FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets moved to 4-0-0 on the young 2015-16 campaign after sweeping a home double-header against intrastate rival Indy Friday and Saturday.
Friday the Komets burned the Fuel 3-0 in the first meeting of 11 this year. Goaltender Spencer Martin scored the shutout in his pro debut stopping all 21 shots faced. Both teams held each other scoreless through the first two periods before the Komets broke the deadlock at 8:15 of the third frame when Alex Belzile netted his second goal of the year. The Komets added empty net tallies at 18:59 and 19:44 by Mike Embach and Trevor Cheek to finish with the win. -Scoresheet-
Saturday’s rematch against the Fuel saw leads by each team dissipate into overtime. Indy led at the end of the first frame 2-1 on goals by Kyle Stroh and Rhett Bly with a tally by Fort Wayne’s Trevor Cheek sandwiched in between. In the second period the Komets dominated with three unanswered markers. Cheek scored his second of the game followed with a pair by Jordon Southorn. The Fuel answered with a pair to knot the game at 4-4. Garett Bembridge scored his second of the season and Bly marked his second of the game. Dylan Clarke gave Indy a 5-4 lead at 11:18 of the third before the Komets’ Peter Sivak tied the game with goaltender Pat Nagle pulled for the extra attacker with 56 seconds remaining in regulation time. In the Komets’ first three-on-three overtime Alex Belzile scored the game winner with assists from Drew Daniels and Shaw Szydlowski, his fourth of the night, with 22 seconds remaining in the extra stanza to the delight of a home crowd of 7,695.
The Komet Krowd— The Komets drew a total attendance of 14,830 for the home double-header against the Indy Fuel. Fort Wayne has the early lead in attendance in the ECHL with a per-game average of 7,904 after three games.
Streaking Komets— The Komets are unbeaten in four games to start the season. Last year head coach Gary Graham guided Fort Wayne to a season start of five straight wins. The Komets’ longest winning streak to start a season is eight games set in October and November of 1978……goaltender Pat Nagle has won his first three starts of the season…..Trevor Cheek (5g, 2a), Peter Sivak (2g, 4a), Shawn Szydlowski 2g, 6a) and Mike Embach (2g, 2a) have points in each of the four games played. Cheek also has a four-game goal-scoring streak while Peter Sivak has a four-game assist streak…..Drew Daniels has a three-game assist streak (4a).
Komet leaders— Szydlowski leads with six assists (ranks 2nd in the ECHL) and eight points (2nd in ECHL)…..Cheek leads with five goals (2nd in ECHL) and 24 shots (2nd in ECHL)…..Daniels leads the ECHL with +8 and ranks first among ECHL defensemen with six assists and six points…..and Cody Sol leads the Komets with 11 penalty minutes.
Penalty Shot— The Komets had to defend their first penalty shot of the season, and the ECHL’s first penalty shot of the year, Saturday night when Indy’s Rhett Bly was awarded the free shot at 15:59 of the first period. Bly beat Komet netminder Nagle for the first penalty shot scored against the Komets on Fort Wayne ice since Feb. 4, 2011 when Wichita’s Jesse Bennefield scored against Nick Boucher in the second period. It was only the second penalty shot surrendered by Boucher in nine attempts during his five-year career with the Komets.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Komets at Indy Fuel Friday— The Komets will tangle with the Fuel (2-1-1) for the third straight game Friday night at Indy at 7:35pm. It’s the first of five trips to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum (6,488). Last year the Komets were 4-1-0 in five games at the renovated arena, 8-1-2 overall against Indy. The Fuel skates at Kalamazoo Tuesday before welcoming the Komets Friday.
Cincinnati Cyclones visit Saturday— Saturday the Komets return home for a 7:30pm Halloween faceoff against division rival Cincinnati (2-0-0). It will be the first of 10 meetings this season. Last year the Komets won season series 6-1-0 in seven meetings and were unbeaten 3-0-0 by Cincy at the Memorial Coliseum. The Clones make their first road trip of the season this weekend when they visit Kalamazoo Friday before traveling to Fort Wayne Saturday.