Comets unveil Roaring 20s jersey for next game

UTICA — Beer and hockey fans usually go hand in hand.

The Utica Comets drew on that spirit as well as the city’s long-standing beer history for their special new jersey.

And, yes, the popular characters Schultz & Dooley also have a place there.

As part of the Comets’ scheduled “Roaring 20s Night” game next Saturday against North Division rival Belleville, the team unveiled the jersey which features Utica Club elements. Lager, which was introduced in 1933 and was the first beer sold after Prohibition by the West End Brewing Company – now known as the FX Matt Brewing Company located on Varick Street – has gained a following throughout the northeast.

The jersey has a cream-colored base, which the team says is “reminiscent of the foam” of a Utica Club beer. The beer can has also had a similar color in recent years.

Perhaps the most notable part of the jersey is the crest, which features “Utica Comets” in script in the style of the Utica Club logo in red, black and white lettering.

It’s the second time a Comets shirt will feature only words on the front in the team’s nine seasons. The team wore a jersey honoring the Clinton Comets in 2016 with the word “Comets” on the front.

Another element of the Roaring 20s jersey is Schultz & Dooley featured on patches on both shoulders, which are red. “Spokesmen” were introduced in 1958 as part of an award-winning commercial campaign for Utica Club.

The team said more information will be released next week on how to get a used or replica jersey. In recent years, the team has auctioned off its game-used jerseys after the contest.

The jersey is designed by Eric Kowiatek, vice president of creative services for the team and a native of Utica.

“I think it’s a shirt that everyone is going to love,” Comets president Rob Esche said.

Based on people’s initial reaction on social media, he appears to be right. Many people who commented on social media said they liked the jersey and wanted to buy one.

Utique in Laval

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Place Bell, Laval, Quebec.

BROADCASTING: 94.9 FM KROCK; (subscription service).

RECORD (Friday entry): Laval (Montreal Canadiens affiliate) 32-23-3-2; Utica 39-16-7-1.

WHAT TO KNOW: This is the first meeting between the North Division rivals since Feb. 4, when Utica won 3-2 in overtime. At the end of the game, the teams clashed near center ice as tensions erupted. Sixty-five minutes of penalties were pronounced from the clash. … This is the sixth and final meeting between the teams in the regular season. Utica is 3-2-0-0 against Laval this season. Utica have won two of the last three meetings between the teams. … Utica has scored three or more goals in every game against Laval. Utica is averaging 3.51 goals, making it the third-most goals in the AHL. … Joe Gambardella (three goals, two assists), Alexander Holtz (three goals, two assists) and Frederik Gauthier (five assists) each have five points in games against Laval this season. … Nico Daws, who remains in recall with New Jersey, started four games against Laval. Akira Schmid is 1-0 against Laval. … Forward Nate Schnarr, who was traded from New Jersey on March 21, has one goal in eight games with Laval.

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