Oct 29, 2021
The New Captain: Head coach of the Utica Comets, Kevin Dineen, announced that Ryan Schmelzer has been named captain of the team for the 2021-2022 season. Along with Schmelzer, forwards Brian Flynn and Joe Gambardella were named the team’s alternate captains.
Ryan Schmelzer, 28, skated in all three Comets games thus far this season registering one goal during the team’s home opening win against Rochester. The Buffalo, New York native played the last three seasons with the Binghamton Devils and played four seasons at Canisius College where he captained the team in his senior season. Over his AHL career, Schmelzer skated in 136 games scoring 24 goals along with 32 assists for 56 points.
Dineen commented on the selection of Schmelzer as captain along with Flynn and Gambardella who will wear an “A” on their sweater, “Those three guys give us a little bit of an identity of what our team is about. You talk a lot about identity in sports and what your culture is, and I think those three guys understand that and I think they bring that identity. They don’t just sell it; they live it on a daily basis. So, I think they were very solid choices.”
Nico Daws Returns: After winning the first game of the 2021-22 season for the Utica Comets in his AHL debut, goaltender Nico Daws, played his first NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres on October 23rd. After making 25 saves on 26 shots, Daws became the first goalie in Devils history to win his NHL debut. Daws started in the Devils subsequent game against the Calgary Flames but was pulled during the first period after the team gave up three goals.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms: Winnless this season in five games played, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, have a record of 0-4-1. The team last stepped on the ice in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins on the road Wednesday night. No player has more than two points on the season for the Phantoms while both goaltenders Samuel Ersson and Felix Sandstrom have split time between the pipes.
First road game, First Road Win: After trailing by a 1-0 score in Syracuse last Saturday, Comets rookie forward Alex Holtz drove down the left-wing side and picked the corner high glove side on Crunch goalie Hugo Alnefelt at 10:11 tying the game at 1-1. Later, the Comets took the lead when Chase DeLeo put the puck on net and Nate Schnarr jammed home the rebound giving the Comets their first lead of the contest by a 2-1 score.
In the final period of regulation, the Comets managed to hold off the Crunch and their barrage of chances with the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker. The team skated away with the 2-1 victory as regulation ended. Neither team could score on their manage advantage chances with the Comets going 0-2 and the Crunch 0-4. Schmid ended the game with 32 saves on 33 shots while the Comets struck twice on 30 shots on goal.