FORT WAYNE – When the Komets play tonight at Memorial Coliseum, the big question is this: Who will be in net for Fort Wayne?
According to general manager David Franke, at least one new goaltender is en route – and a second could be, too – for the game against the Gwinnett Gladiators.
Because contracts hadn’t been signed, Franke couldn’t disclose the names of any new players, but the Komets need at least one replacement for Ben Meisner, who collapsed on the ice in the midst of a 5-4 loss to the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday.
According to Komets president Michael Franke, Meisner experienced an accelerated heartbeat and dizziness before having to be helped into the Coliseum locker room in the second period.
On Thursday, Meisner visited a cardiologist and checked out fine, David Franke said, and today Meisner will see a neurologist.
His health is the No. 1 most important thing, and we don’t want to be lax in any area, Michael Franke said.
Goalie Andrey Makarov had been called up to Rochester of the American Hockey League on Monday, leaving the Komets with Meisner and an emergency backup, Fort Wayne native Larkin Saalfrank, who could only play in case of injury. After Meisner came out, Saalfrank, the former IPFW club player, stopped 8 of 10 shots in only his second professional game.
Meisner had experienced dizziness earlier in the week but, according to Michael Franke, hadn’t informed the Komets. After going to a hospital late Wednesday, he was able to return home. The Komets don’t know if it’s the flu or something more serious.
The good news is the tests with the cardiologist came back negative, David Franke said.
The Komets (28-22-11) are two points behind Florida for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With 11 games remaining, the Komets are trying to avoid missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1974 and 1975.
The Gladiators (25-33-5) won the only previous meetings with Fort Wayne, 3-2 on Dec. 29 at the Coliseum.