Mohawk Valley Comets circa 1985-1986

For the team in the North American Hockey League (1973–1977), please see Mohawk Valley Comets (NAHL). For the team in the North Eastern Hockey League, please see Mohawk Valley Comets.

Mohawk Valley Comets
City: Utica, NY
League: Atlantic Coast Hockey League
Founded: 1985
Operated: 1985-87
Home Arena: Utica Memorial Auditorium
Colors: Red, White
General Manager: Joe Selenski (1986-87)
Head Coach: Bill Horton (1985-86)
Joe Selenski(1986-87)
Franchise history
1981-85: Mohawk Valley Stars
1985-87: Mohawk Valley Comets

The Mohawk Valley Comets were a professional ice hockey team based in Utica, New York. They were a member of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League from 1985 until the league suspended operations until 1987.

History[edit | edit source]

The Mohawk Valley Comets competed as the Mohawk Valley Stars in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League from 1981 to 1985. The Stars would win the inaugural Bob Payne Trophy, which was awarded to the ACHL playoff champions.

By the time the 1982-83 ACHL season started, all but two teams from the previous season either left the league or folded due to financial difficulty. The Winston-Salem Thunderbirds rebranded themselves as the Carolina Thunderbirds, leaving the Stars as the only "original" ACHL team. The Stars would struggle over the next few years, including a season of 14 wins in 1984-1985.

1986-87 season[edit | edit source]

The Comets started the season struggling, winning one game in their first nine. With the nearby Troy Slapshots failing to bring fans to the game (including one game that had an estimated 120 fans) and the inability for the team to pay several bills, the league decided to revoke the Slapshots' franchise on November 18, 1986. As a result, the league decided not have a dispersal draft for the league. Instead, they decided to give the Comets the rights to the former Slapshots player for ten days. Twelve players who had skated with the Slapshots would see ice time with the Comets throughout the season. The Comets would also fire coach Bill Horton. In his place, the Comets would hire Joe Selenski as their new coach and general manager. The Comets would go 22-22-3 under Selenski and make the playoffs. The Comets would eventually lose to the Virginia Lancers four games to three in the Payne Trophy Finals.[1]

Transfer[edit | edit source]

After the 1986-87 season, the Mohawk Valley franchise announced that they would be leaving the ACHL for the American Hockey League. They would later be renamed the Utica Devils.

With the transfer of the Mohawk Valley franchise to the AHL and the announcements that the Carolina Thunderbirds and Virginia Lancers would be leaving for the newly formed All-American Hockey League, Commissioner Ray Miron announced that the league would be suspending operations indefinitely on July 25, 1987.[2]

Season-by-season record[edit | edit source]

Atlantic Coast Hockey League[edit | edit source]

Season GP W L T OL SL Pts GF GA Place Playoffs
1981-82 47 28 18 1 - - 57 225 198 2nd Won Championship
1982-83 65 30 33 2 - - 64 311 306 3rd Lost Final
1983-84 74 28 39 7 - - 68 322 370 4th Lost Semifinals
1984-85 64 14 45 5 - - 33 290 417 5th Did not Qualify
1985-86 62 23 39 0 - - 49 259 332 4th Lost Semifinals
1986-87 57 23 31 3 - - 49 260 292 3rd Lost Final

References[edit | edit source]

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