FORT WAYNE – Kenny Reiter feels the pressure of being the younger brother of Kevin Reiter, and also being a goaltender.
Kevin Reiter won an IHL championship with the Komets in 2008, when he was selected the league’s Goaltender of the Year, and he was 45-22-6 in 2007-08 and 2010-11 combined.
But being Kevin Reiter’s younger brother also has its advantages. Kevin, 30, helped get Kenny, 25, to Fort Wayne and has provided some tips that come in handy.
He sent me a message on Skype to let me know about the rink here and what to expect, the lively boards and things like that, Kenny Reiter said after stopping all 25 shots he faced in a 1-0 shootout loss Friday at Kalamazoo, Mich. (Kevin) is a great resource to have. I miss him and wish he was here. But he’s moving on to bigger and better things.
Kevin is an assistant coach with the Vipiteno Broncos in Italy. Those coaching skills certainly helped groom Kenny, who led Minnesota-Duluth to the NCAA championship in 2011 and was assigned to Fort Wayne by the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
He came to the Komets (2-1-1) with one game of professional experience – with Bridgeport last season – and he’s been impressive so far.
He is 1-0-1 and leads the ECHL in goals-against average (0.83) and save percentage (.973). He’s had to put up those kind of numbers just to get in the lineup for the Komets, who also have Anaheim Ducks prospect Marco Cousineau and Charlie Effinger.
While carrying three goalies is rare at this level, the NHL lockout has forced many teams to do so.
Cousineau, 22, is 1-0-0 with a 2.77 GAA and a .875 save percentage. Effinger, 26, is 0-1-0 with a 6.00 GAA and a .840 save percentage.
Reiter doesn’t mind competing for his spot.
Absolutely it’s pressure, but that pressure is always there, Reiter said. You’re competing for your job and competing to play every night. Thankfully, for me, (Cousineau and Effinger) have both been supportive, and I think we’ve all been good teammates. We all want each other to do well. Until the lockout gets figured out, it’s something we’ll have to deal with.
Reiter isn’t the only Fort Wayne player off to a hot start.
Forward Brandon Marino is tied for fourth in the league in scoring with eight points – his two blind passes from behind the net that set up goals in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout victory over Evansville were impressive – and he has three goals.
I don’t know what you can say about the kid; he’s on his way to 90 points already, said coach Al Sims, whose team plays host to Gwinnett on Friday and Saturday.