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About Utica Comets
Utica Comets at Adirondack Bank Center
Catch some of the future stars of the National Hockey League when the Utica Comets take the ice. The Comets play in the North Division of the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference, and are the top minor league affiliate of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. The Comets call the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium home. Commonly known as "The Aud," the arena first opened in 1960 and seats 3,680. The team is coached by former AHL defenseman Trent Cull, who was an assistant with the Syracuse Crunch before replacing current Canucks head coach Travis Green in 2017. The team's president is Robert Esche, who grew up in nearby Whitesboro, and had success as a goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers and in the KHL in the 2000s.
Utica Comets Hockey History
Although the Comets first took to the ice in 2013, both the franchise and the city of Utica, New York, have a long tradition of hockey excellence. The Quebec Castors (Beavers) of the Canadian-American Hockey League were established in 1926, moving to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1935, and becoming the Springfield Indians. Bruins legend Eddie Shore would own the Indians until 1976, and the franchise would eventually win seven Calder Cup championships before moving first to Worcester, Mass., in 1994, then Peoria, Ill., in 2005. The Utica Comets name pays tribute to two teams who played at the Utica Memorial Auditorium in the 1970s and '80s, both named the Mohawk Valley Comets.
The Vancouver Canucks purchased the Peoria Rivermen in 2013, switching their affiliation from the St. Louis Blues, and immediately relocating them to Utica. For their first two seasons, the Comets retained their position in the AHL's Western Conference, before a massive league realignment between 2015 and 2016. As such, the Comets won the Western Conference title in 2015, losing in five games to the Manchester Monarchs in the Calder Cup finals. The start of the 2019-20 AHL season found the Utica Comets in the midst of a league record 155-game home sellout streak dating back to 2015, which extended to 169 games when including their playoff appearances.