Right now on the Jay’s Plays show on the Golf News Net Radio Network it’s Tour, travel, and design expert Bruce Moulton, and Chambers Bay designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Up next – John Garrity of Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine.
Great preview by Mark Caswell. You can read it at the Comets site here.
The Wolves were the one team that scared me more than any other with their speed, tape-to-tape passing, and chippy-ness. They were unfazed coming into the Aud for two games, trouncing the Comets 3-0 and then bowing 4-3 on a late seeing-eye, bouncing puck that trickled over the goalie’s stick and in. For a 1-8 match-up th two teams are ludicrously even.
“The Wolves just came out of a Murderer’s Row of a division,” said hockey expert Bruce Moulton. “You play Grand Rapids and Rockford for as many games as they did and se what your record looks like. Meanwhile Utica feasted on Adirondack 10-2.”
Here’s the most interesting nuggets from the preview article:
One of the more hotly debated topics in the Mohawk Valley this week centered around the Comets’ decision to begin the series on the road in Chicago. Due to the AHL’s first round five-game series playoff format of 2-3, the Comets’ coaching staff was forced into deciding whether they wanted to open the series with two games on the road and the final three at The AUD, or the first two at The AUD and the final three on the road. Travis Green and Co. chose the former. The decision was not an easy one and it was one that was closely analyzed. One of the deciding points was just how good the Comets were on the road (22-10-4-2) this year. The best in fact. With a winning percentage of .658%, the Comets were more successful on the road, than the Wolves were at home (19-15-3-1, .568%).
The Comets held a slight advantage in goals (9-8) and points in the series (5-4) due to a Wolves overtime victory….
Getting an early lead has proven vital to both team’s success. The Comets lost just one game when they led after two periods (36-0-1-0) this season, while the Wolves went the duration of the season undefeated (30-0-0-0). Those impressive marks aren’t an anomaly for either team. The Wolves have not blown a two-period lead in 47 games, with their last loss coming back on Dec. 28, 2013. The Comets have a similar stretch with a 15-0-3-0 record during the 2013-14, and a franchise mark of 41-0-4-0 when leaving the second period with a lead.
Video courtesy of Utica Comets
Heroes Welcome Home for Utica Comets After Clinching top Seed in the AHL West
By Jay Flemma, Special to Facewash Magazine
UTICA, NY – Sirens wailed, strobe lights flashed, and an entire city gave a collective cheer of joy as the Utica Comets returned home owners of the top seed in the AHL Western Conference and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Police convoy escorting them all the way from the Thruway exit, the triumphant Comets were greeted by a crowd of about 250 delirious fans who cheered, sang, waved signs, high-fived, mugged for photo ops, and otherwise celebrated the city’s first AHL playoff berth and division title and since the Utica Devils in 1993.
“This is so fantastic. Everything they’ve done to energize this city has been amazing,” gushed season ticket holder and Comets fan Ashley Luce, who traveled from Rome on a moment’s notice when she heard about the impromptu get together. “Look how much fun they are having,” she asked, pointing to Hunter Shinkaruk and Darren Archibald, who were both beaming and waving their arms to further exalt the crowd.
“It’s just like in games,” she continued. “They get us excited with a great goal or a glass-rattling hit, and they love when we go nuts cheering for them.”
“Going nuts” in this case was a greatest hits collection of Comets fans’ favorite cheers, with one poignant addition: “CAL-DER CUP! CAL-DER CUP!” joined “Let’s go Comets” and “U-TI-CA!” as the fans serenaded the team bus.
“This is so cool!” whooped Shinkaruk, pie-eyed with delight as he threw open his arms, letting we wave of adoration wash over him, much like Adam Scott did at the 2013 Masters, mugging for the cameras in his Green Jacket. “I’ve never been part of anything like this before. We’ve seen it all year what this city gives us, night after night. But tonight, getting off that bus and seeing this, this late at night, this is s scene I’ll remember the rest of my life, no doubt about it. Thank you!”
Utica will open the playoffs against either the Chicago Wolves or Toronto Marlies, who play each other tonight to determine the 7th and 8th seeds in the Western Conference. Grand Rapids will tangle with the winner of that game, while the loser faces the Comets. In other Western Conference playoff tilts, the San Antonio Rampage square off against sinking division rival Oklahoma City. The Rockford Ice Hogs will face the Texas Stars. All first round series are best-of-5. All other series are best-of-seven.