The Komets (26-22-2, 54 points) earned two points in three games played during week 18 to maintain third-place in the North Division and the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with seven weeks and 22 games remaining.
If the playoffs were held this week, the Komets would qualify as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and paired with conference leader Reading in the first round. However, if the Komets were to finish the season leading the North Division, they would be seeded in the top three with the other two division leaders in the conference. Division leaders have home-ice advantage in the first round. Rival Cincinnati leads the North Division and has an eight-point margin over the Komets and also has 22 games remaining in the regular season.
The past week featured a three-game series at Colorado for the Komets. After dropping the first game Wednesday 2-1 the Komets rebounded with a 6-5 win at Colorado Friday. Saturday the Komets fell 6-1 in the rubber match at the Budweiser Events Center.
Hot and cold at Colorado—In both Komet losses at Colorado the Komets were held to only one goal while Friday the K’s offense fired up with a 6-5 win. Right wing Thomas Beauregard scored the Komets lone goals in the two losses at Colorado with Wednesday’s tally extending his point-scoring streak to five games before the streak ended Friday. Friday six different Komets contributed goals in the win at Colorado including Eric Giosa (C), Matt Firman (F), Brandon Marino (RW), Garrett Klotz (LW), Ryan Hegarty (D) and Brett Smith (C). Goaltender Charlie Effinger started all three games at Colorado for the Komets and has appeared in five straight games (2-2-0) with four consecutive starts.
Streaking Komet—Giosa completed the week riding a four-game assist and point streak (1g, 5a). The center has had points in eight of his last 10 games played (2g, 8a).
Milestones—Several Komets hit milestones in Friday’s 6-5 win at Colorado. Giosa dished his 100 th career (regular season and playoffs) assist. Marino reached 40 assists for the second straight season, and second of his career, with his second assist of the game. Firman’s marker was his first career power play tally and Hegarty notched his first pro short-handed goal. The Komets exploded for four goals in the first period for their third four-goal stanza of the season. The Komets improved to 11-0-0 when leading after the fist period.
Leaders of the pack—(active players) Marino 41 assists, 56 points, +10….Beauregard 18 goals…..Brent Henley (D) 143 penalty minutes…..Effinger 9-10-1, 3.64 goals-against average, .890 save percentage.
Iron Man—Tyler Butler (D) has skated all 50 Komet games to date. The veteran, skating his 10 th pro season, also appeared in all 66 regular season games for Arizona (CHL) last season.
The week ahead—The Komets will skate four games this week beginning with a visit to Cincinnati Tuesday at 7:35pm. Friday the Komets face the IceMen at Evansville at 8:15pm ET in the first of a home-and-home series against Evansville. Saturday the Komets host the IceMen at 7:30pm. Sunday the Komets complete the week with a 5:05pm faceoff at Toledo.
Down the stretch—The Komets are 2-3-0 after five February games (10-4-1 for the month last year). Eight games remain with four on home ice and four on the road. The Komets will complete the regular season slate with 14 games in March (eight at home, six on the road).
Comcast Report Card Night—The annual Comcast Report Card Night is this Saturday when the Komets host the Evansville IceMen at 7:30. All area students who receive at least one “A” on their report card are rewarded with a free ticket to the game courtesy of Comcast. Students may present a copy of their report card with an “A” or “A equivalent” or a letter from their teacher or school administrator indicating an acceptable level of academic success at the Coliseum Ticket Office in order to get their ticket. Tickets can be claimed anytime in advance of Saturday’s game. The Komets encourage students to get their tickets early as a large crowd is expected. Comcast Xfinity pledges a donation for each “A” student attending the game with all proceeds going directly to the Literacy Alliance.
KOMETS ON ICE THIS WEEK—
• Tuesday Feb 12 Komets (26-22-2, 54 points) at Cincinnati Cyclones (28-16-6, 62 points), 7:35pm ET—The Komets will skate their third and final game of the season at Cincinnati Tuesday where they are undefeated by the Cyclones after two previous visits (2-0-0). It’s the eighth of nine meetings this year with the Komets holding the series edge 4-3-0. The Komets crushed the Cyclones 7-2 in the last meeting Feb. 2 in Fort Wayne. Cincinnati rebounded with two straight road wins and are 2-2-1 in the last five games played. The Komets have an opportunity to gain ground on the North Division leaders in the race for playoff position. The Komets trail Cincinnati by eight points with 22 games remaining for each