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Komets

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Komets notebook

Bad knees or not, Henley makes his presence felt

For most players, a goal and an assist in three games isn’t a big deal.

For Brent Henley, it’s uncharacteristic.

“But that’s not what I get paid to do,” said Henley, the 6-foot-7, 250-pound Komets defenseman.

He’s with the Komets to be physical and solid defensively. He did those things, too, last week as the Komets went 3-0-0 to improve to 9-5-0.

Henley was plus-7.

For the season, Henley has one goal, three points and is plus-8 in nine games. He’s on pace for his best statistical season ever, though he only has to eclipse the nine points he totaled for South Carolina of the ECHL and Toronto of the American Hockey League in 2003-04.

Henley is just happy to be on the ice, after missing a year and a half because of multiple surgeries on his knee. After coming back this season, he played only seven games (one with Utah of the ECHL, six with the Komets) before straining the other knee.

After sitting out 10 days, how did he feel last week?

“Like a 31-year-old with two bad knees,” he said. “But (trainer Shawn) Dundon takes good care of me. And with as much time off as I had last year, just to be able to play again, regardless of what hurts and what doesn’t, I’m just happy to play.”

For a guy who has to do so much icing of joints and makes a living checking and fighting opponents, he played well last week.

“It’s almost a running joke right now,” Henley said. “My bad knee felt good (last week), and my good knee felt bad. Just to get in the lineup is all I care about and to contribute in any way. If I’m healthy enough to play, I’m going to play. If it hurts, it hurts.”

Streaking

The Komets’ Jean-Michel Rizk was selected as CHL Player of the Week, after he tallied three goals and five points in three games. He also was plus-4. … Komets center Brett Smith is on a 13-game point-scoring streak, the longest in the CHL this season. He has 22 points in the stretch. He is also on a four-game goal-scoring streak. … The Komets’ four-game winning streak is the longest current run in the league. They’ve also won four in a row on the road, the longest current streak in the CHL. … Goaltender Nick Boucher has won three in a row, allowing three goals along the way. … The Komets now have the CHL’s top power play (28.3 percent efficiency).

Looking ahead

The Komets go to Rapid City, S.D., to take on the Rush on Friday and Saturday. The Rush, which eliminated Fort Wayne in the Turner Conference semifinals last spring, has lost 5 of 8 games and is 8-6-1. The Komets have won 2 of 3 meetings this season, outscoring the Rush 12-9. The rivals won’t meet again during the regular season. The Komets are one point back of Evansville (9-3-1) for first place in the conference.

jcohn@jg.net

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