Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Trevor Cheek, right, sweeps the puck away from Komets goalie Pat Nagle, center, after he gave up a rebound on a shot by Tulsa's Adam Pleskach during the second period of Friday's game at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Shawn Szydlowski, left, makes a move to skate by Tulsa's Dylan Hobbs during the second period of Friday's game at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Shawn Szydlowski, left, tries to find the puck as it's pulled back under his skates by Tulsa's Charles-David Beaudoin during the second period of Friday's game at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Brett Perlini skates to the puck to move it out of the Komets' zone during the second period against Tulsa on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma flips the puck into the pads of Tulsa goalie P.J. Musico on a wrap-around shot late in the second period of Friday's game at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Travis Ewanyk, left, and Brett Perlini, center, celebrate with Garrett Thompson after Thompson scored a goal in the first period of the Komets' game against Tulsa on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets goalie Pat Nagle nabs the puck with the tip of his glove during the second period of the game against Tulsa on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Brett Perlini, left, flips the puck at Tulsa goalie P.J. Musico during the first period of Friday's game at Memorial Coliseum.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets goalie Pat Nagle makes a glove save during the second period of the game against Tulsa on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
Friday, March 17, 2017 8:12 pm
Komets stay hot, blank Tulsa
Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette
Captain Jamie Schaafsma had a goal and an assist, and goaltender Pat Nagle got his second shutout of the season as the Komets continued their hot streak with a 3-0 victory over the Tulsa Oilers at Memorial Coliseum tonight.
The Komets gave a boost to their dwindling chances of getting the top playoff seed. They are 10 points back of the division-rival Toledo Walleye, which leads the ECHL with 91 points, and Fort Wayne has 12 games remaining, one more than Toledo.
Schaafsma is riding an eight-game point scoring streak, during which he’s totaled six goals and 13 points, though he missed a month along the way with a hand injury. Since returning, he’s got three goals and four points in three games.
The Komets donned special green, orange and white jerseys for St. Patrick’s Day that were auctioned and raffled off to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
The goaltending matchup was a fascinating one with Nagle facing P.J. Musico, who had played five games for the Komets this season as Nagle was in the midst of missing 37 straight games because of a high ankle sprain.
Tonight, Nagle stopped 32 shots and Musico stopped 27.
The Komets have seven shutouts this season, with Nagle blanking Wichita on Feb. 25 and sharing an Oct. 28 shutout of Allen with Eric Hartzell, who is no longer with Fort Wayne. Garrett Bartus has three shutouts.
The Komets (37-16-7), who have won seven of their last eight games, and are 15-3-3 in their last 21, are off until Sunday’s game against the Colin Chaulk-coached Brampton Beast in Brampton, Ontario.
Tulsa (26-31-6) has lost four in a row and 17 of its last 20. The Komets finished the regular-season series with a 1-1-1 record against the Oilers.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season, the Komets remain without forward Kyle Thomas, who is with Cleveland of the higher-level American Hockey League, but they are closer to a full lineup than they’ve been in months.
General manager Davis Franke confirmed, however, defenseman Gabriel Beaupre won’t return to the Komets this season. He hadn’t played since Nov. 13 because of a concussion.
Beaupre was recently cleared to resume all physical activities, Franke said, but it’s unclear if he will continue his hockey career after he totaled six goals, 18 points and a plus-9 rating in 89 games over three seasons with Fort Wayne. Beaupre, who appeared in only 11 games this season, starred in the 2016 playoffs with two assists and a plus-12 rating in 15 games.
“The important thing here is he’s healthy. It was a long, difficult road for him, but the important thing is that he’s healthy and has been cleared for all activities,” Franke said.
The game started in feisty fashion with Tulsa’s Charles-David Beaudoin leveling Mike Embach with a check, then fighting Fort Wayne’s Will Weber, who got an extra penalty for instigating the scrap. Later in the period, there was a fight between Fort Wayne’s Bobby Shea and Tulsa’s Danick Gauthier.
The Komets opened the scoring during a power play at 11:45 with Schaafsma sending a pass from the left corner that was redirected into the bottom of the net by Garrett Thompson, who was camped out in front.
With the crowd still buzzing from Tulsa’s Phil Brewer’s failed attempt at a big check at the other end of the ice, Embach made it 2-0 with a blistering 25-foot wrist shot for a 2-0 lead at 13:04.
The Oilers tallied seven of the first nine shots in the second period, including Adam Pleskach’s backhand from point-blank range that was thwarted at 13:38 by Nagle, who preserved the 2-0 lead by stopping Kale Kessy’s 15-foot shot 6:22 into the third period.
Schaafsma made it 3-0 by stealing the puck in the right circle and then snapping a shot from 25 feet out at 10:37. The Komets’ defense then had to kill off a 5-on-3 power play.
Notes: The release of defenseman Ryan Lowney this week was clerical. After he played last weekend under an amateur tryout, he was re-signed to a standard contract. … Mike Cazzola had an assist to extend his points streak to five games, during which he has three goals and six points. … With the Komets, Musico was 1-2-0 and stopped 88.4 percent of the shots he faced. He’s also played for Greenville this season. … The referee was Kenny Anderson.