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Ice Chips


On injuries, suspensions and Shaf

The Komets have turned things around on the ice -- they are on a 4-0-2 surge -- and they're getting recently re-signed center Colin Chaulk back in the lineup Friday against the Evansville IceMen.

But injuries and possible suspensions could take a toll.

Center Leo Thomas, who leads Fort Wayne with 11 goals in 26 games, has been placed on injured reserve with a sprained ankle. He won't play in the three games this weekend and could miss a couple of weeks, general manager David Franke said.

Defenseman Brandon Warner, who has two goals and six points in the last three games, separated his shoulder in Saturday's 4-3 shootout victory at Dayton, Ohio, is also unlikely to play this weekend.

Forward Lincoln Kaleigh Shrock, who missed the last three games with a leg injury, is not expected back this weekend.

And at Dayton's request, defensemen Danko Mironovic and Guy Dupuis are being reviewed for possible suspensions from the Central Hockey League for incidents during Saturday's game.

"The league is taking a look at the film clips," Franke said. "Evidently, Dayton is saying there were deliberate intents to injure. I've looked at the film and don't necessarily see what they're looking for."

Mironovic's first-period knee-to-knee hit on Brandon Naurato, who had scored in all seven games since Fort Wayne released him, is one incident in question. (Naurato didn't return.) So, too, is a Mironovic hit on Brett Lutes and an alleged spear by Dupuis, Franke said.

However, the Komets could soon get help in the form of Konstantin Shafranov, the 42-year-old former NHL player who skated seven seasons with Fort Wayne between 1995 and 2010, helping them to championships the last three seasons in the International Hockey League.

Shafranov had 19 goals and 57 points in 58 games last season.

He has been assisting head coach Al Sims for several weeks, giving offensive instruction to the players, and began skating Monday to gauge a possible return to the lineup.

Fort Wayne (9-15-3) is four points back of Evansville (10-17-5) for the eighth and final playoff spot out of the Turner Conference.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at