FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets swept all four games for week 25 to improve to 43-18-8 and 94 points and secure second place and home-ice advantage in the first round of the ECHL’s Central division semifinals. The Komets have reached 90 points for the 28th time in the 65-year history of the team in Fort Wayne and the 10th time in the last 15 years. It’s the 33rd time the Komets have recorded at least 40 wins in a season and the 16th time in the last 20 campaigns.
The Komets have started the month of April with two consecutive wins after finishing with the best March record since 2009-10 at 8-3-1 and a .708 pace.
Week 25 started with the Komets scoring an ECHL high 27th home win 5-2 over the Alaska Aces on Wednesday. It was the only visit by the Aces this season and the only meeting of the year. Friday the Komets clipped the Cyclones at Cincinnati 4-3 to take the season series 5-1-2. Saturday the Komets spilled the Fuel at Indy 5-4 in a shootout. Goaltender Garrett Bartus notched the win in his first shootout of the season stopping 22 of 26 shots in regulation and allowing only one goal on five shootout attempts in his only start of the week. The Komets completed the season series against Indy with an 8-1-0 mark. Sunday the Komets finished the week with a 2-1 win at Toledo to sweep the week’s games and enter the final week of the season riding a four-game winning streak.
For the week— Mike Cazzola led the Komets with three goals and four assists for seven points. Shawn Szydlowski scored two goals and added three assists. Mike Embach scored a goal and dished four assists. Kyle Thomas and Jamie Schaafsma each tallied a goal and three assists while Gabriel Desjardins and Brett Perlini each had two goals and three points. Garrett Thompson and Ryan Lowney also each potted markers. Goaltender Pat Nagle appeared in three of the four games going 3-0-0 and scoring a 2.00 goals-against average and .913 save percentage for the week.
Komet leaders— Mike Cazzola leads with 27 goals and ranks first among league rookies with 45 assists and 72 points, Cody Sol leads with +35 and 155 penalty minutes….Cazzola and Kyle Thomas lead with 10 power play goals….Cazzola and Trevor Cheek lead with six game winning goals.
Komet streaks— Mike Embach has a four-game point-scoring streak (1g, 4a) and a three-game road assist streak (3a)…Pat Nagle has won three straight starts and is unbeaten in regulation at home this season with a 10-game home unbeaten streak (9-0-1).
Milestones— Brett Perlini scored his 100th Fort Wayne career point with a goal in Friday’s 4-3 win at Cincinnati. Ryan Lowney netted his first pro goal in the Komets 5-4 win at Indy Saturday.
The week ahead— The Komets will finish the regular season with three games in four nights this week starting with a visit from Toledo Wednesday at 7:30pm. The Komets will complete the week with back-to-back games against Quad City and a preview of the first-round series against the Mallards. The Komets will skate at Quad City Friday at 8:05pm ET before returning home to host the Mallards Saturday at 7:30pm in the 2016-17 regular season finale.
PLAYOFFS LOOM, Komets to tangle with Mallards in first round playoff action— The first round of the playoffs is set to begin Friday, April 14 in Fort Wayne when the Komets and Mallards faceoff in Round 1 of the 2017 ECHL Central division semifinals. The Komets have secured home-ice advantage and will host game 2 Saturday, April 15 before the series switches to Quad City for games 3, 4 and 5. If games 6 and 7 are necessary, they will be held in Fort Wayne.
Here is the complete schedule of the first round, best-of-seven series:
2017 ECHL KELLY CUP CENTRAL DIVISION SEMIFINALS
FORT WAYNE KOMETS VS QUAD CITY MALLARDS
Game 1- Friday, April 14…………… Quad City at Fort Wayne, 8pm ET
Game 2- Saturday, April 15……….. Quad City at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET
Game 3- Wednesday, April 19…… Fort Wayne at Quad City, 7:35pm ET
Game 4- Friday, April 21…………… Fort Wayne at Quad City, 8:05pm ET
*Game 5- Saturday, April 22………. Fort Wayne at Quad City, 8:05pm ET
*Game 6- Monday, April 24………..Quad City at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET
*Game 7- Wednesday, April 26…..Quad City at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET