The Utica Comets joined the American Hockey League as the league’s newest franchise and moved into The AUD for the 2013-14 season. On June 14th, the Vancouver Canucks announced that their new AHL affiliate will be moved to Utica, New York, where the renovated Auditorium played home to an AHL team for the first time since the Utica Devils moved to Albany in 1993. The Comets nickname honor’s hockey’s history in the Mohawk Valley, which dates back to the Mohawk Valley and Clinton Comets in the early to mid 1990’s.
Travis Green was named as the first head coach in team history on July 23, 2013, joining the Comets from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. The Comets played their first game in franchise history on October 11, 2013 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester but lost 4-1 to the Rochester Americans. Pascal Pelletier scored the franchise’s first goal at the 13:28 mark of the third period. The Comets took to the ice at home for the first time in front of a sold out AUD on October 23, 2013 as they welcomed the Albany Devils to town. Frank Corrado scored the Comets’ first goal on home ice with 6:48 to play in the game. Green named Colin Stuart the first captain in team history on October 30, 2013. The Comets picked up their first Comets victory at The AUD on November 23, as Joacim Eriksson shut out the Rochester Americans, 2-0, in front of an electric sold-out crowd.