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Utica's WIN-ter Wonderland

By SPENCER DAVIDSON

Utica fans rejoice. For the first time in over 20 years, we were able to witness an AHL victory in our city!

After knocking off the Americans on the road, 3-2 on Friday, the Comets took care of business at home and swept the weekend series by downing the Amerks again last night by a score of 2-0.

It was a day of firsts for our beloved Comets. Goaltender Joacim Ericksson, who stood on his head, recorded his first AHL shutout, and the first shutout for the team overall, and it was the first time Utica came out victorious in front of the eager Aud Faithful.

For fans who have waited since March 13, 1993 to see a Utica team win an AHL game at The Aud, last night was very special. Not one fan was sitting as the final minute ticked down and the horn sounded, ending the long overdue absence of a Utica home win. The atmosphere was electric, as the Comets ended a perfect weekend in perfect fashion, with a shutout on W. Oriskany St. against the biggest rivals so far this year, in the Amerks.

With a two game winning streak now in place, and Lake Erie, the team Utica beat for it's first ever win coming to town on Tuesday, the team is all set up for a nice run down the stretch. As I've said in previous posts, the first one is always the hardest, and the Comets got a bunch of firsts out of the way last night.

Now they will face a team that they know they can beat, at a place that they know they can win, and have the confidence that any game can be their game. They have the recipe for success being prepared right in front of their eyes, and you can just sense that this team is ready to break out.

Now at 4-10-1-1, the Comets have 10 points in the standings and sit only 9 out of the final playoff spot with the current 8th seeded team heading to The Aud. A win against the Monsters on Tuesday would be huge, as they would once again defeat a divisional opponent at home, and would essentially have a four point swing to help them inch even closer into the conversation.

This team, with all the struggles they may have had early on, certainly doesn't look like a basement team anymore. Sure they may technically be on the bottom of the standings right now, but it's still pretty early in the season, and now they are finding ways to get it done.

For those who have watched, or listened to the last few games, you know exactly how well the team has been playing, both offensively and defensively. And those who haven't, you really should start paying attention. This team has brought great professional hockey back to the area, and while their record may not show it just yet, just stay tuned because the team is beginning to hit their stride.

Just this weekend, they have mounted a come from behind victory, found a way to get on the scoresheet first and maintain a lead in a tight game, earn themselves a shutout, and most definitely make their fans proud. With how difficult the beginning of the year may have been, it appears that brighter days are up ahead, and this team's future has never looked brighter.

Between the veteran leadership of Colin Stuart, Kent Huskins, Pascal Pelletier, and Benn Ferriero, the recent solid play of Ericksson, and the immediate impact of recent send down Yannick Weber, this team looks poised for success down the stretch, and it has gotten me and I'm sure many of you very excited!

The waiting is finally over, the Comets have won a game at home. And while it may have taken longer than we would have hoped, it really couldn't have come at a better time. The Comets have seemingly begun to turn the corner, and Utica couldn't be more ready.

From March 13, 1993 all the way to November 23, 2013, Utica has been itching to see that win. And for one weekend towards the end of November in 2013, the Comets have given us all reason to believe!

Now its time to keep this thing rolling.

Till then...

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