Comets Year in Review By the Numbers
- Updated: April 23, 2014
The inaugural season for the Utica Comets ended with a 35-32-5-4 record, good for a tie for ninth in the Western Conference with 79 points. The Comets finished the 2013-14 campaign four points out of the final playoff position in the West, which was won by the Oklahoma City Barons (83 points). The Comets’ 35 victories places them fourth of seven seasons for Utica AHL teams, trailing the 1989-90 Utica Devils, who hold the ‘Utica record’ with 44 wins.
Our Best For Last: Since Jan. 17, the Comets composed a record of 24-12-4, good for 52 points, a .650 winning percentage and the third best mark in the AHL over that time span. The Comets trailed just Chicago (56 points) and St. Johns (56 points) over that timespan.
Cardiac Comets: The Comets finished the season with 20 wins when either tied or trailing after two periods of play, the most in the AHL. Utica led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Toronto, who finished with 17 apiece. The Comets’ 14 wins when tied after 40 minutes was also the most in the league, while their six come from behind wins in the final stanza tied for fourth.
One Goal Wonders: The Comets, courtesy of a one-goal win on Friday, finished the regular season tied for the AHL lead with the Norfolk Admirals and the Providence Bruins with 46 one-goal games played this season. Utica’s 24 one-goal wins were second in the league, one behind Providence.
Road Warriors: Games away from The AUD proved to be a home away from home for the Comets, as they finished as one of just four teams with more wins on the road than at home. Utica ended its season at 19-15-3-1 on the road, including a 14-6-2 record over their final 22 away from the Mohawk Valley.
Were Going Streaking: Utica finished the season unable to complete a winning streak in five consecutive games, with their longest settling at four games on three separate occasions. Dating back to the history of the Utica Devils, AHL teams from Utica have now won four games 18 times in a row without extending their streak to five.
Baby Got Back-To-Back: Back-to-back games turned out to be a source of well being for the Comets this season, as they team finished 10-6-2 in the second half of those sets. Over their last 11 back-to-back contests, the Comets went 9-1-1, losing in regulation only on Mar. 29 against Abbotsford.
The Three-In-Three Musketeers: Three-in-three sets also proved to be fruitful for Utica, with the Comets 4-2-0 when playing for the third time in three nights. Utica played four of these at The AUD, where they went 3-1-0, with victories coming over Western Conference foes Iowa, Milwaukee and Lake Erie. The Comets also defeated Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum.
East Of Eden: The Comets’ most success vs. a division came against foes from the East, against which Utica posted an 8-2-1-1 record, good for a .750 winning percentage. The Comets posted three wins against both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Binghamton, in addition to two against Syracuse, with no regulation losses against the Crunch.
Wild, Wild West: Despite a slow start, in which the Comets dropped each of their first seven games against in conference opponents, Utica finished the season at 26-21-4-3 against the Western Conference, good for a .546 winning percentage. After the aforementioned rocky beginning, the record stood at 26-15-3-3, for a .617 winning percentage.
March Of The Comets: Utica’s best month of play, by far, turned out to be March, where the team posted an 8-3-1-0 record, which equates to a .708 winning percentage. The Comets, who did not post a losing month during the 2014 portion of their slate, had one of their three four game winning streaks to begin the month.
The Comets saw a number of veterans break their previous career bests this season.
Joe Cannata had career highs in Games Played (28 > 14 in 2012-13 with CHI) and Wins (11 > 6 in 2012-13 with CHI)
Alex Biega set a career high in Games Played (73 > 72 in 2012-13 with RCH)
Yann Sauve registered a career high in Assists (13 > 11in 2010-11 with Manitoba)
Alex Friesen had a banner year, with a career high in Games Played (54 > 42 in 2012-13 with CHI), Goals (6 > 1 in 2012-13 with CHI), Assists (14 > 4 in 2012-13 with CHI) and Points 20 > 5 in 2012-13 with CHI)
David Marshall appeared in a career high in Games Played (66 > 43 in 2010-11 with RCH, WOR and WBS)
Pascal Pelletier amassed a career high in Assists (40 > 38 in 2007-08 with PRO)
Brandon DeFazio also had career highs in all major categories, including Games Played 76 < 69 in 2012-13 with WBS), Goals (17 > 11 in 2012-13 with WBS), Assists 17 > 14 in 2012-13 with WBS) and Points 34 > 25 in 2012-13 with WBS)
Darren Archibald set a career high in Games Played (59 > 55 in 2012-13 with CHI) and Assists (12 > 10 in 2012-13 with CHI)
Peter Andersson also had a banner season with career bests in Games Played (58 > 42 in 2012-13 with CHI) Goals (2 > 1 in 2012-13 with CHI), Assists (11 > 7 in 2012-13 with CHI) and Points 13 > 8 in 2012-13 with CHI)
Comets Quick Hits
Rebel Pell:Pascal Pelletier finished the season as Utica’s leading scorer in all major offensive categories, as he led the team in goals (22), assists (40), points (62) and power-play goals (11). Pelletier’s goal total is his highest since he scored 29 in 2008-09 with Rockford and his point total is his best since 2007-08, when he netted 75 (37-38-75) with Providence. His 62 points ended the season 13th in the league overall.
Eriksson Force Ones: Goaltender Joacim Eriksson had a memorable finish to his rookie season as he led the Comets in nearly all goaltending categories, including appearances (52) wins (24), goals against average (2.61), save percentage (.911) and shutouts (5). Eriksson also found himself amongst the AHL’s leaderboards, with his five shutouts tied for third. The Galve, Sweden native was also third alone in minutes played (3009:17) and saves (1342).
O’ Happy Days: Comets center Cal O’Reilly finished the season second in points on the Comets, despite appearing in just 52 games. Despite appearing in just 51 games this season, O’Reilly has cracked the AHL’s top ten in power-play assists, with 23, that ties him for seventh in the league. O’Reilly’s .440 PPA per game is third in the AHL amongst players with 50 or more games played, behind just Travis Morin (.470) and Mike Hoffman (.451).
Hakuna Cannata: Netminder Joe Cannata ended his season victorious in eight of his final ten appearances with the victory last evening. The Wakefield, MA native has allowed more than two goals only once over that span, including last evening’s 37 save effort. Cannata has amassed a .937 save percentage over his run and has seen his number for the season rise to .907. The Merrimack College graduate’s goals-against average has also dropped to 2.83.
The Club Can’t Even Brandle Him Right Now: Brandon DeFazio had quite the memorable season in the AHL, both on and off the ice. DeFazio has shattered AHL career highs in goals (17), assists (17) and points (34), while also leading the Comets with a +5 rating and 204 shots on goal. DeFazio was one of just 22 players who appeared in all 76 games this season. DeFazio was also Utica’s nominee for the 2013-14 Yanick Dupre Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to local community and charitable organizations.
Common Jense: Winger Nicklas Jensen played in his first full season in North America, where he recorded 21 points (15-6-21) over 52 games with Utica and six points (3-3-6) in 17 games with Vancouver. Jensen had 13 of his 15 goals over a scorching hot 20 game span from Jan. 9 through Feb. 22. The Denmark native scored his first career NHL goal on Mar. 14 against Washington, the beginning of a four game point streak.
Let It Biega: Defenseman Alex Biega led all Utica defensemen with 22 points (3-19-22) over 73 games played, which was also the top mark of the Comets’ blueline. Biega, who also led all defensemen with 133 shots on goal, was just one assist off of his career high of 20, set last season with Rochester.
Pascal Pelletier: 200th Professional Goal, 300th Pro Assist, 500th Pro Point, 650th Game Played, 200th AHL Assist, 300th AHL Point, 400th AHL Game.
Colin Stuart: 600th Professional Game Played, 250th Pro Point, 500th AHL Game Played, 100th AHL Goal.
Kent Huskins: 750th Professional Game Played, 150th Pro Assist, 200th Pro Point, 450th AHL Game Played, 100 AHL Assists.
Cal O’ Reilly: 350th Professional Point, 350th North American Point, 450th N.A. Game Played, 300th AHL Game Played, 300 AHL Points.
Benn Ferriero: 100th AHL Assist.
Darren Archibald: 100th Professional Point.
Nicklas Jensen: 50th Professional Goal.
Alex Biega: 200th and 250th AHL Game Played.
Brandon DeFazio: 50th AHL Point.
200 Professional Games Played: Peter Andersson Brandon DeFazio, Joacim Eriksson, John Negrin
100 Professional Games Played: Jeremie Blain, Alex Friesen, Alex Grenier, Alex Mallet, Jeremy Welsh
For The First Time
NHL Debut: Darren Archibald, Joacim Eriksson, Kellan Lain
NHL Goal: Darren Archibald, Frank Corrado, Nicklas Jensen, Kellan Lain
AHL Debut: Joacim Eriksson, Patrick Kennedy, Evan McEneny, Henrik Tommernes
AHL Goal: Frank Corrado, Alex Grenier, Patrick Kennedy, Kellan Lain, Alex Mallet, Henrik Tommernes
Professional Debut: Evan McEneny
Professional Goal: Frank Corrado, Kellan Lain
A Look Ahead
The Comets have 10 players who finished the 2013-14 season in Utica under contract for the 2014-15 season. Those players include: