THIS IS UTICA!!!!!!
For the first time in the history of the organization, the Utica Comets have reached the .500 mark, evening their record at 26-26-3-4, after last night's monumental win over the Binghamton Senators.
The magic continued for the Comets, after a thrilling come from behind victory on Friday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, tying it with just 7.3 seconds left in regulation and then winning it in a shootout, they did it again last night with another improbable shootout win.
The comeback Comets found themselves down by a 4-0 score at one point in the second period, and in the blink of an eye, it seemed as though it would be an long, disappointing night for the team who had earned a major victory the night before.
However, Utica had even more tricks up their sleeve, as in just over one minute, the good guys scored 2 goals, and put themselves right back in the once bleak looking game.
The Sens would score again on the powerplay to make it 5-2 late in the second, but shortly after Pascal Pelletier would answer with a powerplay goal of his own to close the gap to 5-3 after 2.
Then in the third, the never quit attitude would allow the Comets to score 2 more goals, with Brandon DeFazio getting the Game Tying Goal for the second straight game, and complete the massive comeback to force it into OT.
And for the third consecutive game, Utica would take this one in a shootout, to take another HUGE two points in their continuing push for a playoff berth.
Never count us out
Last night, was yet another example of the season as a whole for our Utica Comets. In the early going, much like in the first month of the season, the team fell far behind before we could even say "hockey."
However, much like King Leonidas and the Spartan troops in the movie, 300, (get the title reference now?), the Comets rallied against impossible odds, and have now found their way back into the game and the season with a playoff spot still within the realm of possibility.
Now obviously, we hope that this season has a different result than the ending of that movie in a metaphorical sense, but the comparison certainly describes the Comets willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter what the cost.
This was a team that was dead in the frozen water after just one month into their Inaugural season, yet now, they are one of the scariest teams in the AHL, and one that I certainly wouldn't want to face should they somehow make it into the dance.
When the team is down, the players find a way to pick themselves back up. Joacim Eriksson, who has been so strong for the team as of late had an off night last night, possibly resulting from a little fatigue from the emotional win the night before.
With Joky giving up 4 goals on 16 shots, he was pulled from the game, in favor of Joe Cannata, who was sensational in his relief appearance.
The Comets rallied behind their backup goaltender's solid play to dig themselves out for a major hole, and somehow, someway, find the will and intensity to win the game.
Pulling it together
Early in the season, the team could have gone in a very different direction. With it being a minor league franchise, the goal of many, if not all of these players is to make it to the NHL (or make it back).
After the rough start, the team could have suffered in favor of individual players trying to pad their stats in order to market themselves to the Canucks brass.
However, luckily for us fans, that is totally the opposite of what happened. Head Coach, Travis Green, and his staff made sure that the players stuck together through a tough time, and once they were out of the early slump, the team first mentality allowed them to really take off.
We have lost some players to injury and recalls multiple times throughout the season, and yet it appears as though someone is always ready to step up in the wake of a key absence in order to keep the train rolling.
This attitude has not only made it so that the team has put themselves in a somewhat favorable position, with some time still left to truly make this season one for the ages, but it has also made it such an enjoyable ride for us fans, and the city as a whole.
Utica is such a hard working city, filled with blue collar people who care about what they do. This Comets team has been a perfect example of what this city is all about in their brief time here so far.
We may not be living in the best times, and there may not always be the most positive news within our society, but when the Comets are playing, the city takes notice.
In a time where lay-offs, and budget cuts are an unfortunate reality, the Comets have given us something to cheer about. Night in and night out, they are there for us, and there for each other.
It's that never quit attitude that has put the team in a position to hopefully do something great, and it is that same attitude that has made them so exiting to watch.
Next up, a weekend in Abbotsford, where the Comets hope to bring some magic to the northwest.
With the playoff push in full swing, the Comets have put the league on notice. Now let's see how this underdog story will end!
Missed the game? Check out the highlights from the unbelievable win, courtesy of the Binghamton Senators and Send To News, here: