Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets swept all three games for week 15 to improve to 25-12-2 and 52 points. The Komets have closed the gap to only one point between them and first place Toledo in the Central division race with a game in hand.
The week began with a 6-2 win at Cincinnati Friday. It was Fort Wayne's first win of the season over the Cyclones after five meetings. Shawn Szydlowski scored a goal and added three assists for his second four-point night of the season. Szydlowski reached 20 goals on the year for this fourth straight season. Marco Roy celebrated his return to the Fort Wayne roster with a goal and two assists. Gabriel Desjardins logged his fourth multi-point game of the year with a pair of markers. Ryan Culkin registered his first three-point night with a goal and two assists. Cody Sol also contributed a goal as goaltender Michael Houser posted the win making 29 saves on 31 shots.
Saturday the Komets opened a home double-header against Allen with a 5-3 victory in front of a sell-out crowd of 10,479. Roy continued to find the net with two goals, Szydlowski tallied his 21st goal of the season and Sol scored for the second straight night. Mason Baptista had a three-point game with three helpers. Houser started his 200th career game and earned his third straight win stopping 30 of 33 shots.
Sunday the Komets capped the weekend by rocking the Americans 4-1 on goals by Jamie Schaafsma, Artur Tyanulin, Dennis Kravchenko and Louick Marcotte. Netminder Garrett Bartus backstopped the Komets to a current league-high fourth straight victory with his third straight win and third straight home win allowing only one goal on 18 shots. It was the first time in eight games the Komets have not allowed more than a goal in a game since a 3-0 shutout over Toledo on New Year's Eve.
Komets streaking-- Gabriel Desjardins has a four-game point-scoring streak (3g, 3a) and Ryan Culkin has a four-game assist and point streak (1g, 5a).
Special K's-- the Komets allowed only one power play goal during the three games for the week and have been successful on 13 straight penalty kills over the last three games to enter week 16 ranked fourth on the penalty kill at 144/168 and a 85.7% penalty kill rating.
Komet leaders-- Shawn Szydlowski leads with 21 goals, 25 assists and ranks second in the league with 46 points, Szydlowski and Marco Roy lead with four power play goals each, Ryan Culkin ranks eighth among ECHL defensemen with 27 points, Gabriel Desjardins ranks fourth in the ECHL with +22, Cody Sol leads with 79 penalty minutes and ranks third among league defensemen with +21, Ryan Lowney ranks third among rookies with +16, goaltender Michael Houser ranks first in the league (tied with Pat Nagle) with 18 wins and ranks second with 1,658 minutes and 770 saves.
By the numbers-- The Komets are 16-0-0 when leading after two periods overall, 10-0-0 at home and 6-0-0 on the road....The Komets are 22-0-0 when scoring four or more goals in a game.....The Komets lead with an average of 3.97 goals per game and rank third with an average of 36.85 shots per game.
Cheek reassigned to Komets-- Forward Trevor Cheek has been reassigned to the Komets by the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners. Cheek is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday when the Komets skate at Indy. It'll be the skater's first appearance with Fort Wayne this season after logging 16 AHL games at Tucson scoring two goals, seven points and 15 penalty minutes. Cheek will be starting his third Fort Wayne stint after skating 28 games during 2015-16 (17g, 8a) and 35 games last season (19g, 15a).
The week ahead
Tuesday, Komets at Indy Fuel, 7:05pm-- The Komets are back on the bus for week 16 starting with a trip to Indy (16-8-3, 35 points) Tuesday. The Komets are 3-0-0 after three trips to Indiana Farmers Coliseum (6,488) with three remaining. The Komets lead the season series 4-1-0 after a 2-1 loss to the intrastate rival in the last meeting on Jan. 6 in Fort Wayne. Indy is in sixth place in the Central division and 11 points behind Kalamazoo and a fourth-place playoff spot. The Fuel had a three-game win string snapped Sunday with a 6-2 loss at Kalamazoo and are 7-3-0 in their last 10 outings.
Friday, Komets at Kalamazoo Wings, 7pm-- Friday the Komets travel to Kalamazoo (21-13-4, 46 points) for a 7pm start. After two of six meetings, the Komets are 0-2-0 against the Wings in the season series. Friday's trip north is the second of three to Wings Event Center (5,113). The division rival Wings trail the second-place Komets by six points with a game in hand. Kalamazoo has points in their last five straight games (4-0-1) and will travel to Wheeling Wednesday before hosting Fort Wayne Friday.
Saturday, Komets at Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:35pm-- Saturday the Komets conclude week 16 with a return to the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati (6,955) at 7:35pm. The division rival Cyclones (22-15-1, 45 points) are in fifth place, one point out of a playoff spot after 38 games, and trail the second-place Komets by seven points. The Komets are 1-3-1 after four meetings with Cincy and four meetings remain. Cincinnati snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-5 overtime win at Quad City Sunday in the their time out. The Cyclones are idle this week until they host Indy Friday before welcoming the Komets Saturday.
The next Komet home game will be Friday, Feb. 2 after a nearly two-week absence due to the Circus at the Memorial Coliseum. The Komets will host Rapid City at 8pm. It will be the only meeting of the season with the Rush. Last season the Komets won their only meeting 4-3 on Feb. 3. The Komets are 8-4-0 against the Rush all-time.
Get your tickets early-- Tickets are on sale at the Coliseum Ticket Office. Group tickets and flex tickets are on sale at the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne. For more information visit the Komet office, Komets.com or call 260-483-0011.
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.