Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets collected four points in the three games played for the final week of 2016 and improved to 18-9-3 and 39 points after 30 games.
Week 12 began with an 8-6 win Tuesday against Indy in Fort Wayne. It was the most goals scored in a game by the Komets this season. After spotting the Fuel with a 6-2 lead, the Komets rallied with six unanswered goals to take the win including four in the third period for the fifth time this season. Shawn Szydlowski scored four goals including the last three straight in Fort Wayne's come-from-behind win. Szydlowski registered his first hat trick of the season and the third of his Fort Wayne career. Mike Cazzola, Mike Embach, Brady Vail and Will Weber each added markers. Embach dished three helpers to log his first four-point game of the year and Cazzola added three assists for his second four-point outing this year. Komet goaltender Garrett Bartus earned the win making seven saves on eight shots in relief of Eric Hartzell who allowed five goals on 16 shots.
Thursday the Komets clipped the Cyclones from Cincinnati 4-3 for their second straight home win. Four different goal-scorers for Fort Wayne included Gabriel Desjardins, Szydlowski, Kyle Thomas and Jamie Schaafsma. Bartus snagged his seventh win of the year making 29 saves on 32 shots. Szydlowski added two assists and reached three points in a game for the sixth time this season.
Saturday the Komets hosted their 60th New Year's Eve game and welcomed in the New Year with a 3-1 setback to the visiting Toledo Walleye in front of 9,896. The Komets fell to 40-15-5 when hosting the holiday affair. The lone Fort Wayne goal was scored by Thomas and with an assist to Embach. Bartus made his seventh consecutive appearance in the Fort Wayne net and made 23 saves on 25 shots.
The Komets will welcome in the new year holding third place in the Central division of the ECHL's Western Conference, trailing first-place Toledo by 10 points.
The Komets launch 2017 with three games this week starting with a 7:35pm ET faceoff at Quad City Wednesday. Saturday the Komets return home to face the Mallards at 7:30pm. Sunday the Komets cap the week with a trip to Toledo for a 5:15pm faceoff.
Komets at Quad City Mallards Wednesday-- The Komets will face the Mallards (18-10-2, 38 points) for the sixth time this season and lead the series 4-1-0 with seven meetings remaining. It will be the third of six trips to Quad City where the Komets are unbeaten 2-0-0 after two visits to the iWireless Center (5,100). The Mallards are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are coming off a 3-2 loss at Missouri on New Year's Eve, snapping a three game win string. Central division rival Quad City trails the third-place Komets by a point heading into week 13.
Quad City at Komets Saturday-- The Komets will host the Mallards Saturday in the second match-up of the week between the two teams. It's the fifth of 11 Saturday home games for Fort Wayne where the Komets are an even 2-2-0 after four Saturday night tilts on Sweetwater Ice at the Memorial Coliseum. The Mallards will host Cincinnati Friday before making the jaunt to Fort Wayne Saturday.
Komets at Toledo Walleye Sunday-- The Komets have a chance to avenge New Year's Eve's 3-1 loss to the Walleye when they skate at the Huntington Center (7,431) in downtown Toledo Sunday. The Walleye have skated in front of capacity or near capacity crowds in each of their previous 12 home games this year where they have averaged 7,167 fans per game, second to Fort Wayne's average of 7,392 after 16 home outings. Toledo leads the ECHL at the start of the New Year with 49 points (24-5-1). Their closest rivals are Tulsa and Florida who trail the Walleye by six points. Toledo is 6-1-1 after their last eight games and will skate at Wheeling Friday and host Brampton Saturday before welcoming the Komets Sunday.
Komet leaders-- Shawn Szydlowski leads with 19 goals, 26 assists and 45 points (2nd in ECHL).....Cody Sol and Curtis Leonard each lead with +19 and Sol leads with 92 penalty minutes. Mike Cazzola ranks first among ECHL rookies with 13 goals, third with 19 assists and second with 32 points.
Komet streaks-- Kyle Thomas has an eight-game point-scoring streak (6g, 7a) dating back to Dec. 16 and a seven-game home point streak (5g, 8a) dating back to Dec. 9.....Mike Embach has points in five straight games (43g, 5a) and a four-game home point-scoring streak (2g, 5a).
Milestones-- Shawn Szydlowski's first of four goals Tuesday was his 100th pro regular season goal.....Kyle Thomas reached a career season high of 16 goals in the Komets 3-1 loss to Toledo Saturday.
Hold that lead-- The Komets are 15-1-0 when leading at the end of the second period. At home the Komets are 8-1-0 when leading after the first period and 10-0-0 when taking the lead into the third stanza. On the road the Komets are
5-1-0 when leading after two periods.
McDougall's #19 to be retired Saturday-- The Komets will retire the number 19 in honor of Fort Wayne legend Terry McDougall in a ceremony to be held on Saturday, Jan. 7 when the Komets host the Quad City Mallards at 7:30pm. McDougall skated seven seasons with the Komets from 1975 to 1982 setting many regular season and playoff records, including most points in a season, tied with Len Thornson, at 139 set in 1978-79 for the IHL's scoring championship. McDougall totaled 576 Fort Wayne career games and is expected to be present for his number retirement ceremony in Fort Wayne.
Kids Seat Free Saturday-- Once again this season the Komets feature Kids Seat Free Nights. The next Kids Seat Free Night is this Saturday when Quad City visits, courtesy Aunt Millie's, Parkview Health and the Komets. Any child under the age of 12 can see the game for free with a full-priced adult ticket purchase.
Komets on the air-- Komet games are scheduled to air this season on WOWO AM 1190 and FM 107.5 with Shane Albahrani calling the play-by-play. All Komet radio broadcasts can also be heard worldwide as presented by Omni Source Radio Recycle at www.komets.com.
Single game and group tickets on sale-- Single game tickets for all Komet home games are on sale at the Coliseum Ticket Office, online at TicketMaster.com, or at the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way. Also, Group Night packages are available for Family, Business or Civic Group outings. For more information visit Komets.com or call 260-483-0011.