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The Journal Gazette

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Dennis Kravchenko begins hustling up the Memorial Coliseum ice as goaltender Michael Houser looks on Friday night.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets' goalie Michael Houser stands guard in front of the net while teammate Curtis Leonard fights for possession of the puck against a Toledo Walleye defender.  

Saturday, October 28, 2017 7:30 pm

Komets' Houser called to AHL

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Michael Houser had his best game of the season thus far, stopping 22 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday night, and less than a day later he was called up to Tucson of the American Hockey League.

Houser is the first player to be called up to Tucson through the Komets' first-year affiliation with the NHL's Arizona Coyotes, who have quite a difficult-to-decipher goaltending situation.

Antti Raanta has been out with an injury since Oct. 12 and the Coyotes also have Louis Domingue and Scott Wedgewood, who was acquired from the New Jersey Devils today for a fifth-round draft pick.

That leaves Tucson with Adin Hill, who was sent down by the Coyotes today, Marek Langhamer, Hunter Miska and now Houser, while Fort Wayne has only Garrett Bartus but until Friday's game against the Adirondack to either get Houser back or bring in a replacement.

The most likely replacement would be Sean Bonar, who was in training camp with the Komets and is 2-0-0 while stopping all 60 shots he's faced for Pensacola of the Single-A Southern Professional Hockey League.

Houser, who is in his first season with Fort Wayne, has a 2-0-1 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and 66 saves on 73 shots. He helped thwart at least seven odd-man rushes, including three breakaways, on Friday when the Komets rebounded from a two-goal deficit to salvage a point in the standings.

Bartus stopped 20 of 23 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Mavericks on Oct. 21.

Muddled as the Coyotes' goaltending situation is, it's tough to know why they would want four netminders in the AHL unless there are unknown injuries or an impending trade.

Miska is 2-0-0 with a 4.11 GAA and a .875 save percentage, Langhamer is 1-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and a .949 SP, and Hill is 1-1-0 with a 0.65 GAA and a .968 SP. Wedgewood had been with Binghamton of the AHL.

Houser has 72 games of AHL experience, though he has played only one period there since 2015-16.

jcohn@jg.net