FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For the second consecutive week, the Komets snagged five out of a possible six points going 2-0-1 in three games to improve to 21-14-10 for 52 points after 45 games. The Komets moved into a sixth-place tie with Evansville in the race for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Komets trail leader Kalamazoo by four points in the tight North Division with nine weeks remaining in 2013-14.
The Komets completed week 17 riding a six-game point streak (4-0-2), unbeaten in regulation and gaining 10 points over the past two weeks of play.
Friday the Komets earned a point after falling 3-2 in overtime to the visiting Kalamazoo Wings. Jordon Southorn (D) posted his second two-goal game of the season while goaltender Andrey Makarov made 19 stops on 22 shots in his second straight start.
Saturday the Komets posted their 20th win of the season and reached 50 points with a 3-2 victory at Cincinnati. Goaltender Ben Meisner remains unbeaten on the road this season after five starts (5-0-0) and pushed his unbeaten in regulation streak to five games (4-0-1) making 24 saves on 26 shots. Chris Auger (C), Mike Embach (LW) and Brandon Marino (RW) each found the twine for the Komets. Marino also added an assist for a two-point night and extended his road point-scoring streak to six games (3g, 6a). Fort Wayne improved their series lead over Cincinnati to 3-0-1 and remains unbeaten by the Cyclones in regulation after four meetings this season.
Sunday the Komets finished the week with a 5-2 home win over Kalamazoo to extend their home unbeaten streak to three games (1-0-2). Auger netted his first hat trick of the season and second Fort Wayne career hat trick scoring three goals including the game winner. Netminder Makarov earned his 13th win of the season making 27 saves on 29 shots and extended his unbeaten streak to three games (2-0-1) and lengthened his home unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-1-1).
Komet leaders— Marino leads the ECHL with 39 assists and 58 points…..Auger leads the league with 22 goals…..Jace Coyle leads Fort Wayne defensemen and ranks fourth among blue liners in the ECHL with 19 assists and 26 points.
Milestones— Marino dished his 300th career point (assist) in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Cincinnati and passed his 200th career assist Sunday in Fort Wayne’s 5-2 home win over Kalamazoo…..Kenton Miller (C) skated his 100th career game Saturday at Cincinnati.
Special K’s— The Komets were 3/12 on the power play for a rating of 25.0% with the man advantage for the week while successfully stopping 10 of 12 opposition power plays for a penalty kill rating of 83.3% for the week to own the ECHL’s third-best penalty kill overall at 88.4%.
Week 18 ahead— The Komets will skate four games in five nights beginning with a 7:35pm start Wednesday at Cincinnati. The Cyclones are free-falling on a five game losing streak after a 4-2 loss at Evansville Sunday in their last time out. The Komets are 3-0-0 after three visits to the U.S. Bank Arena (6,955). It’s the fourth and final trip to Cincinnati this season.
Friday the Komets and Cyclones return to Fort Wayne for an 8pm faceoff at the Coliseum. It’s the second of four visits by the Cyclones this season. The Komets dropped a 5-4 shootout when the Clones made their first visit of the season Oct. 26.
Saturday the Komets travel to Kalamazoo for a 7:30pm faceoff at Wings Stadium. The Komets are 1-2-1 after four visits to Michigan with four remaining. The Wings have won their last two home outings and are 15-7-3 after 25 games at Wings Stadium. Kalamazoo will host Toledo Friday before welcoming the Komets Saturday.
Sunday the Komets return home to host the Wheeling Nailers at 5pm. The Komets stopped the Nailers 3-1 at Wheeling Jan. 29 in the last meeting and are 1-1-1 after three meetings. Sunday’s match will complete the season series. The Nailers will host Toledo Wednesday, Reading Friday and Elmira Saturday before making the trip to Fort Wayne Sunday.