Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets started the 2020-2021 campaign with two games in Wheeling, West Virginia, dropping both contests. The team was able to gain two points, taking the loss Friday in a shootout, then falling Saturday in overtime.
Last week’s results:
Fri 2/12 at Wheeling 3 Fort Wayne 2 SO
Sat 2/13 at Wheeling 4 Fort Wayne 3 OT
About last week: Friday night, the Komets were held scoreless until the 1:55 mark of the third period. Brandon Hawkins victimized his former team with his first goal of the season with help from Matt Boudens and Olivier Galipeau. Former ECHL MVP Shawn Szydlowski would add his first goal of the season at 4:40. The game would end in a shootout with the Komets shooters going 0-3. Rookie goaltender Stefanos Lekkas made 36 saves on 38 shots and stopped two of three shooters in the shootout.
The Komets took the loss Saturday 4-3 in overtime; with Brandon Hawkins, Zach Pochiro and Stephen Harper netting goals. Rookie goaltender Louis-Phillip Guindon was tagged with the loss in his first professional start, stopping 18 of 22 shots.
The Komets start the season 0-0-1-1, currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with four games coming up next week.
For the week— Anthony Petruzzelli led the team on the game sheets with three points (all assists) and a +2 rating. Shawn Szydlowski, Zach Pochiro and Stephen Harper also added goals. Harper’s goal was his first professional tally. Defenseman Olivier Galipeau added two assists. Forwards Matt Boudens, Marco Roy and Anthony Nellis also added one assist. Defensemen Randy Gazzolla and Matt Murphy also contributed with one helper each. Murphy’s point on Friday was his first in the pro ranks. Goaltender Stefanos made 36 saves on Friday, giving up just two goals. Louis-Phillip Guindon took the loss on Saturday, giving up three goals on 22 shots.
Wednesday, the Komets will make their first trip to Indianapolis to take on the Fuel. Indy sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 15-3-1 for 31 points and a winning percentage of .816 after 19 games played. This will be the first of 20 meetings between the two in-state rivals. The Fuel are 7-1-1 at home this season.
The Wheeling Nailers will appear at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for a three game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Nailers are 2-2-3 away from home this season and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings 5-9-4 .389%.
Komets streaks-- Brandon Hawkins scored goals in both contests last week. Anthony Petruzzelli and Olivier Galipeau will enter next week having scored an assist in the first two games of the season.
Special K's— The Komets finished the week 0/10 on the power play, but held Wheeling to just one power play goal on nine chances.
Komet leaders— Anthony Petruzzelli leads the team in assists and point with three. Brandon Hawkins leads in goals scored with two. Rookie Stephen Harper tops the leader list with 15 penalty minutes.
Harper Suspended-- Stephen Harper has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct in Fort Wayne’s OT loss at Wheeling, Feb. 13th. The rookie will miss games at Indy (Feb. 17) and vs. Wheeling (Feb. 19).
Icing the puck-- The Komets only participated in three shootouts all of last season, going 1 for 3 in those contests, scoring once in nine chances. The Komets collected 42 shots on goal Friday night. Last season the Komets reached the 40 shot mark 14 times going 4-6-4 in those games. With a goal Friday night, Shawn Szydlowski now has 190 as a Komet. He’s currently nine away from Wally Schreiber for 13th on the all-time goal scorers list and one assist away from tying Dale Baldwin for 16th on the all-time list in that category.
Komet hockey on WOWO-- Fans can follow the action with Shane Albahrani broadcasting play-by-play on WOWO AM 1190 and FM 107.5. Game broadcasts are also streamed live at Komets.com.