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The Journal Gazette

Friday, December 29, 2017 11:50 pm

Praise for Shea, Komets' shot-blockers

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets' 5-2 victory tonight over the Wheeling Nailers may not have been the prettiest thing – you never want to cough up a two-goal lead in the third period and force yourself to rally – but they'll take it against an offensively talented team while playing without several of their stars.

“Obviously, losing a 2-nothing lead in the third at home is tough,” said defenseman Bobby Shea, who began the three-goal Komes rally with a shot from between the circles 11:11 into the third period. “We just had to keep going, put pucks on net and we found a way. That’s what good teams do. We didn’t panic when we lost the lead and they tied it up. And we came out on top.”

It may have been only Shea's second goal of the season, but he's gotten a lot of praise for the way he's been playing lately.

"He's been playing some great hockey over the last month and a half," coach Gary Graham said. "I told him, 'Sometimes this is what it's like as a defenseman. You're suddenly going to get a wave of pluses or a wave of minuses that aren't fair to you. Sometimes the points come easier than other times. It's a process throughout the season.'

"For me, right now he's playing great defensive hockey. And when you play great defensive hockey, your confidence offensively comes from that and I think that's what he's doing." 

You may have noticed the Komets blocking a lot of shots tonight. That's something they have been trying to emphasize lately. It didn't hurt that Michael Houser had a terrific game in net. 

"Tonight, you have (Taylor) Crunk take one off the foot and his foot is bleeding. That's unheard of. That can save a goal," Shea said. "I don't want to leave anyone else out, but there were a lot of blocked shots. Guys were putting their bodies on the line and it's definitely something that coach Graham has been emphasizing." 

Video highlights are above.

jcohn@jg.net