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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 28, 2017 7:17 pm

Baptista's goal streak to 6 games in K's loss

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Mason Baptista scored in a sixth straight game – tied for the longest such streak in the ECHL this season – but it was the lone bright spot for the Komets in a 6-1 loss to the Reading Royals in front of 4,698 fans at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

Rapid City’s Lindsay Sparks and Allen’s Bryan Moore are the only other ECHL players this season to score in six straight games. Baptista’s goal 13:25 into the third period came after the Royals had already mounted a 4-0 lead in the only meeting of the season between the teams.

The Komets (24-14-4) finished their road trip 2-3-0 and play host to Rapid City on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.

Reading (24-14-3) got two goals from Justin Crandall, while Matt Willows, Steven Swavely, Maxim Lamarche and Ryan Penny also found the back of the net.

Reading was scoreless in six power plays and Fort Wayne was 0 for 4.

After getting back-to-back victories at Elmira, New York, including a shutout, Komets goaltender Garrett Bartus was pulled by coach Gary Graham in the second period with 25 saves on 29 shots. His replacement, P.J. Musico, stopped 5 of 6, allowing a goal to Crandall with 11 seconds left, after Penny had already cemented the victory with an empty-net goal.

Six of the first eight penalties called by referee Andrea Barone were assessed to the Komets in the first 27:50, at which point the Royals had built a 2-0 lead on goals by Crandall and Willows.

Reading had 10 of the game’s first 13 shots and 29 of the first 43.

Defenseman Cody Sol, who had missed 15 straight games with a knee injury before returning to Fort Wayne lineup for the 3-2 victory at Elmira on Friday, was tied with Kyle Thomas for the team lead with four shots on goal Saturday but he was minus-5. Mike Embach also was minus-5 for the Komets.

Reading goalie Martin Ouellette stopped 25 of 26 shots.

Notes: Shawn Szydlowski played his fifth game with the American Hockey League's Cleveland Monsters, a 3-2 victory over Chicago in an overtime shootout. He now has one goal on four shots and a plus-3 rating since being called from the Komets. In 78 career AHL games, he's got one goal and 10 points.