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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Komets notes: ECHL trade deadline hits Thursday

Mike Cazzola
Mike Cazzola
Garrett Bartus
Garrett Bartus
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Also great crowds, comeback records and looking ahead

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 12:00 pm
As the ECHL trade approaches at 3 p.m. Thursday, the Fort Wayne Komets are evaluating their options. "If there's anything we're looking for it might be another right-shot defenseman, but if we can get Bobby Shea back that will take care of that situation," Komets General Manager David Franke said. "We're not looking to make any big blockbusters. We're a pretty set team here."

The Komets have already made some big deals, acquiring Travis Ewanyk, Colin Mulvey and Brett Perlini. Shea has resumed skating after a knee injury in the American Hockey League, and captain Jamie Schaafsma might return this weekend after a hand injury. Kyle Thomas is also expected back sometime.

"When we get some guys back from call-ups, then we'll have to make some decisions," Franke said. "It really depends if something comes available that we think can really make us better. We'll see what's out there and if there's something that makes sense we'll pursue it, and otherwise we won't worry about it. We're a pretty deep team."

Nice crowds

Since New Year's Eve, the Komets have averaged 8,020 fans, well above their 7,604 season average which leads the ECHL. They are a league-best 23-5-1 at home and with seven home games remaining and could become the first Fort Wayne team since 2007-08 to win 30 home games.

Komets comebacks

This team has rallied from two-goal or larger deficits 10 times this season to get seven wins and three overtime losses. About the only Fort Wayne team that compares is the 1991-92 Komets who had 21 come-from-behind victories and had a franchise-record 22 one-goal wins. They wore themselves out with all the comeback and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Kalamazoo.

Looking ahead

Heading into two games at Indy, Fuel goaltender Jake Hildebrand is 0-4-1 with a 5.59 goals against average and .883 save percentage against the Komets this season. That sounds awful but consider that Fort Wayne has pumped 47.4 shots per game against him... Fuel forward Josh Shalla has eight goals goals and 10 points in five games against the Komets this season, and 20 goals and 30 points in 31 games against Fort Wayne during his career... Mike Cazzola leads the Komets against the Fuel with six goals and 14 points in five games. Garrett Bartus is 5-0-0 against the Fuel with a 2.01 goals against average and .922 save percentage.

Been a long time

When Gary Graham received a game misconduct against Cincinnati on Feb. 11, it was the first time a Komets coach has been ejected since Al Sims was tossed from an International Hockey League playoff game on April 18, 2008 against Muskegon. The last time before that was Grant Sonier on Dec. 12, 1998, though assistant coach Gerard Gallant received a game misconduct on April 1, 1999.

He's pretty good

Kalamazoo's Joel Martin recently became the Wings' all-time record holder for career wins by a goaltender, and now has 203. He also moved into fourth on all-time ECHL list with 174. He's 24-23-2 all-time against Fort Wayne, but there are two separate eras. Since 2013-14, he's 9-14-1 against the Komets with a 3.25 goals against average and .904 save percentage, losing the last seven times. Before that, he was 15-9-1 with a 2.52 goals against average and .920 save percentage.

Icing the puck

Over their last 12 games, Komets' opponents have had 59 power-play chances compared to 36 for Fort Wayne... After playing Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis, the Komets come back next week to start a string of 13 games over 22 days to end the regular season... The Komets were 9-1-3 in February, their best month in terms of points since they were 10-4-1 in February 2012... The current Komets have 14 one-goal wins and 13 one-goal losses (including overtime and shootouts), going 8-0-3 over their last 11 games decided by one goal... Over the last 25 years, the Komets have played on green-, yellow-, orange-, blue-, purple- and pink-colored ice, always on the road.

For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at @blakesebring, at his blog tailingthekomets.com and on Facebook at Blake Sebring.


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