Fort Wayne, IN – The Komets ended the 2020-2021 regular season winning two out of three games in Utah last weekend. The team finished in third place, with a record of 29-17-2-1 and a winning percentage of .618. The Komets will open their first round Kelly Cup playoff series this week versus Wichita. The first two games of the best of five series will be played in Wichita at the Wichita Ice Center. The club will return home to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for game three this Friday. If necessary, games four and five will be played this Saturday, June 12, and next Monday, June 14, at the Coliseum.
Last week’s results
Wed 6/2 at Utah FW 3 – UTA 2 W
Sat 6/4 at Utah FW 9 – UTA 1 W
Mon 5/31 at Utah FW 0 – UTAH 6 L
About last week— Wednesday night, the Komets played the first of three games at Utah, besting the Grizzlies 3-2. Stephen Harper would start the scoring at 2:40 of the first period, with Zach Pochiro and Nick Boka assisting on the goal. Morgan Adam-Moisan would light the lamp at 7:46 to up the score to 2-0. The Komets would play shorted handed when Zach Pochiro went to the penalty box for hooking at 15:03. On the ensuing penalty kill, AJ Jenks would net the teams eighth shorthanded goal of the season at 15:37. The Grizzlies would score one goal in the second period and one in the third, but Komets netminder Robbie Beydoun would turn aside 16 Utah shots in the third period to solidify the win. Beydoun would finish with 33 saves and the win.
Friday night, the Komets found the back of the net nine times for their highest offensive output and their largest margin of victory of the season. Seven Komets scored goals in the 9-1 route, with Zach Pochiro and Brandon Hawkins netting two goals each. Pochiro would finish with five points, while rookie Stephen Harper scored once and dished three assists for a four-point game. Anthony Petruzzelli, Olivier Galipeau, Oliver Cooper and Blake Siebenaler would also score goals. Three of the nine goals scored were power play tallies. Dylan Ferguson would get the start in net, but was relieved by recently acquired Justin Kapelmaster in the third period with the score 9-0. Ferguson would get the win making 22 saves. In relief, Kapelmaster gave up a goal while stopping ten shots.
Saturday, The Grizzlies would flip the script on the Komets taking the game 6-0. Utah’s Charlie Gerard would score a Texas hat trick to lead the Grizzlies to the win. Komets goaltender Justin Kapelmaster got his first start as a Komet, giving up six goals on 30 shots. The two teams would combine for 120 minutes in penalties with 61 minutes being issued to the Komets.
For the week— Zach Pochiro led the Komets with two goals and four assists. Stephen Harper finished the road trip with two goals and three assists. Defenseman Randy Gazzola dished three assists. Brandon Hawkins scored two goals and added an assist. AJ Jenks and Olivier Galipeau each scored a goal and an assist. Alan Lyszczarczyk was credited with two assists. Oliver Cooper, Morgan Adams-Moisan, Blake Siebenaler and Anthony Petruzzelli all scored one goal. Nick Boka, Marco Roy, Anthony Nellis and Matt Murphy all had assists. Goaltender Dylan Ferguson stopped all 22 shots he faced to get the win Friday night. Robbie Beydoun won his only start of the week, giving up two goals on 35 shots. Justin Kapelmaster played 75 minutes, giving up seven goals over two games.
Special K's— Last week, the Komets went three for seven on the power play over three games. The Komets penalty killers successfully killed off 10 of 11 Utah power plays. The team finished the regular season with the top power play, scoring 51 goals on 197 advantages. The Komets were also best in the league killing penalties at 86.6 percent overall and 92.8 percent at home.
Points: Hawkins 39
Goals: Hawkins 23
Assists: Gazzola 29
PP goals: Hawkins 13
SH goals: Smallman 3
GW goals: Petruzzelli 5
Shots: Hawkins 159
PIM: Adams-Moisan 125
+/- : Petruzzelli +12
Icing the puck— The Komets nine goals were the most in one game since joining the ECHL in 2012. The last time the Komets reached nine goals in a game was February 20, 2009, when the Komets beat Flint 10-1. Komets finished the season going 19-0-3 when ahead after one period, and 20-0-2 when leading after two periods. The team will enter the post-season with the best goals against average per game (2.67). The Komets averaged 18.14 penalty minutes per game. The 61 penalty minutes given to the Komets on Saturday was the most in any game this season. Charlie Gerard’s four goals against the Komets on Saturday was the first time the team had given up a Texas hat trick since Jim Brown achieved the feat for New Haven on October 20, 2000. The last time the Komets played Wichita in the playoffs was the 2012 Presidents’ Cup Final. The Komets would win the series and the championship four games to one.
Western Conference semi-finals schedule
Game 1: Tuesday, June 8 – Fort Wayne at Wichita 8:05 p.m.
Game 2: Wednesday, June 9 – Fort Wayne at Wichita 8:05 p.m.
Game 3: Friday, June 11 – Wichita at Fort Wayne 8:00 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, June 12 – Wichita at Fort Wayne 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 5: Monday, June 14 – Wichita at Fort Wayne 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
The Komets are 1-2 versus Wichita this season.