INSIDE HOCKEY » Utica Comets Get Inside! Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:40:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Photo Gallery: Comets @ Senators 03/08/14 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:05:28 +0000

  In Binghamton , New York, the Utica Comets overcame a 4 goal deficit to defeat the Binghamton Senators in a shootout by a score of 6-5. The Comets goalie had 1 goal a d 1 assist to help his team win.  The “3 Stars of the Game” were #3 BNG Gabriel Pageau, #2 UTI Alex Biega, and #1 UTI Pascal Pelletier.  Photos taken by Steve Rusyn for Inside Hockey.


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Photo Gallery: Crunch vs. Comets (2/21/14) Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:11:15 +0000

Syracuse Crunch loose a heart breaker 2-1 in overtime. Cedrick Desjardins blocked 34 of 36 shots.

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Comets Streak Past Sens Sun, 23 Feb 2014 03:52:33 +0000

BINGHAMTON – Don’t let their 22-23-3-4 (51 points 3rd North) record foll you, the Utica Comets are sneaky good. They knocked off one of the hottest teams in the AHL Saturday, as they topped the Binghamton Senators 3-2 in front of an announced crowd of 4679 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. The win was Utica’s fourth straight and snaps an equally impressive four game streak for Binghamton.

Binghamton (33-16-1-3 70 points, 1st East) didn’t seem to have the pep in their step, and while they did not play a bad game, faltered in the late minutes. Having arrived from an exciting game at the Bell Centre in Montreal at 4:30 am, the fatigue caught up to them at the end.

“The other team worked harder, ” Binghamton coach Luke Richardson said, refusing to blame the travel on the loss. “They deserve the win. That’s really unacceptable for us”

“You can’t be making excuses,” forward Mike Hoffman admitted. “You’re a little bit tired, but how many minutes are you going to play; 15 or 20? You have to go out there and give it everything you got. Travel is part of this league and you’ve just got to deal with that.”

The first period was Binghamton’s best, but they were not discipline with their offensive play. Time after time, the Sens made an extra pass when they had a wide open net to shoot at. Utica’s starting goalie, Joacim Eriksson was also impressive in net, stopping 27 of 29 shots he faced (Andrew Hammond stopped 27 of 30 for Binghamton).

The B-Sens were able to light the lamp in the 1st, as Hoffman led a rush on the right side in the neutral zone. He let go a hard shot from just above the right circle to score his 29th goal of the year and make it 1-0. Chris Wideman was credited with the assist at 13:11. The goal came four-on-four as Mike Sdao and Kellan Lain has been given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for a bit of jarring after a whistle seconds earlier.

Utica battled back in the second stanza, ting the game at one goal apiece. Comets’ captain Colin Stuart scored his 12th goal as he took a second chance opportunity on Hammond from the base of the right circle. Jeremy Welsh and Andrew Mallet assisted at 9:18.

Hoffman scored his 30th of the year later in the period on one of the flukiest goals you will ever see. He had the puck behind the icing line in the offensive zone on the right side and tried to center it for a cutting Sdao. Instead of tipping off Sdao’s stick and in, it went in off the skate of a Comets’ defender and gave Binghamton a 2-1 lead at 11:32. Mark Stone was credited with the helper.

“Sdao was going back door so I was just trying to send a hard pass through,” Hoffman said. “I got a little lucky bounce off one of their D. I didn’t see it go in, I didn’t even know it went in. I’ll take it.”

Hoffman is second in the league in points at 67 and sits one goal back of Texas’ Colton Sceviour.

With the Binghamton again up one and the third period approaching, Stephane Da Costa took a tripping call that carried over into the third. Just 19 ticks into the period, Utica tied it up as Nicklas Jensen poked the puck past the right pad of Hammond for his 14th of the year. Patrick Mullen had the initial shot and Cal O’Reilly also assisted on the goal that tied the game at two.

Three was the magic number as Hoffman continued trying unsuccessfully for a hat trick. Meanwhile, Utica’s Frank Corrado scored the team’s third and his fifth of the year off the faceoff at 6:31. The Faceoff man O’Reilly assisted. It was all they needed as Utica skated to a 3-2 victory.

“You’re not going to win every game,” Hoffman said. “We’ve been playing some really good hockey and had spurts of it tonight. [We've just got to] put this one behind us and get ready for Wednesday.”

Binghamton is off until Wednesday afternoon when they head to Toronto to take on the Marlies at 11am. The team will then hop on a plane bound for St. John’s to take on the Ice Caps Friday and Saturday. Utica is on the road Sunday at Albany before returning home to take on San Antonio Wednesday.

Said Hoffman, the MVP of the All Star game last week in St. John’s, “I’ll try and bring [those] two points to the game in St. John’s”

NOTE: Mark Borowiecki, Cole Schneider, Jim O’Brien, and Wacey Hamilton were not dressed. The later two were healthy scratches with Borowiecki ready to go if needed, but still day to day. Richardson did admit the team struggled without their captain.


  • All 30 teams were in action Saturday.
  • San Antonio saw it’s season best six game winning streak snapped Saturday afternoon, falling to Toronto 2-1. San Antonio is in the midst of their month long “rodeo road trip”.
  • Five different Crunch players scored as Allen York recorded his second shutout of the year (and first in Syracuse) as Syracuse defeats Hershey 5-0 at the Giant Center


3. Colin Stuart (UTI) G

2. Mike Hoffman (BIN) 2 G (29, 30)

1. Frank Corrado (UTI) GWG

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Sens Squeak Past Comets in Thriller Sat, 28 Dec 2013 05:49:53 +0000

UTICA – If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That was Mike Hoffman’s motto as he faced a five-on-three advantage with just under a minute left in a tie game. Hoffman was stopped twice by Utica  Comets’ netminder Joe Cannata before finally pushing through with a wrist shot with just 28 seconds remaining to give the Binghamton Senators a 4-3 victory in a hard fought game in front of a sold out Utica Memorial Auditorium Friday night.

“Hoff[man] has been really shooting the puck well, but he’s just missed,” Binghamton head coach Luke Richardson said. “I’m really happy for him getting the winner.”

The game as a whole was as thrilling as the conclusion, with both teams seemingly exchanging blows both physically and in the scoring department.

The Comets (10-16-1-1 22 points 5th North) got on the board first just 4:12 into the game. Darren Archibald redirected a puck off his skate in front of Nathan Lawson after a sharp angle shot from the right side boards. Mark Stone argued it was kicked in, but the goal was not reviewed and it was 1-0 Utica on Archibald’s fourth goal of the year with Pascal Pelletier and Alexandre Grenier assisting on the goal. It was Pelletier’s team leading 17th assist. He added his 18th later

Binghamton (17-9-0-3 39 points 1st East) answered later in the period, as Matt Puempel scored his first of two goals on the night. The B-Sens were able to capitializ on Pelletier’s goaltender interference penalty, as Derek Grant let go a hard slapshot from the left that Cannata stopped. The rebound went all the way to just below the right faceoff dot, where Puempel corralled the puck and shot it over the goalie’s right pad to get his eighth goal of the year.

“Good shot by Grant, and the nice rebound came out,” Puempel said.

While Binghamton wasn’t playing bad in the opening frame, they mustered only five shots on net to start, but after a quiet first period, the game took a complete 360 in the second, with two quick goals setting the tone

Before many fans were in their seats, Grenier scored his seventh of the year. the winger came from the right side and powered into the slot, turning around past his defender, Jim O’Brien. On the turnaround he let go a wrist shot that passed Lawson to give Utica a 2-1 lead 1:26 into the second stanza. Pelletier and Alex Biega assisted on the play.

Just 47 seconds later, Puempel struck again, leading to his first multi-goal game.

“The second one,” Puempel reminisced, “Danny [New] made a nice play on and I was fortunate enough to get a tip on it.”

“He’s done a great job,” Richardson said. “He’s developing into a full two way player. I think that’s going to go a long way for him.”

New and Andre Petersson assisted on Puempel’s ninth of the year at 2:13.

Then, the game got physical. Archibald landed what appeared to be a clean hit on Stephane Da Costa, but Michael Sdao had other thoughts. He jumped Archibald at the 10:58 mark, losing the ensuing fight. In addition to the loss, Sdao was assessed an instigating penalty and a 10 minute misconduct. There was also a bench minor after coach Richardson argued the instigator. Despite the penalties, Binghamton was able to get through the 5-on-3 unscathed, and capitalized on Alex Mallet’s roughing penalty.

“I thought we put ourselves in penalty trouble, me included,” Richardson admitted. “I think the referees do the best job they can and the calls went both ways.

“…it was chippy. Both teams were chippy and taking untimely penalties and sometimes undisciplinary penalties.” (sic)

On the ensuing powerplay, at 14:42, the B-Sens used their set play to get the puck from Cole Schneider on the left to Mark Stone, who had a wide open right side of the net to score on. Da Costa was assessed the second assist.

Appropriately, Utica answered right back. After Tyler Eckford’s slashing penalty, Grenier scored his second of the night and eighth of the year as he got the feed from Patrick Mullen on the left point. Grenier came in close on Lawson’s left and after getting stopped on his first attempt, put the rebound over his left pad to tie the game at 3 goals apiece 15:22 into the second.

In all, there were four goals and 12 penalties totaling 39 minutes and a game misconduct to Kellan Lain for boarding over the course of the second period of play.

The game appeared to settle down in the third, with Binghamton beginning to dominate play. They held Utica to just seven shots while letting go 13. The first 12 were stopped by Cannata, but the 13th was game, set, and match. At the 18:03 mark, Branon DeFazio took an interference penalty. Just a minute later, Pelletier was charged with what appeared to be a phantom high-sticking infraction. With 57 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey to end the period, Binghamton was awarded a gift, and they took advantage at 19:32.

Chris Wideman sent the puck from the high middle slot to Hoffman who let go such a hard one-timer that he fell down in the right circle. IT was his team leading 15th goal and ended the game with a 4-3 final score, as Binghamton steals the game and wins their fourth straight.

“I just wanted to put it away,” Hoffman said. “I had a good chance right before that.

“…you want to keep going and making plays and good things will happen and that’s what happened here.”

The Senators will enjoy a day off before returning to the practice ice Sunday in preparation for their New Years Eve matchup against their rival Norfolk Admirals, while the Comets take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in Utica on Saturday night.

“It’s a team we haven’t played in a long time,” Richardson said of Norfolk. “I like that. It keeps us on our toes. Four wins doesn’t mean anything to Norfolk.”


  • Three of Binghamton’s four goals came on the man advantage. Coming in, they were fifth in the league on the advantage.
  • Binghamton scored 4 goals, increasing their average to 3.57 goals/game. They now lead the Eastern Conference with 107 goals for.
  • Andrew Hammond was supposed to start tonight’s game, but still was recovering from the flu, so backed up Lawson
  • Wacey Hamilton is the latest flu victim, as he missed the game with a stomach flu. Darren Kramer was out with injury, while Mark Borowiecki and Shane Prince returned to the lineup
  • One lucky fan walked away with $12,110 as the 50/50 raffle jackpot, a Comets record.


3. Alexandre Grenier (UTI) 2 G, A

2. Matt Puempel (BIN) 2 G

1. Mike Hoffman (BIN) GWG

Justin Cohen covers the AHL At Large as well as the Binghamton Senators for Inside Hockey. You can follow his game updates at @IHAHL or e-mail him at

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Photo Gallery: Stars @ Comets (11/16/13) Sun, 17 Nov 2013 16:09:28 +0000

On Saturday, November 16, 2013  at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, the Texas Stars defeated the Utica Comets by a score of 2 to 1 with the help of  the Stars Mike Hedden who had one goal and one assist. The “3 Stars of the Game” were #3 UTI Alexandre Grenier, #2 TEX Christopher Nilstorp, and #1 TEX Mike Hedden. Photos taken by Steve Rusyn for Inside Hockey.

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