The Komets earned four points in week 8 of 2018-19 going 2-1-0 in three games and improved to 10-9-0 and 20 points after 19 games. The Komets climbed into third place in the Central division and trail first-place Toledo by a 10-point margin.
The week started with a 4-3 Fort Wayne shootout win over the Cyclones at Cincinnati. After Justin Kea gave Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead in the first period the Cyclones potted three unanswered goals before the Komets rallied in the third period on goals by J.C. Campagna and Justin Hodgeman to force overtime. After a scoreless extra session, it took an eight-round shootout to determine the winner. Jordan Sims scored the only goal of the shootout when he solved Cyclone goaltender Jonas Johansson to give the Komets the win. Fort Wayne goaltender Zach Fucale was unbeatable in the shootout after making 30 saves on 33 shots during regulation and overtime for his fourth win of the year. The last time Fort Wayne reached eight rounds in a shootout was on Oct. 17, 2014, when the Komets snagged a 5-4 victory from the Fuel at Indy in nine rounds.
Friday the Komets rallied from a 2-0 deficit to overcome the visiting Toledo Walleye 3-2 in overtime in front of a crowd of 9,034 on Teddy Bear Toss Night. Fans were finally able to launch over 3,000 stuffed animals onto the ice when Campagna cut Toledo’s lead in half with a marker at 17:54 of the second period. Marco Roy knotted the scored at 2-2 at 1:39 of the third period to send the game into the Komet’s second consecutive overtime. With 59 seconds remaining in the extra frame Chase Stewart beat Walleye netminder Kaden Fulcher for the win. Fucale posted his fourth straight win in his third straight appearance and improved to 5-4-0 after dishing an assist on the game winning goal and stopping 37 of 39 shots.
Saturday the Komets returned to Cincinnati for the first game of December. After a scoreless first period Cincinnati grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second with Hodgman scoring Fort Wayne’s only goal of the period. Judd Peterson opened the scoring in the third period with his second tally of the game. Campagna scored less that two minutes later to bring the Komets to within one at 3-2 but Jesse Shultz answered with a goal to put the Cyclones up 4-2. Eric Knodel found the empty net with Fort Wayne goalie Lukas Hafner pulled for the extra attacker to seal the win for Cincinnati 5-2. Hafner suffered the setback making 21 saves on 25 shots while Cincinnati’s Johansson earned the win on 26 saves.
For the week— J.C. Campagna had a goal in each game for a 3-goal week. Marco Roy had a goal and two assists for three points. Chase Stewart and Justin Kea each had a goal and an assist for 2 points. Jordan Sims and Jake Kamrass each dished a pair of assists. Zach Fucale appeared in two games and finished the week riding a four-game winning streak going 2-0-0, allowed five goals for a 2.33 goals-against average for the week, stopped 67 of 72 shots for a .931 save percentage. The Komets had 92 shots for and 98 shots against and were 3/11 on the power play and 10/11 on the penalty kill.
Komet leaders— Justin Hodgman ranks third in the ECHL with 18 assists, ranks fourth with 26 points and leads the Komets in plus/minus with +8….J.C. Campagna leads with 11 goals…..Jake Kamrass leads with three game winning goals and leads Komet rookies with eight goals and 16 points…..Ryan Lowney leads Komet defensemen with 11 assists, 11 points and +4…..Taylor Crunk leads with 38 penalty minutes….Lukas Hafner ranks fourth among league goaltenders with a 2.31 goals-against average.
Streaking Komets— The Komets finished the month of November with a season high five-game winning streak and currently have a five-game home winning streak….goaltender Zach Fucale has won his last four straight starts…..J.C. Campagna has a league-leading six-game goal-scoring streak and is third-highest with a six-game point streak (6g, 1a)….Justin Hodgman has a three-game road goal-scoring streak and point streak (3g, 2a).
Special K’s— The Komets scored three power play goals for the week and rank 10th in the league on the power play at 18.6% (13/70). The Komets only allowed one power play goal on 11 penalty kills and rank fifth on the PK at 87.1% (74/85).
Szyd reaches 200— Shawn Szydlowski registered his 200th ECHL career assist with a helper on Justin Kea’s goal Wednesday. It was the first goal of an eventual 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Cincinnati Cyclones.
Komets 9-3-0 for November— The Komets had one of their best Novembers in the history of the club with a 9-3-0 record in 12 games for the month. It’s only the sixth time the Komets have reached nine wins in November. The last time the Komets reached nine wins in November was in 2014 when they were also 9-3-0 for the month. The best record for November was 11-3-0 in 1978. The Komets were 10-2-2 for November in 1980 and also hit nine wins for the month in 1991 and 1992.
The week ahead…three games in three nights
Friday, Dec. 7, Komets at Wheeling Nailers, 7:05pm— The Komets get their first look at the division rival Nailers (7-10-1, 15 points) when they skate at Wheeling Friday at 7:05pm. It will be the first of eight meetings this season and the first of five at Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena (5,200). The Nailers are struggling to get out of the cellar of the Central division which they share with Kalamazoo at 15 points. Wheeling is coming off a 2-0 home shutout loss to Kalamazoo Saturday and are 2-4-0 in their last six games. The Nailers are idle this week until they welcome the Komets Friday.
Saturday, Dec. 8, Indy Fuel at Komets, 7:30pm— The Komets begin a double-header home weekend Saturday when they host intrastate rival Indy (9-10-0, 18 points) at 7:30pm. The Fuel begin the week on the heels of Fort Wayne trailing by only two points but will host Kansas City Tuesday and skate at Kalamazoo Friday before arriving in Fort Wayne Saturday. Saturday’s game will be the third of 11 meetings this season. Komets are 2-0-0 against Indy after a 5-2 victory in Fort Wayne Nov. 2. Indy has lost its last two games and are 2-3-0 in their last five and 4-6-0 in their last 10.
Sunday, Dec. 9, Tulsa Oilers at Komets, 5pm— The Komets step outside their division and host Tulsa in the first of five Sunday home games this season. Sunday’s match is the only meeting of the season. The Oilers share the lead in the Mountain division with Utah and are 13-3-4 for 30 points after 20 games. The Komets won last year’s lone meeting 6-1 in Fort Wayne on Nov. 19. The Oilers took a split of a pair of games at Kansas City last Friday and Saturday. A 6-4 loss Saturday snapped a Tulsa win string of six games. The Oilers will host Wichita Tuesday before starting a seven game road trip at Toledo Friday. Saturday Tulsa visits Kalamazoo before traveling to Fort Wayne Sunday.
Home for the holidays— The Komets have a season-high nine home games during the month of December. Four road games give the Komets a total of 13 matches for the month. Twice the Komets play three games in three nights, the weekend ahead and the next. The Komets will return after the Christmas holiday with a stretch of four games in five nights which is capped with the traditional New Year’s Eve game.
Star Wars Saturday— The Komets and Preferred Auto present Star Wars Night when the Indy Fuel visit Saturday night. Glow in the dark Star Wars bracelets will be given away to the first 1,000 kids through the doors while fans have a chance to meet their favorite Star Wars characters. Also, the Komets will be wearing special Star Wars jerseys to be auctioned off to benefit Camp Whatcha Wanna Do.
Season Ticket Recycling Night Sunday— Sunday is another Season Ticket Recycling Night when the Komets host the Tulsa Oliers. Komet Season Ticket Holders will be able to exchange any unused Komet tickets from previously scheduled home games this year for tickets to the game Sunday.
Meijer Family Night Sunday— The Komets present Meijer Family Night at every Sunday home game this season. Coupons for a Sunday 4-for-$36 ticket offer are available at all Meijer locations around the Fort Wayne area. Also, fans can bring their skates for a free open skate after each Sunday Family Night home game.Kids!