UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Utica Comets were back at home following a four-game road trip that started in mid-February, hosting the Charlotte Checkers at the Adirondack Banke Center Friday night, scoring first but missing some chances in front of the net leading to a 2-1 overtime loss.
Prior to tonight’s loss, the Comets’ road trip was a successful one, 3-1 in their last four games including three wins in a row entering Friday, two against the Cleveland Monsters and one against the Belleville Senators.
The story going into the game was the Comets new-look roster, very different from their last time out due to the New Jersey Devil’s acquisition of Time Meier from the San Jose Sharks, meaning that they had to send a pair of players to San Jose in exchange, those players Andreas Johnsson and Nikita Okhotiuk from Utica’s lineup. Another transaction made by the Devils was the placement of goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood on injured reserve, and subsequent call-up of Akira Schmid in his place. With Schmid gone, Utica brought up Adirondack goalie Isaac Poulter to back up Nico Daws, but with 2 games in three days, Daws was inactive Friday night after starting on Wednesday. So, with only one active netminder the Comets made the move to sign Utica University assistant and goalie coach Adam Dekker to a PTO contract, meaning that for the game he would serve as the Emergency Backup Goalie, or EBUG.
The almost 39-year-old Dekker has been on the Pioneers coaching staff since 2014 after having played on the team from 2004 to 2008 and setting school records for saves in a game, season and career, shutouts, wins, and games played at his time of graduation. He has served as the EBUG before, first in late March of 2018 for the Comets and then again as the road EBUG for the Syracuse Crunch when they travelled to Utica with only one Goalie last year on January 15th.