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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Mason Baptista fights Kalamazoo’s Sean O’Rourke during Monday’s exhibition.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Marco Roy races into the Kalamazoo zone at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets goalie Michael Houser makes a save on a Kalamazoo shot during Monday’s exhibition game at Memorial Coliseum. It was Houser’s first action.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Shawn Szydlowski fights for possession of the puck against a Kalamazoo defender at the Coliseum on Monday.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Dennis Kravchenko races down the ice against Kalamazoo at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Dennis Kravchenko sets up to pass the puck against Kalamazoo at the Coliseum on Monday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Marco Roy comes in for a shot on the Kalamazoo net Monday at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette The Komets bench cheers on a fight between Mason Baptista and Kalamazoo's Sean O'Rourke at the Coliseum on Monday. at the coliseum, Monday  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Jason Binkley winds up for a slap shot against Kalamazoo at the Coliseum on Monday.  

Monday, October 09, 2017 11:50 pm

K's adding 2 familiar defensemen

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Defenseman Curtis Leonard, who was on the opening-night roster of the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, is already heading back to Fort Wayne. In equally big news, the Komets plan to sign defenseman Daniel Maggio, who played for them from 2011 to 2013 and helped them to a championship.

He played last season with Orlando of the ECHL and totaled three goals, nine points and 77 penalty minutes in 33 games.

The Komets have 23 players on their roster, not including those two because they're not official, and some other players could be in during the next day or two depending on what happens with Tucson.

Regardless, tough decisions for coach Gary Graham and general manager David Franke.

Here’s what Graham had to say about what impressed him most tonight, in the 4-1 victory over Kalamazoo that finished the preseason slate of games:

“Every game had a kind of sticking-up-for-each-other element to it. You saw tonight the (Sean O’Rourke knee-to-knee) hit against Garrett Thompson and then Mason Baptista, who’s always a heart-and-soul guy for us, gets in there right away (to fight him),” Graham said. “When you can start developing that camaraderie – there’s a lot of new faces in that locker room – and when guys can start backing each other up (it’s great).”

The Komets want to have a tough team this season, they just don’t want to be as penalty prone as last season when they ranked fourth with 17.94 penalty minutes per game.

“Knowing guys are out there on the same page, and you’re willing to do something for the guy to the left or the right of you in that locker room, that’s contagious stuff,” Graham said. “That’s stuff that coaching staffs, you can’t manufacture that. You either have it or you don’t. That’s the thing I’ve enjoyed the most about this group is watching them sacrifice for one another.”

Photos and video from the game are above.

jcohn@jg.net