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The Journal Gazette

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets goaltender Eric Hartzell, top, turns away a shot from Indy Fuel forward Patrick D'Amico on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

Friday, November 04, 2016 8:46 pm

Komets welcome reinforcements

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Eric Hartzell was terrific with 31 saves. Trevor Cheek was, too, with a goal and two assists. 

But the Komets' 4-0 victory tonight over the Indy Fuel was about much more.

For example, integrating three new players (Cheek, Mike Embach and Shawn Szydlowski) into the lineup after a 4-3 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday wasn't necessarily easy. Coach Gary Graham tried to put players familiar with one another together, which is why Embach was with Szydlowski and Thompson was with Cheek. David Friedmann was also familiar with Cheek, since they were both in training camp with Tucscon of the American Hockey League.

"You try to put somethings together that are hopefully already there and just reconnect it," Graham said. "The line of Cheek, Thompson and Friedmann was outstanding. All three lines were buzzing, but I really thought that line had a lot of great scoring chances."

The third-period Gabriel Beaupre power-play goal was also crucial, especially with Indy goalie Eric Levine playing so well.

"We finally got some traffic and were shooting from the top on power plays, which we’ve been begging guys to do, and finally Beaupre shoots it in and we got rewarded," Graham said.

But yeah, sure, Cheek and Hartzell playing lights-out helped.

"Everything was working well tonight. (The Fuel) did a good job and Eric Levine played really well (with 38 saves), so we weren’t scoring early the way we would have liked," said Hartzell, now 2-2-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and one shutout. "Overall, we played a sound game as a team and came out with the win."

The Komets have a rare Saturday off before playing Sunday at Brampton, Ontario.