The Utica Comets somehow finagled themselves out of a jam defeating the Chicago Wolves over the weekend. Winning in overtime twice and earning a spot in the second round, they will now square off against our beloved Oklahoma City Barons.
After the first round, best-of-five, the teams are reshuffled. This places the Barons at the tail end of the equation (seed #6) and the Utica Comets firmly at the top (#1). Regardless of how the playoff brackets looked a week ago, highest plays lowest, and so forth, and so on.
The other Western Conference semi-final features the Rockford IceHogs against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The games between Utica and OKC are as follows:
Game 1 – Thu., May 7 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 6:00
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 6:00
Game 3 – Mon., May 11 – Utica at Oklahoma City, 7:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 13 – Utica at Oklahoma City, 7:00
*Game 5 – Thu., May 14 – Utica at Oklahoma City, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 18 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 6:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 20 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 6:00
*if necessary; all times central
The games begin in Utica, where the teams quickly play two-games-in-two-days to begin the semis. That is tough. Yet the AHL scheduling gods continue to hate Oklahoma City, who struggles to put rumps in the seats as is, by giving us a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday swing. That is brutal when you are trying to sell tickets. But when hasn’t selling tickets been brutal?
Selfishly I like the Monday-Wednesday-Thursday swing because it gives you an excuse to watch really good hockey sandwiched together in to one week. Would have been nice to have the series take over the following weekend, but time constraints have us mid-week for what could be the most important three-game stretch of the season.
I’m excited. (You should be too). More on the Utica Comets as time marches on…