Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets won all three games during week nine of 2017-18 and improved to 13-6-2 for 22 points and advanced to within three points of first-place Toledo in the ECHL's Central division after trailing by nine points at the start of the week. The Komets lead the Central division and rank fifth in the ECHL with a .667 winning percentage.
The week started with a 5-2 morning victory at Toledo Wednesday. The game started at 10:39am and by 1:05pm the Komets had posted five goals to claim the win and improve to 4-3-1 when playing morning games. Garrett Thompson posted his first pro hat trick and added an assist for his first pro four-point game. Louick Marcotte and Curtis Leonard rounded out the Fort Wayne scoring as Michael Houser earned the win making 29 saves on 31 shots in the Komet net.
Friday the Komets returned home to ground the visiting Quad City Mallards 5-3. Houser once again earned the win stopping 13 of 15 shots for his fourth straight win in his fifth straight start. Houser has not allowed more than two goals in a game in six consecutive appearances. Houser was not charged with Quad City's first goal of the game as the Komets scored into their own net while working a delayed call against the Mallards. With Houser off the ice for the extra attacker during the delayed call, Jamie Schaafsma inadvertently put the puck into the gaping Fort Wayne net after a wayward pass to the point bounced of the boards and slid directly into the empty goal. Quad City's goalie C.J. Motte was credited with the goal since he was the last Mallard to touch the puck. Also, Shaafsma scored the Komets' fifth goal of the game into an empty net with 56 seconds remaining after the Mallards pulled Motte in favor of an extra attacker. Komets Logan Nelson, Artur Tyanulin, Ryan Clukin and Mason Baptista also contributed markers in the win.
Saturday the Komets extended their win streak to a season-high five games with a 5-2 win over Orlando at the Memorial Coliseum. The Komets mounted a commanding 4-0 lead on goals by Jason Binkley, Leonard, Tyanulin and Schaafsma before the Solar Bears responded with a pair. Culkin sealed the win with Fort Wayne's fifth goal at 7:22 of the third period. Garrett Bartus earned the win in the Fort Wayne cage stopping 35 of 37 shots to extend his personal win string to four straight decisions.
The week ahead
Wednesday the Komets travel to Cincinnati (12-9-1, 25 points) for a 7:35pm faceoff against the division rival. The Cyclones trail the Komets by three points and are looking to snap a four game losing streak. The Komets are 0-1-1 against the Cyclones after the first two meetings of the season, both in Fort Wayne. Wednesday's match is the first of five trips to U.S. Bank Arena (6,955) in downtown Cincinnati where the Komets were 2-1-2 in five visits last year.
Friday the Komets return home to host arch rival Indy (7-10-3, 17 points) at 8pm for the first of three meetings on Sweetwater Ice at the Memorial Coliseum this year. In the first meeting of the season the Komets scored a 4-2 victory in Indy Nov. 24. Since the Fuel joined the ECHL in 2014-15, the Komets are 13-0-3 when hosting Indy. The Komets have not lost a home game to an Indianapolis team in regulation since Ice goaltender Geoff Sarjeant shut out the Komets 4-0 in an IHL match on March 27, 1999. The Fuel have won their last two games and are 3-1-0 in their last four and 5-3-0 in their last eight. Indy travels to Wheeling Tuesday and hosts Quad City Thursday before visiting the Komets Friday.
Saturday the Komets and Indy complete a home-and-home weekend series at Indiana Farmers Coliseum (6,488) at 7:35pm. It's the second of six trips down I-69 to Indianapolis where Fort Wayne was 8-1-0 in nine visits last season. Counting last season the Komets have won the last three meetings at Indy.
Streaks-- In summary, the Komets have a five-game win streak, a three-game home win streak, are now 5-0-0 for December and are 8-1-1 in their last 10....Shawn Szydlowski's point streak ended Sunday at a team season-high eight games (5g, 8a) and has posted points in 15 of 19 games. The skater has points in each road game played for a seven-game road point streak (4g, 7a) and four-game road assist streak (5a)....Bobby Shea has points in three straight games (3a), his first three points of the season.....Artur Tyanulin has a three-game home point and assist streak (2g, 3a).....Jamie Schaafsma has points in three straight home games (2g, 2a).....goalie Garrett Bartus has won four straight decisions....netminder Michael Houser has a four-game win streak.
Komet leaders-- Garrett Thompson and Shawn Szydlowski lead with 23 points....Thompson leads with 11 goals and three game winning goals....Szydlowski leads with 14 assists and 73 shots.....Cody Sol leads the Komets and ranks fourth overall, and first among league defensemen with +14 and 48 penalty minutes....Daniel Maggio ranks second among ECHL defensemen with +12....Jason Binkley leads Fort Wayne defensemen with 12 assists and 15 points.
Shooting the puck-- The Komets scored first only once in their three wins for the week, but are 9-2-1 when scoring first...32 of Fort Wayne's 81 goals have been scored in the third period (26 in the first, 22 in the second), however the Komets have directed 277 shots to the opposing net in the first period compared to 235 in the third...the Komets have the stingiest defense, allowing only 27.71 shots against per game...the Komets rank third with an average of 3.86 goals scored in a game...the Komets are 6-0-0 when leading after one period and 8-0-0 when leading after two.
Friday night Marathon Nights-- Again this year Komet fans can save on their Friday night tickets with Marathon. Fans can earn a buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer with the purchase of three fill-ups at participating Marathon locations. Save with your Marathon Fill-Up Card this Friday when the Indy Fuel visit.
Komet Hockey on WOWO-- Komet games are scheduled to air on WOWO AM 1190 and FM 107.5. All radio broadcasts also stream live at Komets.com presented by OmniSource Radio Recycle. Fans are invited to follow the action as Shane Albahrani handles the play-by-play.
Get your tickets early-- Tickets are on sale at the Coliseum Ticket Office and online at ticketmaster.com. Season Tickets also remain on sale at the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne. For more information visit Komets.com or call 260-483-0011.