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Comets fans kick off season at the "home of hockey"

By ANNA MEILER

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The very first Utica Comets game is away in Rochester, but fans at home wouldn't miss it for the world. They're loading up on buses and they're packing team spirit.

"I think the costume probably speaks for itself, but I'm pretty pumped for tonight," said the Utica Green Man.

"We sold out the bus trip- 110 fans," said Mark Caswell Jr., director of communication for the Utica Comets. "It's our first chance to see the team in regular season action, so the excitement is there, you can feel it."

After two decades without AHL hockey, Utica fans are ready to cheer.

"I was only three years old when the Devils left, so I didn't really get to experience that. I'm a big, big hockey fan, obviously, and to have the Comets back, to have AHL pro-hockey back in Utica, I can't think of anything greater really," said the Utica Green Man.

And while fans are excited about a new team, they're sticking to old traditions.

"Tiny's was the hockey home for professional hockey since 1990 when we opened here, so we've had the privilege of having the Devils and every other team after that come here and the fans come here and we've always had a great relationship with professional hockey. So when the Comets came to town, the natural thing to do was to bring the Comets to Tiny's," said Joanne Gerace, the owner of Tiny's.

It's more than just the revival of hockey.

"More than anything this will really bring pride to the city, I hope, and I hope the city can get behind them," said the Utica Green Man.

If you couldn't make the trip, there will be plenty more to jump on board with in the future.

"We'd like to do more fan buses. We'll see what we can do down the road especially with all our games in Rochester, Albany and Syracuse. We've got a few tricks up our sleeves that we'll announce later on," said Caswell.

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