by Michael Lehr

The Utica Jr. Comets are pleased to announce former Utica College Hockey star, Kevin Valenti, will return to coach the 2009 AAA Tournament Bound team.

Tryouts for Valentis' team will open to all players born in the year 2009. The team will focus on competing at the highest level and playing a competitive 50-55 game schedule against the best team across all of the North East. Players can look forward to two-three ice sessions a week which will consist of regular practices, power skating instruction and Power Edge Pro Training sessions while also conducting off-ice workouts to build their strength and conditioning.

The 2009 AAA team will be a Tier I New York State Tournament bound team seeking to claim a the State Title. Specific games on the team’s schedule will be qualifying games for the State Tournament. The top two teams in the central section earn a trip to the State Tournament. On top of a competitive schedule, players can look forward to advancing their skill sets on and off the ice. Players can expect additional fun-filled tournaments to complement their elite game schedule.

Head coach Kevin Valenti (non-parent) returns as the team's head coach after a shortened 2020-2021 campaign. Before coaching, Valenti was a predominant forward for the Utica College men's hockey program. Throughout his four years at Utica College, Valenti tallied 27 goals and 55 assists while helping lead the team to their first conference championship. During his senior campaign he was named assistant captain and appeared in all 27 games for the Pioneers. Valenti looks to bring his experience and leadership to help the 2009 AAA team to develop on and off the ice.

"I am looking forward to coming back and building off of what we started in the shortened year. I was fortunate enough to have a great group of kids who wanted to work hard, and I look to have the same type of team identity next year,” said Valenti.

Tryouts for the 2009 AAA Tournament Bound  team will be held on April 27 and April 29 from 8:00pm-8:50pm. Anyone interested in trying out should register now at (http://jrcomets.hockeyshift.com/2021-2022-tryouts1).