Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets took a split of a four-game road trip for week 21 gaining four points and improving to 39-15-3 and 81 points with 15 games remaining in 2017-18. The Komets head into week 22 trailing first-place Toledo by four points in the Central division with two games in hand.
Week 21 started with a 5-3 Fort Wayne victory at Wichita Tuesday giving the Komets a six-game winning streak for the second time this season and extended their point streak to 13 games (12-0-1). Trevor Cheek registered his first four-point game of the season netting two goals and adding a pair of assists. Michael Houser made his third straight start in the Fort Wayne net and earned his seventh straight win and third straight road win making 25 saves on 28 shots.
Friday the Komets had their win string snapped falling 3-2 at Kansas City. It was Fort Wayne's first regulation loss since Jan. 26 at Kalamazoo. Goaltender Garrett Bartus suffered the loss allowing three goals on 30 shots and had his unbeaten streak snapped at 10 games.
Saturday the Mavericks made it a sweep of the weekend series at Kansas City by clipping the Komets 4-3. The Komets fall to 1-3-1 in the season series against the Mavericks with the series finale March 28 in Fort Wayne. Houser had his win streak snapped after stopping 28 of 32 shots.
The Komets recovered Sunday with a 4-3 win at Quad City to capture the season series against the Mallards 8-0-1. After giving up a 3-1 lead to Quad City at the end of two periods, the Komets rallied with three goals in the third stanza for the win. Bartus earned is 14th win of the season making 31 saves on 34 shots.
There were 10 different goal scorers for the Komets during the four road games. Trevor Cheek, Ryan Culkin, Justin Hodgman and Garrett Thompson each scored a pair while Gabriel Desjardins, Zac Larraza, Shawn Szydlowski, Bobby Shea, Marco Roy and Dennis Kravchenko each scored markers.
Komet leaders-- Shawn Szydlowski leads the ECHL with 67 points and +38 while leading the Komets with 27 goals and 40 assists....Garrett Thompson ranks fifth in the league with 60 points.....Curtis Leonard ranks second in the league with +36, Bobby Shea is fourth with +30 and Gabriel Desjardins is fifth with +29...Cody Sol leads with 105 penalty minutes...Ryan Culkin leads Fort Wayne defensemen with 11 goals, 27 assists and 38 points.
Streaking Komets-- Zac Larraza has points in four straight games (1g, 3a) and has a five-game road point streak (1g, 6a)....Artur Tyanulin has a six-game point streak (2g, 6a), an eight-game road point-scoring streak (3g, 8a) and a five-game road assist streak (6a)....Michael Houser has a five-game home winning streak.....The Komets continue to have a four-game home winning streak and a 10-game home point streak (9-0-1).
Milestones-- Ryan Culkin skated his 100th ECHL career game Tuesday at Wichita....Gabriel Desjardins eclipsed his old season high of 26 assists with his 27th assist Tuesday...Bobby Shea logged his 200th ECHL career game Friday at Kansas City....The Komets reached their 1,000th road win with Sunday's victory in Quad City. Fort Wayne's first road win was Nov. 24, 1952 at Milwaukee, 4-3.
Big thirds-- The Komets lead the league in scoring in the second period with 79 goals and lead in third period scoring with 100 goals. The Komets out-scored their opponents in the third period this past week 6-4 and have out-scored opponents in the third period 100-56 after 57 games for a third period goal differential of 44.
Unbeaten in February-- The Komets were 11-0-1 during February going 11-0-1 for the month. It was the first time in Fort Wayne's 66-year history the Komets have not lost a game in February in regulation. During the period, starting with a victory at Cincinnati Jan. 27, the Komets amassed a 12-game point streak of 11-0-1.
15 games remaining-- Last year the Komets were 12-4-1 over the last 15 games of the season going 8-3-1 in March and 4-1-0 in April. If the Komets match that pace, they will finish with 98 points, matching last year's total at the end of the season.
THE WEEK AHEADFriday, Komets at Kalamazoo Wings (28-24-5, 61 points), 7pm-- Friday night the Komets and arch rival Kalamazoo tangle for the fourth of six meetings this season with the Komets trailing the series 0-3-0. It's the third and final trip to Wings Event Center (5,113) where the Komets last won on Feb. 12 last season. Kalamazoo is fighting for at least the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central division, leading fifth-place Kansas City by a point and trailing third-place Cincinnati by seven points with 16 games remaining. The Wings are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games and are idle this week until the Komets visit Friday for a 7pm faceoff.
Saturday, Cincinnati Cyclones (33-21-2, 68 points) at Komets, 7:30pm-- The Komets will host Cincinnati Saturday at 7:30pm. It's Cincy's third of four visits this season. The Komets are 2-3-1 after six meetings with three games remaining including two at Fort Wayne and one at Cincinnati. The Komets stopped the Cyclones 5-2 in the last meeting Jan. 27 at Cincinnati. The division rival Cyclones trail the second-place Komets by 13 points after 56 games and lead fourth-place Kalamazoo by seven points in the race for playoff position. Cincinnati enters the week riding a five-game winning streak and will skate at Indy Friday before arriving in Fort Wayne Saturday.
Sunday, Kalamazoo Wings at Komets, 5pm-- The Komets and Wings will have a weekend rematch Sunday at 5pm on Sweetwater Ice at the Memorial Coliseum where the Komets are 4-0-1 on Sundays with two Sunday home games remaining. After Friday's game at Wings Event Center against the Komets, the Wings will host Indy Saturday before traveling to Fort Wayne Sunday.TIP-A-KOMET Tuesday at Applebee's-- The Komets invite all fans to the Tip-A-Komet benefit at Applebee’s North Clinton location by the Coliseum Tuesday from 6:30pm-8pm. Fans have a chance to be served dinner by a Komet player as the entire team will be on-hand for the special night at Applebee’s. All tips benefit Applebee’s Make-A-Wish Foundation Fundraising efforts. For more information fans can call the Komet office at 260-483-0011.
Championship Hall of Fame Weekend March 10 and 11-- The Komets will celebrate all nine Fort Wayne league championships and induct five new members into the Komet Hall of Fame during the Championship Hall of Fame Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, when the Komets host Cincinnati at 7:30pm, it will be Championship Night as the Komets celebrate nine league crowns by honoring players and personnel from the championship seasons. Sunday the NHL's Stanley Cup will be in town for Fort Wayne's Komet Hall of Fame Night. Doors open early at 3:30pm for viewing and photo opportunities with the Stanley Cup. Five new members will be inducted into the Komet Hall of Fame prior to the Komets/Kalamazoo game at 5pm.
Get your tickets early-- Tickets are on sale at the Coliseum Ticket Office. Save on Group tickets and Flex tickets 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.