UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica Comets, along with the American Hockey League, announced its 2021-22 regular season schedule, Friday.
The Comets will open up its ninth season, first as the affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, with two straight home games beginning on Sunday, October 17, against the Rochester Americans at 3 p.m.
The date and opponent was previously known for the home opener, which will take place 34 years to the day from when the former Utica Devils debuted, but the start time and if they'd open the season before then was not yet known.
Over the course of a 72-game season, the Comets will take on Galaxy Cup rival Syracuse Crunch 14 times, the Amerks 12 times, and Cleveland Monsters eight times.
In another step towards normalcy, Utica will face its traditional North Division opponents from Canada in the upcoming season after not seeing them this past pandemic-shortened campaign.
The Comets will take on the Laval Rocket and Belleville Senators six times each, and the Toronto Marlies four times.
This year, some North Division teams are playing a 72-game season while others are playing 76 games, so standings will be based on winning percentage and not solely on points.
Utica will close out the regular season, bookending it against the Amerks, on Friday, April 22.
After not holding any league-wide postseason last year, the Calder Cup Playoffs will return this season. A format for the playoffs is still yet to be finalized.