The Komets’ older players have amped up their play lately, and the results have been predictable – Fort Wayne went 2-1-1 in its last four games, breaking out of its scoring doldrums.
The Komets, who average only 2.93 goals per game, fourth best in the IHL, have scored 14 goals in the last four games. That was without star center Colin Chaulk, who missed last week’s action because of a death in the family.
In his place, the Komets got a combined nine goals and 24 points from forwards David Hukalo, P.C. Drouin, Leo Thomas and Konstantin Shafranov and defenseman Guy Dupuis.
I think our vets are starting to play the way they’re capable of, coach Al Sims said. They’re starting to play every night the way we expect them to play. That’s what we need. We need them to lead and then, hopefully, our rookies will follow.
Second-year forward Sean O’Connor has two goals and four points in the last four games.
Inside the numbers
Chaulk, who will be in the lineup Friday against Bloomington, has one point in his last five games. Thomas has tallied one point in four straight games. Shafranov has one point in three straight. The Komets are 12-0-1 when leading after two periods, 2-7-0 when trailing, 3-4-1 when tied. At home, the Komets’ power play scores 27.4 percent of the time. On the road, 15.6 percent of the time. Defenseman Kevin Bertram is a team-best plus-10.
Milestone for Sims
Sims got his 300th victory with the Komets on Thursday, with a 5-1 victory over Bloomington. He is in his seventh season with Fort Wayne dating to 1989. Greg Puhalski is second on the all-time list with 271.
Around the Ice
Flint’s John Ronan is on an 11-game point scoring streak, during which he’s notched 14 points. But that’s not the longest in the league this season. Muskegon’s Todd Robinson had a 13-game streak with 28 points that ended Dec. 12. Dayton drew 781 fans to its last game, a 4-2 victory over Port Huron on Sunday. The Gems are averaging a league-worst 1,470 fans per game in their first season. The IHL average is 2,967 fans per game, with Fort Wayne bringing a league-best 8,036 per match. Muskegon’s Jason Lawmaster suffered a ruptured spleen Dec. 29 when he was hit by Bloomington’s Mike Liambas. Lawmaster should miss at least six weeks, according to the Muskegon Chronicle. In November, Liambas was suspended for the entire season in the Ontario Hockey League for a brutal hit that broke an opponent’s skull.