Nathan Martine never knew he had an almost-twin brother until some people came up to talk to him after a game in Wheeling recently.
"He had some distant relatives who come up to talk to me after the game thinking I was Shawn,'' the Komets defenseman said.
Shawn is Komets forward Shawn Szydlowski.
"They started talking to him as if they knew him,'' Szydlowski said with a grin. "I've always struggled to find someone I look like and then here comes Marty.''
No, they weren't separated at birth since Martine is from Port Colbourne, Ontario, and Szydlowski is from St. Clair Shores, Mich. The funny thing is they've never played together before, though they did tangle a few times playing against each other in juniors. That doesn't explain the similarity, which is largely because of their beards and some facial features.
"If we have a hat or a helmet on, we've gotten it quite a bit,'' Szydlowski said. "I'm not as thin on top as he is, at least not yet anyways. It's pretty funny actually.''
Now they call each other brother in the locker room.
"We've gotten labeled as twins a bit this year,'' Szydlowski said. "We're just trying to have some fun with it.''
Home goalie, road goalie
Expect Ben Meisner to get the start tonight in Cincinnati. He's 6-0-0 on the road in seven starts with a 1.51 goals against average and 95.0 save percentage as a Komet. Conversely, he's 1-5 at home.
Andrey Makarov is 3-0-3 over his last seven home games, with a 2.20 GAA and 92.6 save percentage. He's 5-4-0 on the road this season as a Komet.
Komets coach Gary Graham may seem like he's alternating home and road, but actually he's just alternating games, and the schedule just worked out that way. It will likely change next week when the Komets play three games in Florida.
Oh, yes, it can get worse
The Komets have struggled all season in overtime and shootouts, going 3-10, including 2-8 at home. They have also lost their last five consecutive overtime games overall and five in a row at home. Those are getting close to matching several franchise season records for overtimes and shootouts.
This team is within one of tying the mark for most overtime/shootout losses in a season, which was 11 in 1989-90. The fewest shootout wins they had in a season was two in 1990-91, which they have matched now.
Believe it or not, two seasons were much worse than this season in terms of overtime and shootout losses: 0-5-6 in 1981-82 and 0-4-7 in 1984-85.
The Komets also had a stretch of five shootout games in November 1998 when shooters missed 20 consecutive attempts.
The Komets' best record for shootouts was 12-2 in 1988-89. They were 7-1 at home that season.
Icing the puck
Partly because of Meisner's success, the Komets have won five of their last six road games. ... The Komets and Comcast will celebrate their 22nd annual Report Card Night on Friday, which usually means a big crowd. The event has drawn more than 10,000 fans 10 of the last 11 years, and the Komets have gone 9-2 in those games. The event has raised more than $280,000 for the Literacy Alliance. ... The Komets officially welcomed back Scott Fleming from the American Hockey League on Tuesday and placed Jason Dale on 21-day injured reserve. ... The Komets will also host Pink the Rink on Feb. 26 and 28 to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The team will wear pink-themed jerseys those nights. ... Chris Auger has tied for the ECHL lead with 22 goals. ... Brandon Marino has a four-point lead over Alaska's Peter Sivak for the league's scoring lead. Marino has scored nine points in his last six road games. ... Scott Fleming trails Evansville's Jeremy Langlois by five points now for the rookie scoring lead.