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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Shawn Szydlowski, left, shoots the puck as Cyclones goalie Anthony Peters tries to protect the net during the first period Saturday at the Coliseum.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Komets' Jamie Schaafsma, left, tries to get ahold of the puck as Cyclones' Blake Thompson tries to get the puck during the first period of the game against Cincinnati Cyclones at Memorial Coliseum Saturday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Taylor Crunk moves the puck towards the net during the first period against Cincinnati at the Coliseum on Saturday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets’ Joseph Widmar, far right, tries to get the puck as Cyclones teammates try to protect the net during the first period Saturday at the Coliseum.

Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:30 pm

Komets trade for center; postgame analysis

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets have made their third acquisition of the last three days, sending future considerations to the Orlando Solar Bears for center Logan Nelson, 24, a fifth-round pick of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres in the 2012 draft.

He had three assists in seven games with Orlando, after tallying two assists in nine games with Norfolk. Last season, Nelson totaled 12 goals and 33 points in 49 games with Wichita and Rapid City.

“He’s 6-foot-1, big center, right-handed shot,” Komets coach Gary Graham said after tonight’s 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones at Memorial Coliseum. “He plays with some jam, a bigger centerman and we can use one of those that will allow (Daniel Maggio) to move back to defense. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do, find the right mix of guys. … We want to find the right mix of size, skating and centermen.”

What did the loss come down to? Well, a few things.

Obviously, there was the goaltending of Anthony Peters, who stopped 37 shots; giving an early two-goal advantage to the short-handed Cyclones didn’t help; and Graham talked about the way the Cyclones won the key battles in front of the nets.

“The difference right now, most of the time, if we lose these tight games, is that we either don’t win the net-front battles in the offensive zone with rebounds, burying rebounds, or we’re giving up too many easy goals around our net area,” Graham said. “That was basically the story tonight – they won the battle of the paint, for sure.”

What about the major penalty for the Cody Sol hit on Rob De Fulviis? Look, I know this won’t be popular, but I didn’t have a problem with it. Maybe it’s the fact that I refereed so many games, especially at the youth and teenage levels, but I’m particularly alert to those situations in which a player is in a vulnerable position and can go headfirst into the boards. Those are the plays in which players end up with head and/or neck injuries. That being said, if something less than a major had been called, I also wouldn’t have thought twice about it. I also am cognizant that this is a situation in which Sol’s size and reputation as a tough guy may have made the hit look worse than it actually was, so I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion on it.

Here’s what Garrett Thompson had to say: “It’s a tough call. Cody’s a big guy and they had a small guy. He had six inches and 20 pounds on him. The ref makes that decision. I don’t agree with the five minutes at all. But the guys came together and battled (on the penalty kill) there. We rallied behind it and got the goal after and that’s a positive, but I didn’t get the call.”

jcohn@jg.net