Utica Comets Eye Friday Night Return of Fans, Opponents
The Utica Comets are hoping to avoid another COVID-19 postponement and finally welcome fans back to the Adirondack Bank Center this Friday night when they host the Rochester Americans.
It's been more than a year since Comets fans have seen their hometown team in-person, settling for a handful of games on local TV - the ones that haven't been halted for virus protocols. The Comets have had their last ten games postponed due to those protocols and haven't skated in a game since March 10. While it's been over a year since fans have been in the building, it's also worth noting Friday will be one day shy of a full month since the Comets have been in front of an opponent in competitive AHL action.
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The Amerks and Comets have had three head-to-head matchups canceled in the last month, but Rochester has managed to play four games in between those postponements - three against Syracuse, the other against Cleveland. So far this season, the Utica is 6-2-0-1, and Rochester is 7-5-1-1.
Canucks COVID Concerns of their Own
Separate from the delays the Utica Comets have faced in the last four weeks, their NHL parent club is facing its own COVID issues, which have now escalated to a full outbreak.
As of Monday evening, there were 17 known infections among players, and a handful of coaches testing positive, as well, according to reports. At least four games have been canceled, with more possibly coming.
Among those who have tested are former Comets goalie Thatcher Demko - who just inked a $25 million contract extension - and Zack MacEwen, who last skated for Utica in the abruptly halted 2019-20 season.
Meanwhile, other former Comets like Jake Virtanen and Tyler Groavac are among a handful of Vancouver players (literally just a few) who haven't tested positive. Adam Gaudette, a name Comets fans will remember from the 2018-19 season, and then briefly in 2019-20, was the first Canuck to have tested positive of the 17.
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