Komets prepare for annual Thanksgiving night game

Komets practice

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets made the best of the only game scheduled for week six, grounding the visiting Quad City Mallards 5-1 Friday night in front of a crowd of 7,279 and improving to 8-3-2, 18 points and a .692 win percentage after 13 games.  It was the Komets’ third straight home win as they take a 3-0-0 season series lead over Quad City with nine meetings remaining including four at Fort Wayne.

The Komets enter week seven holding third place in the Central division trailing first-place Toledo by six points with two games in hand.

Komet leaders— Shawn Szydlowski leads with seven goals and 16 points….Szydlowski and Cody Sol lead with nine assists each….Sol and Curtis Leonard lead with +15….Sol leads with 40 penalty minutes.

Komet streaks— The Komets have a three-game home win streak, Szydlowski has an eight-game point-scoring streak (6g, 7a), a three-game goal streak (3g) and a five-game road point-scoring streak (4g, 5a)…Jamie Schaafsma has a five-game point streak (2g, 4a) and has points in each of his seven road games played (4g, 5a)…Sol has points in four straight games (1g, 5a)…goaltender Eric Hartzell has three straight starts and a three-game home win streak.

Taking the lead— The Komets are 6-1-0 when leading after the first period, 8-0-0 when leading after the second period and 7-0-0 when scoring the first goal.

Special K’s— The Komets rank fourth in the ECHL on the power play and have a third-best penalty kill.  Fort Wayne is 10/45 with the man advantage for a 22.2% success rate while 54/60 on the penalty kill for a 90.0% kill rating.  When at home the Komets have surrendered only one power play marker and rank second on the penalty kill at home with 94.7% (18/19).

Shortys— Trevor Cheek scored his first short-handed goal of the season in last Friday’s 5-1 win over Quad City to pull the Komets into a tie with Tulsa for the most short-handed tallies in the league with five.  Fort Wayne has scored a league-high four home short-handed goals.

THE HOLIDAY WEEK AHEAD

Thanksgiving night in Fort Wayne— The tradition continues this week when the Kalamazoo Wings visit at 7:30pm for Thanksgiving.  It’s the 56th Fort Wayne Thanksgiving home game (34-17-4) in the 65-year history of the Komets.  The Komets are 1-1-0 when facing the Wings for Thanksgiving.  Kalamazoo made their first visit to the Memorial Coliseum on Thanksgiving in 1983 when they celebrated with a 3-2 win.  The Komets evened the holiday series 1-1-0 with a 4-3 win in 2012.  The Komets are 1-2-0 over the last three Thanksgiving games and 6-2-0 in the last eight.  Overall on Thanksgiving night in Fort Wayne, the Komets are 34-17-4.  Thursday’s game is the third of nine meetings this season between the Komets and the Wings with the series even at 1-1-0.  Kalamazoo handed Fort Wayne its only home loss of the season 4-1 on Oct. 22 in the last meeting.  The Wings are trying to move out of the Central division cellar with a 6-7-2 record and 14 points after 15 games.  Kalamazoo skates at Indy Wednesday before traveling to Fort Wayne for the Thanksgiving faceoff.

Komets at Toledo Friday— The Komets will face the hot division leading Toledo Walleye Friday at 7:15pm at the Huntington Center (7,431) in downtown Toledo.  The Walleye enter the week riding a four-game win streak and lead the Central division with a record of 12-3-0, 24 points and .800 win percentage after 15 games. Friday is the first meeting of six this season and the first of four trips to Toledo.  The Walleye will host Greenville Wednesday before welcoming the Komets Friday.

Mallards return Saturday– Quad City will make a trip back to Fort Wayne after dropping a 5-1 affair on Coliseum Sweetwater Ice last Friday.  The Komets improved to 3-0-0 in the season series with nine meetings remaining.  The division rival Mallards sit in fourth-place with a 7-6-1 record and 15 points after 14 games and have lost their last three games.  Quad City will skate at Cincinnati Wednesday and host Indy Friday before heading to Fort Wayne Saturday.

Military Appreciation Weekend— This weekend with Kalamazoo in town Thanksgiving night and Quad City returning Saturday it’s Military Appreciation Weekend.  The Komets pay tribute to the U.S. Military with special jerseys both nights.  A silent auction for each game-worn jersey will be held each night, with the final bids being placed during the 2nd Intermission Saturday. Proceeds will support the Military Families program of Associated Churches.  Also, all military, active and veterans, can take advantage of the Komets’ Military Appreciation Ticket Offer where they can buy one ticket and get one free with a military I.D. for both games Thanksgiving weekend courtesy of Komets Hero Salute Corporate Partner, Fifth Third Bank.
Also at the games this weekend Komets Kare Package returns to benefit our veterans through the Veterans Administration Health System.  Items collected will be distributed to over 45,000 veterans in the VA throughout Northeast Indiana.  Non-food items are sought, such as gift certificates, games, toys, magazines, personal toiletries, coloring books, caps, gloves, blankets, cleaning supplies, T-shirts, underwear and more will be accepted.