The wait is almost over, Comets season opener just one week away!
Well folks, the long wait that has seemed to build anticipation each day since the announcement of the team in May, is almost over. It is almost time to exhale, to relieve that stress from waiting...it is finally time to get excited!
The Comets finished their preseason slate, last night, dropping a tough 1-0 game to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Yet while the team did finish the preseason with a 1-3 record, and getting shutout twice, there were certainly some positives over the last couple of weeks that should make Utica fans happy!
Despite the loss last night, the Comets did show signs of life, outshooting the Bulldogs 28-20. On the other side of the ice, Jaocim Eriksson looked solid between the pipes, as he stopped 19 out of the 20 shots he faced, with his only hiccup coming in the second period off of a shot from Hamilton's Sven Andrighetto.
Eriksson is slated to be the starter for the team in their season opener next week, and if he can replicate that kind of performance against the Rochester Americans, he may be one tough goalie to beat.
Also, the uncertainty throughout the preseason is now no more! The Comets announced today that they have set their roster for the inaugural season opener, which you can see for yourself by clicking here. That means that the players on the roster today will be the players on the roster come next Friday. With a full week of practice, and the chance for the team to build some chemistry, it can only help Utica moving forward.
Perhaps the biggest reason for optimism coming out of the preseason, is the Comets' performance "at home." Granted they haven't played a game at The Aud just yet, but their lone victory of the preseason came in front of their hometown fans. The fans, while new, we're excited to see their team play live for the first time, and it allowed the Comets to power their way to a 'W' against Adirondack.
The JFK Civic Arena in Rome was rocking last Sunday with locals who had been waiting to see the team play all summer, and the atmosphere of playing in the Mohawk Valley for the first time propelled Utica to a 3-2 win, and left the players excited for what's to come on Aud ice!
With a strong showing at home, that should be an indication of just what type of impact the Utica Faithful can have on the team once they begin their play at home later this month. If nothing else, that alone should get you pumped up for next Friday, and for October 23rd when the Comets officially come home for the first time.
After 20 years, AHL hockey is finally back in Utica. With just a week to go until the puck drops for real at 7:05 p.m. in Rochester, it is finally time to get ready. With anticipation building, and excitement levels rising, the buzz around the area will only grow bigger as the season grows on.
We finally have a team back in Utica, and its finally time to show the sports world what this area can do!
Until Friday...get ready, and LET'S GO COMETS!