Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets swept both games of week 17 to improve to 29-13-2 and 60 points after 44 games. The Komets hold second place in the Central division and trail first-place Toledo by two points with a game in hand with nine weeks remaining in 2017-18.
Friday the Komets started the week with a 6-4 home win against Rapid City on goals by Marco Roy, Mason Baptista, Ryan Lowney, Shawn Szydlowski and Cody Sol. Sol sealed the victory by adding a second marker into an empty net with seven seconds remaining in the match. It was Sol's second career two-goal game. His first came as a rookie with Colorado on Feb. 9, 2013 when he scored two goals against the visiting Fort Wayne Komets in a 6-1 Eagle win. Justin Hodgman celebrated his return to action after missing 39 games while on I.R. by dishing two assists. Roy, Baptista and Szydlowski also passed two helpers each for three-point games. Goaltender Garrett Bartus earned the win making 25 saves on 29 shots.
Saturday the Komets hammered the Nailers at Wheeling 7-3 to extend their winning streak to three games. The Komets led the game 3-2 going into the third period before exploding with a four-goal outburst in the third. Gabriel Desjardins bagged his second hat trick of the year while Baptista, Louick Marcotte, Trevor Cheek and Ryan Lowney also scored goals. Szydlowski, Thompson and Dennis Kravchenko each contributed a pair of assists. Marcotte added two assists for his first three-point game of the season. Bartus pushed his winning streak to seven games and notched his fifth straight road win making 30 saves on 33 shots. Bartus and the Komets stopped the ECHL's number 1 power play unit going 6/6 on the penalty kill, including a successful span of 1:31 against a Wheeling 5-on-3 advantage in the third period, and finished the week with a perfect PK of 9/9.
Komet leaders-- Szydlowski leads with 22 goals, 32 assists, 54 points and 146 shots...Sol leads the Komets and ranks second among ECHL defensemen with +26...Roy leads with five power play goals...Szydlowski and Desjardins lead with four game winning goals.
Komet streakers-- Szydlowski has assists and points in three straight games (1g, 6a)...Desjardins has a four-game road goals and point-scoring streak (7g, 1a)...Lowney has goals in three straight games (3g)...goaltender Bartus has a seven-game win streak, five-game road win streak and four-game home win streak.
Milestones-- Roy eclipsed his old career season high of 17 assists with his 18th and 19th assists Friday...Szydlowski posted his 200th career assist Saturday at Wheeling...Desjardins tied his career season high of 20 goals Saturday...Sol tied his career season high of 24 points Saturday...Garrett Thompson reached his career season high of 26 assists Saturday.
Special K Kill-- The Komets penalty kill unit moved up from ninth to sixth-best in the ECHL with a perfect 9/9 penalty kill for an overall PK rate of 85.5% (159/187).
By the numbers-- The Komets were leading 3-2 after the second period in both games of the week to improve to a perfect 20-0-0 when taking the lead into the second intermission. The Komets are also 11-2-0 when leading after one period. With six goals Friday and seven goals Saturday, the Komets improve to 21-0-0 when reaching five or more goals in a game. Compared to this year's record of 29-13-2 and 60 points after 44 games, the Komets had a 26-14-4 record and 56 points after 44 games last year and needed 49 games to reach the 60-point plateau. The Komets have scored 18 more goals this season at the 44-game mark and have allowed three fewer goals.
The week ahead
Wednesday and Friday, Wichita at Komets-- The Komets will host the Wichita Thunder (25-16-3, 53 points) for a pair of games this week starting with a 7:30pm faceoff Wednesday. The Komets face the Thunder again Friday at 8pm. It's the first two of four meetings this season and the first two of three visits by the Thunder. Last year the Komets split the season series 1-1-0. Wichita is tied with Allen for third place in the Mountain division and trails first-place Colorado by 13 points. The Thunder are 3-3-0 in their last six games after coming off a 5-3 loss at Quad City Saturday, their first of a six-game road tour.
Saturday, Komets at Quad City,
Sunday, Quad City at Komets--- The Komets will skate a home-and-home series against the Mallards (14-25-4, 32 points) starting in Quad City Saturday at 8:05pm ET. The Komets are unbeaten after five meetings with Quad City this season and have shut-out the Mallards the last two straight games. Michael Houser earned a 7-0 shutout in the last meeting in Fort Wayne on Dec. 23 and Garrett Bartus scored a 5-0 shutout in the last visit to the iWireless Center (5,200) on Dec. 30 for a shutout streak of 133:33 against Quad City. The Komets will complete their home-and-home series against Quad City with a 5pm faceoff Sunday on Sweetwater Ice at the Coliseum. The Komets are 4-0-0 after four Sunday home games with three remaining. The Mallards are starting the week on a three-game winning streak and will host Tulsa Tuesday and Indy Friday before welcoming the Komets Saturday.
Season Ticket Recycling Night Wednesday-- Wednesday night is another Season Ticket Recycling Night when the Komets host the Thunder. Komet Season Ticket Holders will be able to exchange any unused Komet tickets from previously scheduled home games this year for tickets to the game Wednesday.
Deuces Wild Wednesday-- It's deuces wild this Wednesday when the Komets host Wichita. Tickets will be sold at 2 for $22 and fans can get $2 beers and $2 sodas all night.
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 Wichita visits for an 8pm faceoff.
Meijer Family Night Sunday-- The Komets present Meijer Family Night at every Sunday home game this season. Coupons for a 4-for-$36 ticket offer are available at all Meijer locations around the Fort Wayne area. Also, fans can bring their skates for a free open skate after this Sunday's Meijer Family Night game.
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.