|Utica Jr. Comets|
|City:||Utica, New York|
|League:||National Collegiate Development Conference, United States Premier Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium|
|Colors:||Green, Blue, Silver, and White|
|1996-1998:||Syracuse Jr. Crunch|
|1998-1999:||Auburn Jr. Crunch|
|1999-2005:||Syracuse Jr. Crunch|
|2019-Present:||Utica Jr. Comets|
The Utica Jr. Comets are an American junior hockey team based out of the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York. The organization is a member of the United States Premier Hockey League. The team was renamed in March of 2019. They had played in Utica for the 2018-19 season as part of an agreement with the ownership of the Syracuse Stars organization. The Comets organization had previously dealt with just youth level teams.
The Syracuse Stars were a Tier III Junior A American junior ice hockey team from Syracuse, New York. They played in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, and also had an associated team of the same name in the Empire Junior B Hockey League. A later version of the team was a member of the United States Premier Hockey League.
On December 9, 2009, Maksymum Hockey LLC, based in Rochester, New York, announced plans to operate the Stars and move them to Rochester beginning with the 2010-11 season. They will play at the ESL Sports Centre.
The team would return to operation with the 2015-16 playing season as the Rockland, Massachusetts based Bay State Breakers organization sold their rights to a team in the United States Premier Hockey League's Premier Division to what would become a reborn Syracuse Stars organization. The Breakers were returning their focus to youth level teams.
On March 15, 2019 it was announced that the Stars organization would fully merge with the Utica Jr. Comets youth organization and relocate to Utica for the 2019-20 season. Several of the team had alreay been based out of Utica, NY for the 2018-19 season as the National Collegiate Development Conference team and United States Premier Hockey League Premier Division teams had already relocated to the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium while retaining the Syracuse Stars moniker. As part of the 2018 reorganization the USPHL Elite Division team sat out the 2018-19 season. The changes coincides with the proposed Nexus Center which would be a three-sheet facility that is located next to the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
In 1996, the Syracuse Junior Crunch were founded to play Canadian Junior A in the Metro Junior A Hockey League, which was absorbed by the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League in 1998. The team moved to Auburn that year, and was re-named the Auburn Junior Crunch. In 2005 the franchise was sold and renamed the Syracuse Stars, joining the Eastern Junior Hockey League.
Team Members and Regular Season
The Syracuse Stars hold tryouts in April of each year.. The season starts the day after Labor Day and playoffs finish during the third week of March each year. The schedule includes 45 EJHL regular season schedule games plus three rounds of playoffs.
In addition to those players which have gone on to play for various college teams, a number of former Stars players have gone on to play at the NHL level, including the following:
|1996-97||50||10||37||3||-||220||358||23||15th Metro A|
|1997-98||49||29||16||4||-||273||219||62||4th Metro A|
|2007-08||45||30||9||5||1||155||120||66||3rd EJHL||Lost Quarter-final|
|2016-17 Premier||45||26||14||-||5||179||152||57||4th USPHL Premier||Lost Semifinal|
|2016-17 Elite||45||30||12||-||2||198||99||62||3rd USPHL North||Lost Round Robin|
|2017-18 Premier||44||30||12||-||2||198||135||62||3rd North||Lost Division Quarterfinals|
|2017-18 Elite||45||8||28||-||5||110||243||21||6th North||Did not qualify|
|2018-19 Premier||44||21||18||-||5||147||141||47||3rd North East||Eliminated in Nationals Round Robin|
|2019-20 Premier||44||30||11||-||3||63||194||122||1st North East||Playoffs cancelled after team advances to National Tournament|
|2020-21 Premier||42||14||26||-||1||33||154||201||6th Mid-Atlantic||L, DQF 2-0 (Philadelphia Hockey Club)|
|USPHL - NCDC|
|2017-18||50||19||22||9||-||150||199||47||7th of 11||L, QF 1-2 (Boston Jr. Bruins)|
|2018-19||50||27||19||3||-||173||165||58||8th of 10||L, QF 0-2 (Connecticut Jr Rangers|
|2019-20||50||22||24||4||0||161||177||48||10th of 13||Did not qualify|
|2020-21||36||13||20||3||0||104||140||29||5th South||L, DQF 0-2 (Connecticut Jr Rangers)|
Notes and references
- Roth, Leo. "Maksymum Hockey LLC brings Junior A team to Rochester", Gannett Company, 2009-12-10, pp. 1D–3D. Retrieved on 2009-12-10. Archived from the original on 2009-12-10.
- US Hockey Report, August 1998, "A New Season A New Home"
- US Hockey Report, Jan 2005, "EJHL Adds an Expansion Team" 
- Syracuse Stars Official Web Site Tryouts Page
- EJHL Certified College Signings
- Yahoo! Sports Player Bio for Dustin Brown
- Legends of Hocky Player Bio for Dustin Brown
- Yahoo! Sports Player Bio for Tim Connolly
- Legends of Hockey Player Bio for Tim Connolly
- Worcester Sharks Player Profile for TJ Fox
- US Hockey Report Article "Pacific Takes Gold at 16's" 7/1/2000