

Comets Special Teams Thrive in Win Over Crunch

The Utica Comets stormed back in the third period to upend the Syracuse Crunch 3-1 Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Clad in their lucky green sweaters, the Comets entered the third period trailing 1-0. Two power-play goals, and their league-leading 16th short-handed goal of the season, powered the Comets to a 5-4-0-0 edge in the Galaxy Cup series.

Ronalds Kenins (1-0-1), Joseph LaBate (1-0-1), and Andrey Pedan (1-0-1) provided the goals for the home team, while Joe Cannata turned aside 18 of the Crunch’s 19 shots on goal. Brendan Gaunce (0-1-1) recorded an assist in his first game back with the Comets. Alexandre Grenier (0-1-1) inched closer to a 50-point season with his 48th point of the season.

It didn’t take long for the first goal as Syracuse got on the board just nine seconds after the opening face-off. Anthony DeAngelo controlled the puck off the opening face-off and sent a laser of a pass to Joel Vermin, who split the Comets defense for a breakaway goal.

No more goals would be scored in the first, and the second period followed suit. After being outshot 11-5 in the first period, the Comets held the Crunch to just two shots in the second period, and six shots in the third period.

Kenins tied the game for the Comets in the third period and breathed some life into the Utica crowd that was waiting for a reason to get into the game. Jordan Subban rifled a pass to Hensick who was stationed on the goal line. Hensick found Kenins as he streaked across the slot and set the Latvian up for a one-time slap shot that whistled its way past Kristers Gudlevskis.

The Comets fed off of the momentum and took their first lead of the game with 4:40 remaining. From the top of the circle, Grenier one-timed Gaunce’s pass on net. LaBate expertly redirected the shot through the Crunch netminder for his 10th of the season.

Despite being shorthanded, the Comets capitalized on an empty net to finish off the Crunch. After Carter Bancks Pedan bounced the puck down the length of the ice, and into the empty Syracuse net to put the game out of reach and seal the deal.

The Comets finished with 25 shots on goal, and the Crunch had 19 shots on the night. Gudlevskis saved 22 shots in net for Syracuse.

Utica improves to 37-25-8-4, while the loss drops Syracuse to 32-28-10-4.

The Comets will travel to Syracuse on Saturday for one last meeting against the Crunch before returning home Sunday for the final game of the regular season, when they take on the Binghamton Senators. Saturday’s puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m., and Sunday’s game will start at 3 p.m.

IceCaps Too Much for Comets

Six different skaters for the St. John’s IceCaps scored as the Utica Comets fell by the score of 7-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Mile One Centre.

Curtis Valk (1-0-1) was the only Comets player to beat IceCaps’ goaltender Zachary Fucale. Richard Bachman made 32 saves including a behind-the-back glove save that will grace highlight reels for ages in the loss.

The Comets found themselves quickly behind the eight ball as the IceCaps scored twice in the game’s opening five minutes, in part thanks to some sloppy play from the Comets.

Jordan Subban mishandled a pass from Richard Bachman and coughed up the puck to Gabriel Dumont. Dumont slipped the puck across the slot to Jacob de la Rose who quickly wired a one-time slapshot past Bachman’s glove.

A little over three minutes later the IceCaps again capitalized on a Comets miscue when Morgan Ellis and Bud Holloway turned a missed Comets drop pass in the IceCaps defensive zone into an odd-man rush the other way. After John Negrin overskated Alex Friesen’s drop pass, Holloway streaked the length of the ice and left a drop pass of his own for Morgan Ellis. The hero from last night’s overtime victory over the Comets, took four strides into a slapshot that found its way through Bachman to put the Comets in a 2-0 hole.

Michael McCarron with a breakaway goal after he was sprung free with a pass from Holloway as he stepped out of the penalty box.

The second period started with more of the same bad news for the Comets as the IceCaps scored twice in the period’s opening 2:38. Tim Bozon’s wrist shot from the slot made it 4-0, and then Nikita Scherbak’s tally 1:14 later extended the IceCaps’ lead to 5-0.

7:39 into the second period the Comets finally broke through on the scoreboard. From the slot, Curtis Valk wristed a shot into the back of the net, for his second American Hockey League tally, after a perfect feed from Joseph LaBate. Jordan Subban picked up the secondary assist after his breakout pass set the table for the goal.

The IceCaps started the third period just like they started the previous two periods – with a goal in the first two minutes. Charles Hudon pounced on a loose puck and flipped it over Bachman for the 6-1 lead.

Hudon added a second tally in the third period for his 28th goal of the season.

With the loss the Comets record dropped to 36-25-8-4.

The Comets return home for a home-and-home series with the Syracuse Crunch. The Galaxy Cup rivalry weekend kicks off Friday night the Utica Memorial Auditorium at 7pm. The Galaxy Cup series is tied at eight points apiece.