Komets still sitting atop Midwest Division standings

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets maintained first place in the Midwest Division by gaining two points in three games during week 15 of 2015-16.  The Komets (23-13-2, 48 points) hold a four-point lead over second-place Indy and rank fourth in the Western Conference overall after 38 games.

The Komets started the week with a 5-1 victory at Cincinnati Friday.  Goaltender Pat Nagle earned his fifth straight win making 17 saves on 18 shots.  Brett Perlini posted his second two-goal night of the year while Justin Hamonic scored his first marker of the season.  Joe Perry scored 12th Fort Wayne goal and Brock Montgomery added the game winner.

Saturday the Komets dropped a 6-4 decision to the Cyclones to take a split of the double-header at Cincinnati and snap their longest win streak of the year at five games.  It was only the second road loss in 10 games for Fort Wayne.  Mike Embach scored the first goal of the game and Shawn Szydlowski, Montgomery and Will Weber also contributed markers.  Netminder Nagle saw his win streak snapped at a team high five games while making his 15th straight start (12-2-1).

Sunday the Komets capped the tripleheader road weekend with a 3-1 setback at Indy.  Randy Cure was the only Komet to solve Fuel goalie Shane Owen with his first goal of the season.  Montgomery assisted on the goal to push his point-scoring streak to three games (2g, 2a).  Perlini’s team high 13-game point streak was stopped (7g, 10a) and is the second highest streak in the league this season, Szydlowski’s point-streak was snapped at six games (2g, 7a) and Kyle Thomas’ point-streak ended at three games (1g, 3a).  Goaltender Sean Bonar made his Fort Wayne debut stopping 32 of 35 shots.  The Komets are 5-2-1 against intrastate rival Indy with three meetings remaining, all in April.

Komet leaders— Mike Embach 16 goals, an ECHL-high nine power play goals, and 37 points….Shawn Szydlowski 23 assists…..Drew Daniels +12…..Cody Sol 101 penalty minutes.

Special K’s— The Komets top the ECHL with a power play success rating of 23.1% (34/147) and have a streak of 29 successful penalty kills in a row and rank second in the ECHL with an overall PK rating of 87.8% (137/156), second to Florida (89.9%).  The Komets have not allowed a power play goal since Dec. 18, a stretch of 17 games.

Jumpin’ January— The Komets have reached eight wins for January (8-3-0), matching January total wins in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2012-13.  The last time the Komets notched more than eight wins in January was 2007-08 going 10-4-0.  The Komets will skate their final three January games this weekend.

Holding the lead— The Komets are 14-3-0 when leading after the first period, and 15-0-0 when taking the lead into the third frame.

THE WEEK AHEAD

The Komets return home Friday to host Cincinnati at 8pm.  After taking a split of a pair of games at Cincinnati last week the Komets are 3-4-0 with three meetings remaining.  Friday’s match will be the last visit of the season by the Cyclones.  Cincinnati trails the first-place Komets by seven points heading into week 16 and have won three of their last four games.  The Cyclones will host Indy Wednesday before traveling to Fort Wayne Friday.

Saturday the Komets skate at Toledo at 7:30pm.  The Komets clipped the Walleye 2-1 in the last meeting Jan. 2 at Toledo’s Huntington Center (7,431) and hold a 3-1-0 series lead with five meetings remaining.  Saturday’s tilt will be final trip of the season to Toledo where the Komets are 1-1-0 after two visits.  Toledo has claimed first place in the North Division of the Eastern Conference for the past six weeks and leads second-place Kalamazoo by 15 points.  The Walleye are 7-1-0 in the last eight games since their loss to the Komets Jan. 2.  The Walleye host Brampton Friday before they welcome the Komets on Saturday.

Sunday the Komets cap January with a 4pm faceoff at Kalamazoo. The Wings are riding a four-game unbeaten streak (2-0-2) and are 2-2-2 in their last six games.  The Komets lead the season series 5-1-0 and have won the last three straight meetings. Kalamazoo will host Quad City Friday before facing the Komets at Wings Event Center (5,113) Sunday afternoon.

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