We’re delighted to see that pro hockey in Utica is up and skating again. The Utica Comets won their home opener last Wednesday 5-2 over upstate rival Syracuse Crunch, and also notched a win in their season opener in Rochester. Their record is now 3-1-1.
Usually, the Utica Aud is filled for the Comets, but no fans were allowed to the opener due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Nevertheless, pro hockey is back. And that’s after a 10-month layoff between when last season was canceled in mid-March 2020 to when training camp started in January.
Jonah Gadjovich, who scored the opening goal and got an empty net tally in the home win, said the lack of a crowd was a factor. “It’s definitely noticeable,” Gadjovich said. Utica is a tough place for visitors because of the boisterous fans, but the players are being professional and motivating themselves even without the fans in the seats. “You miss it so much,” Coach Trent Cull said of the fans.
With or without fans, it’s another step toward normalcy to see the Comets on the ice again.