Utica, N.Y. - It'll be nearly a year since the Utica Comets last home game at the Adirondack Bank Center, but the date for 2020-21 season home opener is now set.
The Comets will host rival Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday, February 17 at the Adirondack Bank Center. It'll mark 343 days between home games.
Utica is expecting to play a 32-game season, which will largely consist of games against the Crunch and Rochester Americans, along with a few against their other North Division opponents. The format is to cut down on travel and overnight hotel stays.
This year, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are joining the fold in the north, with the Belleville Senators and Toronto Marlies playing in an all-canadian division. The Binghamton Devils will be playing in Newark, New Jersey this season along with its NHL affiliate New Jersey Devils.
The AHL season is set to begin on February 5, meaning the Comets will likely play multiple games on the road prior to its home opener. One already on the calendar is on February 6 against the Crunch in Syracuse for their home opener.
There will be no fans in attendance for games at the Adirondack Bank Center at the start of the season.
Comets President Rob Esche previously told NEWSChannel 2 that the hope is to phase spectators back into the building later in the season depending on the status of the coronavirus pandemic, and local health guidance.
The Comets open up a brief training camp on Tuesday, January 26 and will practice throughout the week before playing the Crunch at the Aud on Saturday, January 30 for an exhibition game.
The AHL said it will release the full season schedule on Friday at noon.