With the recent retirement announcement from our Captain, Carter Bancks, it is only appropriate that we reflect on his top 10 moments as a Utica Comet (in chronological order).
1. Bancks selected as the 2015-16 Man of the Year
In his second season as a Comet, Bancks was named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Utica community during the 2015-16 season. In his second season with the Comets, Bancks has continued to show his dedication to working with children in the Mohawk Valley and specifically in the city of Utica. He organized a mentorship program in which he regularly spoke to at-risk students about studying, working hard and making positive life choices. The Comets most active player in the community, Bancks often speaks at school assemblies to encourage students on their path to success.
2. Bancks takes home the 2015-16 Tom McVie Award
The Tom McVie Award for coach's most valuable player was given to both Carter Bancks. Bancks erupted for a career year in virtually every statistical category with 14 goals, 24 assists, and 38 points. The Marysville, BC native’s versatile play made him a contributor in every game situation, especially on the penalty-kill. His penalty-killing prowess led the Comets to the league’s fourth best penalty kill overall, and the league’s best penalty kill at home. He became the unquestioned leader in the locker room after the team’s captain, Alex Biega, was recalled to Vancouver, and is the only Comets player to play in every game this season.
3. Bancks scores overtime goal to bring Comets their 100th franchise win
Bancks gave the Comets a massive knotch on their history belt with the lone overtime goal against the Albany Devils on January 16, 2016, to bring the Comets their 100th win in franchise history. The 100th win came in the franchise’s 191st game and increased the team’s all-time record to 100-67-15-9. Bancks scored 3:05 into overtime, while Richard Bachman recorded his first shutout as a Comet.
4. In 2015-16, Bancks has a standout year and ties for second on the team with 39 points
During his top performing year in the AHL, Bancks amassed 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) and was the only player to play in all 76 games, earning him a tie for second on the team in total points.
5. As a testament to his time as a Comet, Bancks is named the fourth team Captain in Comets history by Head Coach Travis Green
“Leadership is important on any team and it has to come from within,” said Green. “Carter’s worth ethic, leadership, and personality embodies what it means to be a captain both on and off the ice. He and our leadership group understand the culture and standards that the coaching staff demands from our players.”
"It is a huge honor," said Bancks. “We have tremendous leadership in our dressing room with several players who have a great deal of respect around the league. It is obviously a great honor and I'm thrilled to be named the captain. I know with my supporting leadership group, we are going to have a great year and will be able to provide guidance to the younger players."
6. To top off a 3-point night, Bancks scores GWG with :40 left of regulation in Springfield
Although this did not take place at the AUD, we would be remiss to not include this thriller from Springfield. On March 31, 2018, Bancks edged the Comets to a 6-5 victory after a back-and-forth game in front of a sold out Springfield crowd.
7. Bancks sets new record with 305 games played as a Comet
On March 16, 2019, Bancks passed Darren Archibald for most games played all-time as a Comet.
8. Bancks named Man of the Year for the second time
An award he is all too familiar with, Bancks earned the 2019-20 Man of the Year honors as a Utica Comet.
9. Bancks named 2019-20 Thomas M. Lindsey award winner
The Thomas M. Lindsey award, handed to the player with the best presence in the community, is yet another testament to Bancks’ leadership both on and off the ice. Named after UPD officer Thomas Lindsey who was killed in the line of duty in 2007, the award, selected by local law enforcement, is the utmost honor to receive as a Utica Comet.
10. Bancks leaves a lifelong legacy in Utica
There is not much more to say about Bancks. The imprint he has left on players, coaches and fans speaks for itself. While he leaves a void that will be tough to fill, Bancks truly embodies what it means to embrace and live by the mantra of our Comet Culture.