A few weeks ago when he was in the midst of a horrible goal-scoring slump, Komets forward Mike Embach made a statement that he knew he was capable of getting hot and scoring 10 games in a row.
He hasn’t quite done that, but he has scored six times in his last eight games, including one in Saturday night’s 5-1 win over Quad City.
“ I think he's confident and he's working harder,” Komets coach Gary Graham said. “He's tougher to play against. If you see him the way he goes into puck piles along the walls, how he's being a bull in the china shop and throwing his body in there... He's really effective when he's playing that style of game. When he gets in there and starts throwing his body around, he's usually pretty good.”
Embach is also benefiting from playing on a line with ECHL Player of the Month Shawn Szydlowski and Rookie of the Month Mike Cazzola.
“It’s having confidence,” Embach said. “It's tough to not get down when you're not scoring, but now that it's finally happening and I'm playing with Szyd and Cazz. I'm getting a lot more high-quality chances. Cazz is an amazing passer.”
Cazzola had four assists and Szydlowski had a goal and two assists Saturday night. After killing off a long two-man Quad City power play in the second period, the Komets came back to score four goals in the third.
The win gave the Komets a chance to push Quad City five points behind in the quest for third place in the ECHL’s Central Division. Fort Wayne is 6-1 against the Mallards this season, with six games remaining in the series. The Komets have also tied Tulsa for second place in the division with 43 points.
The Komets have won four of their last five games heading into today’s game at Toledo. The Walleye are the only team to beat the Komets during that stretch, 3-1 on New Year’s Eve. Fort Wayne is 0-3 against Toledo this season.
Fort Wayne has won seven of its last nine games but hasn’t been able to gain ground on first-place Toledo which is 8-2-1 over its last 11 games and still holds an eight-point advantage on the Komets.
P.J. Musico will play in goal today. Since he recently traded from Greenville, he has not faced the Walleye this season.