Also, school-day success, the full crew and the best comebacks
By Blake Sebring, email@example.com
Thursday, December 15, 2016 6:21 PM
While healing from a concussion, Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma concentrated on the other half of his job title as assistant coach. He went behind the bench for three games.
"I try to do the same things as when I'm playing, talk from the bench, tell the guys when they've got time or skate it, or stuff like that," Schaafsma said. "It's a lot easier when you are watching to see what guys will do. When you are playing, it's happening a lot faster and you have to make split-second decisions."
Schaafsma said he enjoyed studying video with coach Gary Graham and liked that coaching gave him another reason to be around the rink even though he was injured. He'll return to the lineup tonight.
No time for recess
After last week's overtime loss in Toledo, the Fort Wayne Komets are 3-2-1 during daytime special games since joining the ECHL in 2012. That's pretty good considering they were all played on the road.
Will the Komets ever play one at home?
"No. 1, many of the school-day games are done in buildings where they have control of food and beverage," Komets President Michael Franke said. "It would be imperative to have food for the kids at lunchtime and that creates an issue for us. No. 2 we have almost 3,400 season ticket-holders, and I don't want to put them in a position where they would opt out of a ticket. To me, that's not fair to them. No. 3, there are more and more restrictions on how long these kids can be out of school. For instance, in Toledo the other day, about two-thirds of the kids had to leave after the second period. I don't think you'll ever see it here."
Will it ever happen?
When Trevor Cheek was called up by Tucson of the American Hockey League last week, he signed his second 25-game tryout contract of the season. Then Brady Vail came back to the Komets on Wednesday after score a goal and two points with Rochester. Will the Komets ever get their full lineup together?
"They have injuries and call-ups, but my hope is to get both of them back eventually," Komets General Manager David Franke said before Vail returned. "Maybe it won't be until later, maybe it will be sooner, you just don't know. The main thing for us is we have to concentrate on the team we have right now. If these guys come back to us, whenever they do, it's a bonus. We have to make the best team possible with the players we have, and so far we've been doing that I think. Gary (Graham) has done a great job of mixing and matching and bringing new players in. This is the way it is now and we keep rolling with it."
To make room for Vail, the Komets released defenseman Frank Schumacher who played in eight games.
Cheek has played in two games with the Roadrunners this week and has an assist.
What a comeback!
When the Komets rallied from a 5-1 third-period deficit to beat Missouri 6-5 in overtime on Dec. 2, it ranked among the franchise's greatest comebacks. The best still has to be when they rallied from 6-1 to win 7-6 in overtime against Muskegon in the 1963 playoffs, leading to their first Turner Cup. They also trailed Indianapolis 5-1 after two periods before rallying to win 7-6 during the infamous ice scraper game on Jan. 18, 1992, and they also rallied to beat Flint in a shootout on Dec. 5, 1999, scoring four goals in 5:20 during the third period. A fifth miracle comeback came on opening night, Oct. 4, 1996 when the Chicago Wolves led 5-1 and 7-3 before the Komets rallied to win 8-7 in a shootout. Lee Davidson scored on a penalty shot with four seconds remaining to force the shootout.
Icing the puck
Don't forget there's a game next Wednesday in Quad City which was originally scheduled for March 3... The Komets will be on Christmas break from after the Dec. 23 home game against Elmira until the morning skate before the Dec 27 home game against Indy... The Komets' Teddy Bear Night on Dec. 2 resulted in more than 2,000 stuffed animals... The jersey auction for Military Appreciation Weekend netted a $7,370 donation to the Military Families Program of Associated Churches. The two highest bids were $1,029 for Shawn Szydlowski and $1,000 for Cody Sol... Szydlowski ($1,119) and Sol ($1,002) were also the top earners on Star Wars Night which raised $10,202 for Camp Whatcha Wanna Do... The ECHL suspended Atlanta's Tyler Murovich 12 games for a Dec. 2 boarding call on Norfolk's Anthony Calabrese. Calabrese suffered multiple vertebrae fractures as well as a punctured lung... The ECHL announced Thursday that the 2017 ECHL All-Star Classic will air live on NHL Network on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from Glens Falls, N.Y.
For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at @blakesebring, at his blog tailingthekomets.com and on Facebook at Blake Sebring.