May 12, 2022

SATURDAY PARTY: Before the Comets take on Rochester in Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals, the Adirondack Bank Center Plaza is the place to be.

  • Live shows provided by DJ Ease One
  • Makeup courtesy of The art on you
  • Sign making station
  • inflatable street hockey
  • Take pictures with Naudie on the hot rod
  • Live performances by the Utica Comettes dance team
  • Authentic Comets Raffle
  • Cornhole, courtesy of McCraith Beverages
  • food and drinks
    • $3 beers
    • Free hot dogs, courtesy of Hofmann (while supplies last)
    • Other snacks available
  • Catch the Comets pre-game show at 72 Tavern from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

First game victory: The Comets faced the Rochester Americans in Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals on Tuesday night inside the Adirondack Bank Center and despite a 2-0 loss after the first period, the team pulled back and skated with a 6-3 win and the first win in a best-of-five series. The Amerks came out of the first period with a 2-0 lead, but in the second period the Comets got on the board, and it started with an offensive zone victory for Utica. As the puck returned to the blue line, Reilly Walsh fired a shot that created a big rebound past Amerks goaltender Aaron Dell. Tyce Thompson scored the goal and slid the puck into the back of the net at 4:31. It took just 59 seconds for the Comets to then level the contest and it was a bombshell from a Robbie Russo one-timer as he was set up by Nikita Okhotiuk at 5:30. The crowd went wild as the score was suddenly 2-2. But it was another Rochester goal by Ruotsalainen who fired a right wing shot off the bar and into the cage, making it 3-2 for the Americans at 11:32. The Comets showed resilience and it took a power play goal from the captain to equalize again. After a single shot from AJ Greer was stopped by Dell, he allowed a rebound for team captain Ryan Schmelzer to drop home at 15:53 ​​for his first post-season goal. After two periods of play, the packed crowd serenaded their team as the Comets skated to the locker room. The Comets finally took over and didn’t look back in the final period of regulation and it was Joe Gambardella who scored the game winner. Fabian Zetterlund nearly scored on a breakaway but his rebound rested in the crease for Gambardella to lay in the back of the net at 9:29. Comets AJ Greer scored to give the Comets a 5-3 lead after an Aarne Talvitie win resulted in a wrist from Greer that went to the blocker side and onto Dell and 14:04. Greer added a breakaway goal at 16:30 that sealed the deal and the Comets skated to a 6-3 victory and a Game 1 win.

Comets Regular Season Leaders: The team’s leading scorer heading into the playoffs is Chase DeLeo, scoring 21 goals and 35 assists for 56 points in 55 games played. Right behind him is Fabian Zetterlund who has 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points in 58 games played. The team’s leading rookie scorer is Alexander Holtz, who scored 26 goals and 25 assists for 51 points in 52 games. Reilly Walsh was the team’s leading scorer for defensemen, scoring nine goals and 34 assists for 43 points in 70 games. Tyler Wotherspoon led the team in plus/minus with a +26.

Ranking of special teams: Heading into the playoffs, the Comets had the 5th ranked power play at 21.6%. At home, their power play is ranked 18th with 19.5. Shorthanded, Utica ranked 9th in the league at 81.9% while at home they were 2nd at 88.2%

List moves: The New Jersey Devils announced today that defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin has been assigned to the Utica Comets. Mukhamadullin, 20, was drafted by the Devils 20th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He has played 34 games this season for Ufa Salavat Yulayev totaling three goals and four assists for seven points. He also played 11 playoff games for Ufa but failed to score a point in the playoffs.

The White Out continues: The White out is a hockey tradition that dates back to 1987 when Winnipeg hockey fans were asked to wear white clothes during home playoff games in Winnipeg, creating a very intimidating effect and atmosphere. When the Jets moved the franchise to Arizona, a young goaltender, Robert Esche, the current president of the Utica Comets, took the tradition to Utica where fans continue to wear white during the playoffs to support the Comets.

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