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vs. Muskegon
When: 8 p.m. Friday
at Bloomington
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Radio: 1190 AM
at Quad City
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Radio: 1380 AM

K’s score big with rookie defenseman


Frankie DeAngelis has been spending much of his down time playing the video game “NHL 2010” on his Xbox. He takes control of the Detroit Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom, weaves him up-ice and through the defenses of opposing teams to many scoring chances.

There have been some times this season when DeAngelis has circumvented the real-life opposition with similar ease, albeit at the IHL level.

A rookie defenseman with the Komets, DeAngelis has two goals and five points in seven games.

“Everyone on this team is really talented, and I’m just trying to get pucks on net, let the forwards bang away on rebounds,” said DeAngelis, who has found a spot on the defending champions’ power-play unit.

“I try to be the fourth man in the rush, jump in the play and help out the forwards. I want to be reliable in my own end, sure. But I like to make that first (offensive) pass to the forwards, break the puck out of my own zone.”

DeAngelis and another rookie defenseman, Matt Woodard, came to the Komets after they were suggested to coach Al Sims by second-year player Keith Rodger, who played alongside them at American International College.

“Yeah, it’s good to come in as a rookie and know a couple of your partners (already),” said DeAngelis, a native of Woodbridge, Ontario. “Our chemistry out there is good. They were helping me when I first got here.

“But all the veterans in (the locker room) are great. They have answers for all the questions.”

DeAngelis tallied three goals and 10 points in 35 games last season with American International.

“He’s bringing us some offense, for sure, from the back end. And on the power play, he’s been effective,” Sims said. “For a young kid, a rookie coming in, he’s very poised with the puck.

“All the kids have a lot to learn on the defensive side of the puck, but that’s normal for a young guy. Playing against Todd Robinson and Robin Bouchard (of Muskegon) is a lot different than the college game.”

The Komets (7-3-0) have won four of their last five games, but they’re coming off a 2-1 loss at Muskegon, Mich., on Sunday. The Komets and Lumberjacks (8-3-1), participants in last spring’s Turner Cup Finals, meet again Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

The offense has been sputtering lately – Fort Wayne has six goals in its last three games – and DeAngelis will be looked to as the Komets try to get the puck in the net more.

“I just try to play my game, put some points up and hope everything works out,” DeAngelis said.

So far, everything has.