Komets to wear 24 for Guinn

October 28, 2008

Today’s story.


Osman is out 4-to-6 weeks

October 27, 2008

He has a hairline fracture in his foot and is going on 30-day injured reserve retroactive to last Friday. More to come.

Something you can check out this weekend

October 27, 2008

This is something that will interest you. There are two Komets vignettes on it. For more information on the project, you can go here.

Today’s story

October 26, 2008

Though he wasn’t too happy at times during the game, Komets coach Al Sims was delighted afterward with his team’s performance in a 2-1 win at Kalamazoo on Saturday night. The 4-0 Komets are the only undefeated team left in the International Hockey League.

“It was the type of game I think our team needed,” Sims said. “We showed a lot of character and a lot of heart. We had to see how we could perform with the game on the line, and everybody did a great job.”

The Komets led 1-0 after the first period on Colin Chaulk’s first goal of the season, but the Wings tied it on Glenn Detulleo’s five-on-three power-play goal in the second period. It’s the second night in a row that the Komets gave up a power-play goal when facing a two-man advantage, which led Sims to vent a little ire toward referee Derek Berkebile.

“We have to face five-on-three after five-on-three,” Sims said. “I can understand it I think, but we had one for maybe 20 seconds and they had three or four for two or three minutes. Eventually, you’re going to break down and give up a goal in that situation.”

Overall, the Komets gave up only the one power-play goal in 12 chances against, while they were held scoreless in seven chances. At the start of the week, Sims said he wanted to focus more attention in practice on his penalty kill, and the Komets responded by giving up only two goals in 21 chances over the weekend.

“We’re starting to understand what we want and we’re starting to get used to playing aggressively,” Sims said. “The big thing is our aggressiveness. When one guy goes, we all want to go. If you are going to be aggressive on the penalty kill, everybody has to react at the same time.”

Fort Wayne eventually took the lead with 7:18 left in regulation when P.C. Drouin and David Hukalo forced a turnover with their forechecking. Hukalo passed to Drouin who shoved the puck between the legs of Wings goaltender Jason Tapp.

Komets goaltender Nick Boucher was the star of the night, making 35 saves to win his second game of the season.

“He was our best penalty killer and that was probably the best game I’ve seen him playin a long time,” Sims said. “He was tremendous and had to come up big. He was outstanding.”

Especially since the Komets’ so-far prolific offense was held in check. The Komets came into the game after scoring 24 goals in the first three contests, but they were held to 26 shots on goal. Despite that, Sims said his team could easily have led 4-1 or 5-1 after two periods but missed several good scoring chances.

Last year the Komets got off to a 2-4 start in part because some of their veterans got off to a slow start individually. This year the 11 returning players are dominating play. Chaulk is tied for the IHL lead 11 points, linemate Konstantin Shafranov is fourth with 10 and defenseman Guy Dupuis and center Mathieu Curadeau have seven.

“I’ve been playing the heck out of them the last two weekends to try to get them into shape so they can play 30 minutes a night,” Sims said. “This weekend I had to play them a ton, and I know they were tired tonight, but they are really carrying us.”

Part of that is because of familiarity with each othe and what Sims wants them to do. Last year the Komets had only four returning players and it took a while for them all to adjust.

“These guys are coming in this year just like they played the last game last year,” Sims said. “We’ve got the same guys on the power play except for (Luciano) Aquijno, and we’ve got the same guys on the penalty kill. The learning curve is so much shorter, and these vets know how to play together. It’s given us jump start to this season.

“It hasn’t been easy because we faced a home opener the first game against Port Huron and again tonight in Kalamazoo, plus we had the emotion of last night’s game in Bloomington. There’s a lot ot be said about what these guys accomplished this weekend.”

The Komets come home to host Kalamazoo on Friday.

Video blog cast

October 25, 2008

Is up here. I got some professional help this time.

Komets are red-hot

October 24, 2008

The Fort Wayne Komets’ familiarity with each other is blowing away the rest of the International Hockey League. Led by their returning veterans, the Komets beat the Bloomington PrairieThunder 7-4 on Friday, giving them 24 goals in three games.

“Everybody is chipping in and we’re a much better team at this point than we were last year as far as scoring goes,” Komets coach Al Sims said. “Everybody is playing really well.”

This time Mathieu Curadeau was the star, scoring all three of the Komets’ power-play goals, and Colin Chaulk passed four more assists to give him 10 in the three games. Defenseman Guy Dupuis had a goal and two assists, as did P.C. Drouin, and Konstantin Shafranov and Rick Varone each had a goal and an assist.

They key to the game was a five-on-three goal Curadeau scored at 14:02 of the second period to give the Komets a 6-3 lead. The goal came after Sims had called a time out to set up the play.

Referee Scott Bokal called the Komets for five straight minor penalties in the third period, but the penalty kill came through, holding the PrairieThunder to one goal in nine power-play chances. Goaltender Sebastien Laplante made 31 saves as Fort Wayne out-shot Bloomington 44-34.

Before the game, both teams gathered to honor the memory of former teammate Rob Guinn who died this summer. Proceeds from the game are being used to start the Rob Guinn Memorial Fund for his daughter Olivia’s education. The International Hockey League donated $2,500, the Komets announced they are donating $1,000 per year for the next 15 years and the PrairieThunder and various Bloomington businesses donated $10,000.

The Komets are playing without regular defensemen Jake Pence (rib) and Brandon Warner (wrist), and leading scorer Dominic Osman missed the game with a foot injury. He was hit with a shot last week against Port Huron, and Sims said the injury has gotten worse. Osman had an MRI on Friday afternoon and the results will be read Monday afternoon, Sims said.

Forward Brad MacMillan also missed the game due to a family illness, but Sims said he hopes MacMillan will be able to play tonight in Kalamazoo.

To help fill in the roster holes, the Komets signed Fort Wayne-native Ryan Potts to fill in this weekend. He’s the grandson of Komets legend Reggie Primeau who was released two weeks ago during training camp. Potts had no shots on goal in the game after just missing a goal in the second period on a 2-on-1 with Olivier Legault.

“He did OK,” Sims said. “He did a good job for us.”

Potts is on the trip

October 24, 2008

Fort Wayne-native Ryan Potts is making the road trip with the Komets this weekend. No word yet on if someone else got hurt, sick or re-called. Potts is a rookie forward who is the grandson of Komets great Reggie Primeau. He works for Lincoln Financial.

With no home hockey this weekend…

October 23, 2008

… what are you doing to fill the time? How many of you are going to Bloomington or Kalamazoo? It sounds like it might be a good weekend to stay inside and get some things done around the house.

Anybody see former Danbury coach Todd Stirling got five years probation for his part in abusing the UHL salary cap? Hopefully that puts all of that to rest finally.

Brendan Savage has some more on Peter South and the Generals’ 11-3 loss to the Komets last week. I know some off-ice officials in FW who will be very PO’d at this because they take their objectivity very seriously. In fact, it’s usually Komets goaltenders who complain they feel they get shorted on shots. What most people don’t know is that they check shots on goal from a few different angles to make sure they actually are shots on goal.

I believe this is also Flint’s first try at having Thursday night home games. What do you think of those? Would they work in Fort Wayne.

Couple of notes and Guinn update

October 22, 2008

* Brian Boulay said today he had seven stitches in his upper lip and he’s good to go this weekend. Brandon Warner will miss this weekend’s games with his sprained wrist. Other than that, everyone is good to go.

* If you’d like to donate money to the Rob Guinn Memorial Fund, you can mail it to Rob Guinn Memorial Fund, Leighton Legal Group, 802 N. Clinton St., Suite 1, Bloomington, IL 61701. If you would like to send photos, notes, memorabilia or good wishes to Rob’s family, you can send the materials to me and I will foward them. Blake Sebring, The News-Sentinel, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802. We’ve been able to send some very nice things over the last few months, and it has been very much appreciated.

* Don’t forget that the first Comcast Ch. 55 Game of the Week is scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight.

Fojtik suspended one game

October 21, 2008

 For his checking from behind major on Komets defenseman Brian Boulay. He’ll miss tomorrow’s game against Port Huron.

Think that’s enough?